Promote Responsible Drinking
The Sapporo Group is working to create value that will lead to solutions to global social issues in order to realize its management philosophy of “Sapporo will contribute to the evolution of creative, enriching and rewarding lifestyles.”
While proper drinking of alcohol beverages contributes to a healthy and happy life and enrichment, improper drinking is also a social issue that causes harm to physical and mental health. As a corporate group engaged in the alcoholic beverages business, the Sapporo Group believes that it has a social responsibility to correctly understand the nature of alcoholic beverages, sincerely address alcohol-related problems, and work to resolve them. We endorse the "Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol" adopted by the World Health Organization (2010), and are working to “Promote Responsible Drinking” as a key sustainability theme.
Promote Responsible Drinking
In 2021, the Sapporo Group has adopted "Promote Responsible Drinking" as its global slogan to combat alcohol-related problems. Based on the “The Sapporo Group policy related to proper drinking”, which is to "raise awareness of proper drinking" and "prevent improper drinking," each and every employee plays a role in promoting the initiatives outlined in the Sapporo Group Action Guidelines.
The Sapporo Group policy related to proper drinking
As a corporate group engaged in the alcoholic beverages business, the Sapporo Group will strive to solve alcohol-related problems as part of its social responsibility, and will work to raise awareness of proper drinking and prevent improper drinking.
- Raising awareness of proper drinking
We raise awareness of moderate drinking appropriate for a healthy and happy life.
- Prevention of improper drinking
We will prevent improper drinking, including underage drinking*, drinking by pregnant and nursing women, heavy drinking, and drinking before driving.
* In Japan, this refers to drinking before the age of 20.
In accordance with this basic policy, each Group company is working to ensure proper drinking.
The Sapporo Group's Action Guidelines for Proper Drinking
In accordance with this basic policy, the Sapporo Group has established the following action guidelines to serve as a basis for making decisions and taking specific actions in daily operations.
- We will strive to disseminate the correct knowledge for proper drinking.
- We will continuously conduct educational activities to prevent problems caused by improper drinking, such as underage drinking*, drunk driving, drinking by pregnant and nursing women, and binge drinking.
- We will comply with relevant laws and regulations, voluntary industry standards, and our own standards in our sales activities, including advertising.
- We will strive for two-way communication with various stakeholders.
- We will actively participate in and cooperate with social initiatives to raise awareness of proper drinking by governments, NPOs, and industry.
- We will actively support efforts to ensure that each and every one of our employees has the correct knowledge of proper drinking and acts proactively with an awareness of their responsibility to society.
* In Japan, this refers to drinking before the age of 20.
Sapporo Breweries' Initiatives to Promote Responsible Drinking
Participation in the creation and distribution of a common pamphlet for the beer industry
In 2012, the Brewers Association of Japan, of which 5 major breweries are members, created the beer industry-wide pamphlet "Responsible Drinking" to help customers better understand the natures and benefits of alcoholic beverages and the negative effects of misuse. Sapporo Breweries participated in this project and distributed the pamphlets to companies, organizations, and individuals who requested them (revised in December 2018).
Free distribution of pamphlets for elementary and junior high school students
“Get to Know About Alcoholic Beverages”
For upper-grade elementary school students to junior high school students (Third edition issued in 2019)
This pamphlet, which can be read by the entire family, explains why individuals under 20 must not drink alcohol, how to decline invitations to drink alcohol, and the role adults should play to prevent underage drinking. There have been approximately 170,000 pamphlets distributed in total since its launch in 2009, delivered to elementary and junior high schools upon request, supporting the education of prevention of underage drinking.
Results of the 9th (2013) National Institute on Consumer Education Awards (Japanese)
*This link connects to an external website
Providing information on the website
“Drink in Moderation”
Content promoting awareness on proper drinking practices is published on the website, such as “mechanisms of intoxication and alcohol metabolism”, “underage/seniors/females and alcohol”, and “healthy drinking habits”, calling attention towards proper drinking habits and the effects of alcohol on the body.
Proper drinking awareness seminars for universities and companies
Sapporo Breweries has been conducting “Proper Drinking Awareness Seminars” at universities and companies chiefly in the Tokyo metropolitan area since 2015, with the aim of educating students and employees for proper knowledge of alcohol consumption and for healthy enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. The seminar features basic information for proper drinking, such as definitions of alcohol and mechanisms of intoxication, and mannerisms that will come in handy at social gatherings. It also includes awareness education on “prevention of drinking under the age of 20” for underage students.
Preventing issues arising from improper drinking
A call for attention and prevention measures for improper drinking
Full compliance is implemented to promote proper drinking and to prevent violations of the law such as drinking under the age of 20 or drunk driving, with “advertising regulations”, “labeling regulations related to proper drinking”, “in-house regulations related to advertising and premiums” and “labeling confirmation rule” that comply with the alcoholic beverage industry’s “Voluntary standards related to alcoholic beverage labeling and advertisement” stipulated by the alcohol beverage industry.
Thorough compliance with regulations on advertising and sales promotion
At Sapporo Breweries, these standards and regulations are used for content checks to prevent inappropriate advertising expressions, etc. by multiple divisions when creating advertisements and planning sales promotions. Advertising agencies and production companies are instructed to comply with these standards and regulations.
TV commercials, traffic advertisements, newspaper and magazine advertisements, web advertisements, and in-store POPs are all labeled with Stop! Under 20 drinking and drunk driving”, “Pregnant or nursing women should not drink alcohol.”, “Don’t drink and drive”, “Drink in moderation”, etc.
Furthermore, “voluntary restraint of airing television commercials from 5 A.M. to 6 P.M. (excluding corporate advertisements and manner advertisements)” is conducted. In April 2016, the voluntary standard was revised according to the social climate and the following measures have been implemented: "The main celebrities in TV commercials must be at least 25 years old," and "Using expressions that emphasizes the throat and sound effects such as 'gulp gulp' that pass through the throat are refrained”. The “Alcohol Advertisement Screening Committee” has also been regularly screening the presence or absence of the indications, visibility and expressions of them in alcoholic beverage advertisements on TV, newspapers, magazines, websites, etc., as specified in the voluntary standards.
The Alcohol Advertisement Screening Committee webpage (Japanese)
* This link connects to an external website
Warning labels on products, etc.
Alcohol containers also display cautionary messages promoting prevention of drinking under the age of 20 and of drinking by pregnant and nursing women and “alcohol identification marks*1” to prevent confusion with soft drinks. Additionally, cans of alcoholic beverages feature braille displays of “Alcohol”. Since June 2021, the brand website has been displaying the "pure alcohol content (grams)*2" per 100ml of each product to make it easier for customers to understand the amount of alcohol consumed.
*1 Displayed on all cans of alcoholic beverages with less than 10 percent alcohol by volume and on containers other than cans of 300 ml or less.
*2 Canned alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages began to be labeled with the net alcohol content per container from January 2022. The labeling is expected to be completed on about 90% of the target products by the end of 2022.
Initiatives to prevent drunk driving
When customers visit breweries and wineries, Sapporo Breweries makes efforts to prevent drunk driving by identifying drivers at the reception desk by handing them identification slips and asking them to refrain from tasting beer and wine.
Cooperation with industry organizations related to proper drinking
Sapporo Breweries actively participates in the initiatives for proper drinking of Brewers Association of Japan and the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association and is working to develop and strengthen voluntary industry standards.
Sapporo Breweries also actively promotes to raise awareness of proper drinking in cooperation with external organizations such as the Health and Medicine of Alcohol Association and the Liaison Council for the Prevention of “Ikki” (heavy and entire) Drinking and is communicating with government and NPOs working on prevention of improper drinking.
Brewers Association of Japan Website
* Please note that links to external sites will appear from here.
Working toward a commitment by international alcoholic beverages manufacturing organizations
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been promoting the “Global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol” which was adopted in May 2010. With this, the Global Alcohol Producers Group* (GAPG), an organization of world leading alcohol manufactures has announced its decision to contribute to this global strategy as its “Commitment” in 2012.
* GAPG merged with the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP: http://www.icap.org/) in January 2015 to the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD).
[Five Points of the Commitment]
- Reducing underage drinking
- Strengthening & Reinforcing marketing codes of practice
- Consumer information & responsible product innovation
- Drinking & driving
- Working with retailers to reduce harmful drinking
For five years from 2013, Sapporo Breweries, as a member company of the Brewers Association of Japan which was a member of GAPG, (BAJ joined the IARD in January 2015.), went forth with initiatives toward proper drinking practices according to this commitment. These initiatives will continue to be reinforced.
The "Commitment" announced by GAPG
* Links to external sites will appear from here
Development of non-alcoholic products to meet diverse needs
Sapporo Breweries meets the diverse needs of customers in a variety of situations, such as preventing drunk driving and caring for physical conditions to support proper drinking.
Sapporo Breweries believes that having taste, quality and functions that satisfy customers is the most important factor to popularize and spread alcohol-free beer-tasting beverages.
“SAPPORO PREMIUM ALCOHOL FREE”, launched in March 2011, is sought to recreate a beer-like richness, taste and quality.
In June 2020, Sapporo Breweries launched the world’s first functional non-alcoholic beer “Sapporo Umami Shibori”, containing anserine to reduce levels of uric acid. Developed for beer-loving customers who were concerned about their uric acid levels, the beverage contains 50mg of anserine per can, with an alcohol content of 0.00% and zero purines.
Sapporo Lion initiatives toward proper drinking
Sapporo Lion uses original educational materials to educate employees on proper drinking, and confirms that all employees, including part-timers, are aware of the program at in-store meetings. To prevent the accidental consumption of alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, Lion stores have taken the following measures: (1) warning signs on menus stating "This is an alcoholic beverage," (2) use of special glasses for chuhai (sparkling alcoholic beverages), and (3) awareness-raising notices to stores on the 15th of each month, which has been designated as "Prevention of Accidental Drinking Day”. Sapporo Lion is also working to prevent drunk driving, and in stores with parking lots, it asks customers to wear stickers to identify drivers.
Employee initiatives toward proper drinking
The Sapporo Group actively educates employees on proper drinking, so that employees can properly explain to customers about proper drinking practices.
At Sapporo Breweries, every year, “Education on proper drinking” is conducted through e-learning, of which almost all employees take part in.
Sales representatives and delivery truck drivers have mandatory alcohol checks before driving. Alcohol checkers are also standard items at offices with employees commuting by car. Both regulations stipulate that drivers must not drive unless their breath alcohol level is 0.00 mg / L.
Furthermore, Sapporo Breweries and POKKA SAPPORO have designated business activities that are accompanied by alcohol drinking be completed by 10 p.m., to prevent driving under the influence the next day.