• corporate social responsibility;
  • responsible drinking;
  • spirits' producers

The aims of this paper are to provide an exploratory review of both the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda being publicly reported by the world's leading spirits' producers and the nature of their reporting CSR processes and to offer some wider reflections on the ways these producers are addressing and pursuing CSR strategies. The paper begins with a short discussion of the characteristics of CSR. It draws its empirical material from the most recent CSR reports posted on the Internet by the world's top 10 spirits' producers. The findings reveal that the leading spirits producers are moving towards integrating CSR into their core business; and while they particularly emphasise their commitment to promote responsible drinking, they also address a wide range of impacts within the marketplace, the communities in which they operate, the environment and the workplace. Although the leading spirits producers generally adopt a positive stance in their CSR reports, the independent external assessment of the reporting process is limited. More generally, the paper offers some critical reflections on the CSR agenda currently being by pursued by the leading spirits' producers. The paper provides an overview and some reflections on the CSR agenda being pursued by some of the world's leading spirits' producers; and as such, it will interest academics in business and management and hospitality departments, a range of people working in management positions within the drinks industry and those professionals who work with the industry. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.