People, Planet, or Profit: alcohol’s impact on a sustainable future

Published by
Institute of Alcohol Studies

Alcohol is a discretionary, non-essential product that causes over 200 health conditions.1 The harm that alcohol causes to health, society and the economy is already well-known. However, the damage caused to the environment, sustainable development, and human rights across the lifecycle of alcoholic products has received little attention so far. Much of this harm is invisible to drinkers and is also not taken into account by governments formulating alcohol policies.

It was already recognised that alcohol places a burden on health, society, and public services, and has significant economic costs. This report adds to this understanding by showing that the alcohol industry and alcohol consumption are obstacles to sustainability. Urgent policy action on alcohol harm is needed to help not only the health of people but also the planet.

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