MillerCoors touts corporate responsibility in new logo

With great beer comes great responsibility. At least that’s what home-brewed conglomerate MillerCoors asserts — echoing Spider-Man — in its new corporate responsibility logo unveiled this week, the Denver Business Journal reports. In addition to responsible drinking, the campaign means to brand the Golden- and Milwaukee-based beer giant as a paragon of environmental sustainability, community investment, volunteerism, and ethics and transparency, the company says.

MillerCoors corporate responsibility logo (Graphic/MillerCoors)

MillerCoors corporate responsibility logo (Graphic/MillerCoors)

The company, a joint venture begun last year between the two iconic beer brands, received Energy Saver Awards from the Department of Energy last year for cutting electricity and natural gas consumption by 18 percent over two years at its Golden and Shenandoah, Va., breweries, the Environmental Leader blog noted. MillerCoors says it aspires to “zero waste” in the company’s breweries. The company is already recycling 99.9 percent of it packaging materials and uses less water per bottle of beer than any large brewer, this zippy promotional video claims.

Bold claims, but not enough to land MillerCoors on CRO’s annual ranking of the 100 best “corporate citizens,” released last month. Pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers-Squibb tops the 2009 list, which also includes Citigroup and Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp., two companies that certainly have their share of critics. No breweries appear on the CRO list this year.

MillerCoors plans to use the “Great Beer, Great Responsibility” logo on packaging, retail displays and advertising later this year, the company said in a release. “When you choose one of our beers, we hope you will think about our commitment to responsibility,” said MillerCoors chief responsibility and ethics officer Cornell Boggs in a statement. Boggs added that the company also “wants consumers to take responsible actions by planning ahead to never drive drunk.”

You didn’t think we’d make it all the way through a post about Coors without mentioning 2004 U.S. Senate candidate Pete Coors and his drunk driving arrest, did you? Two years after the Golden Republican lost big to Democrat Ken Salazar — who resigned his seat earlier this year to head the Department of the Interior — the beer heir clocked a 0.088 percent blood alcohol content level, according to the state trooper who observed Coors rolling through a stop sign a block from his home. The beer magnate pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, a lesser charge than the original DUI, and lost his driver’s license for three months.

Before he went to court, Coors issued a statement admitting he’d messed up and reiterated his company’s message of responsibility:

“I made a mistake by driving myself home after a friend’s wedding celebration. I should have planned ahead for a ride. For years I’ve advocated the responsible use of our company’s products. That’s still my message, and our company’s message, and it’s the right message. I am sorry that I didn’t follow it myself.

“Coors Brewing Company is committed, more than ever, to the responsible use of our products, and so am I.”

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Ernest Luning

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