Pursuing its commitment to promoting responsible alcohol consumption and combatting binge drinking among students in Europe, Pernod Ricard renews its partnership with the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). The goal of this partnership is twofold: raise awareness about responsible alcohol consumption and reduce alcohol-related harm during student parties. Over the past ten years, the Responsible Party program has been implemented in 32 countries and raised awareness of more than 400,000 students.

This partnership raises awareness of responsible consumption of alcohol. The Responsible Party has been highly successful in part due to the implementation of a peer-to-peer approach. Student ambassadors organise engaging activities during parties to provide young people with concrete advice on responsible drinking. At Responsible Party events, food and water are distributed and messages about the health effects of alcohol consumption are presented in a fun way.

Both partners believe that partnership and empowerment are key ingredients in conducting forward-looking prevention and the independent scientific research conducted in 2017 clearly confirmed this. The results of the study concluded that 88.8% of the students consider Responsible Party as a useful prevention program, 61.4% of participants have modified their behaviour by drinking more water while 41.4% slightly decreased their overall alcohol consumption versus 37.7% who did not. Recognized as a reference, the program had been extended to 32 countries around the world, Russia being the most recent one to join the initiative in December 2018.

These figures are a clear reflection of the last pan-European analysis of addictive practices on young people over the age of 16 (96,046 student respondents in 35 countries) conducted by the European School Survey on Alcohol and other Drugs every four years. According to ESPAD’s last study, consumption behaviour was lower than recorded 2011 in most countries.

Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, and Gilles Bogaert, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard in Europe, Middle East and Africa/Latin America, arrived in Brussels to sign the renewal of the program, and show their support to the students and affiliates attending this event. "The partnership we are renewing with ESN on the Responsible Party program is crucial for the Group. Firstly, because it falls within Pernod Ricard’s unwavering policy in favour of an increasingly responsible and therefore convivial consumption; and secondly, because students are largely exposed to the risk of irresponsible consumption. Over the years, our partnership with ESN has demonstrated that prevention and cooperation are key and we will strengthen this collaboration to tackle alcohol misuse by acting at the right place in the right time to ensure everyone enjoys a safe party,” says Alexandre Ricard.

ESN is equally convinced of the success and effectiveness of this program as João Pinto, ESN's President, expressed: “Our cooperation can serve as an example of how partnerships between civil society organisations and companies can contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular improving the well-being of students. Responsible Party has instilled responsibility in young Europeans’ drinking behaviours and contributed to reducing harmful consumption over the last 10 years.”

Alongside renewing the partnership, a public conference “Partnership for good! Empowering students for well-being in a responsible and active Europe” was organised. During a high-level debate with the Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard, ESN President João Pinto and the representatives from the European Commission and the wine & spirits industry the question of "How can initiatives like Responsible Party provide inspiration for the future European action?" was discussed.

In the evening, an informal discussion between Alexandre Ricard and ESN volunteers from all around Europe was held in a local bar, followed by a “Responsible Party” to celebrate the 10th anniversary in a responsible style. This discussion was an opportunity for an informal conversation around the topics chosen by the ESN members, mixing both businesses, societal and personal questions.

Have you missed the event? Watch the live-stream from the conference here: