Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How do you measure and define ‘breakthrough sustainable technology’?

We are looking for ideas that deliver against Diageo’s 2030 sustainability ambitions and contribute to a world that pioneers sustainability across all that we do and all that we produce. We are moving away from internal targets and looking for bigger, bolder ideas and solutions that can transform sustainability in all areas of our product’s supply chain.

Q. What sort of relationship do you envisage with entrepreneurs – how much time and what sort of resources and assets might be available?

Building great relationships is at the very heart of our business and we see this being extended across how we work with entrepreneurs. We have strategic relationships in place across our business with suppliers, partners and joint ventures – some of which have been in place for years. Our ways of working are open, collaborative and trusted.

Q. If I already have equity investors in my business/idea can I still participate? What does it mean for them?

We understand that some of our future innovators and partners may already have equity investors. It is still fine for you to enter the programme – we encourage you to. We do not intend to invest equity in any of the applicants, and will do this only by exception.

Q. Sharing is a really important concept for successful innovation – do you see participation in DSS as exclusive and preventing participation in other networks?

The ethos of our programme is to collaborate with Innovators to identify breakthrough Technologies that will lead to a more a sustainable Industry. We are therefore very open to collaborative partnerships, and would encourage Innovators already engaged with other CPGs to apply.

Q. What guidance can you give on the criteria to be included in the DSS programme?

We welcome applications from parties that have innovative technologies, processes or solutions to participate in our pilots on the path to ‘scaling up’.

Q. How will you decide on new challenges to add to energy, water, sustainable packaging design and agriculture challenges already published?

We will work with our business units and our sustainability goals to identify problems where external innovation might provide solutions.

Q. Can you bring DSS participation to life – how do you see the relationship working from a practical point of view?

The pilot process will be project based with dedicated support by the business units and access to the DSS Team to guide you through the process.

Q. How long will the process take, are the pilots limited to 6 months and £100k of funding?

We aim to allow 6 weeks for reviewing applications, and then 2-4 weeks for shortlisting pitches, and selection. The pilot design and implementation programme is targeted to run for 4-6 months, we are open to longer lasting pilots where appropriate, and similarly for the right innovations, we would consider higher than £100k costs if justified.

Q. Can we enter again if we don’t make this round?

Yes. We are happy for innovators to apply more than once as we recognise that circumstances and ideas will change and evolve.

Q. Do I have to travel to Diageo Sustainable Solutions operations during the process?

All pitches during the evaluation stage will be made by video calls. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, travel is quite restricted. Decisions on travel requirements will be made with innovators once chosen, based on an evaluation of the current state of travel restrictions.

Q. How many companies will you accept as solutions to the problem?

Only one innovator will be chosen per challenge statement, although we may have exceptions.

Q. Do you take responsibility for travel expenses if required?

Travel and subsistence expenses will be covered by the Diageo Sustainable Solutions, if deemed required.

Q. Will I need to sign a contract agreement?

The successful applicant and Diageo Sustainable Solutions will sign a letter of agreement prior to commencing the pilot. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee. The information on your application remains confidential and is restricted to the selection committee.