There is growing awareness of the detrimental effects of alcohol industry commercial activities, and concern about possible adverse impacts of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, on public health. This systematic review examines what is known about CSR initiatives undertaken by alcohol industry actors to address harmful drinking globally. Based on a review of 21 studies, the authors identified five types of CSR initiatives relevant to the reduction of harmful drinking: (1) alcohol information and education provision; (2)drink driving prevention; (3) research involvement; (4) policy involvement and (5) the creation of social aspects organizations. Individual companies appear to undertake different CSR initiatives than do industry-funded social aspects organizations. There is no robust evidence that alcohol industry CSR initiatives reduce harmful drinking. There is good evidence, however, that CSR initiatives are used to influence the framing of the nature of alcohol-related issues in line with industry interests. The authors concluded that alcohol policy measures to reduce harmful drinking are needed, and the alcohol industry CSR initiatives studied so far do not contribute to the attainment of this goal.
Citation: Mialon M, McCambridge J. Alcohol industry corporate social responsibility initiatives and harmful drinking: a systematic review. European Journal of Public Health. 2018 Apr 25.