Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes has been appointed Knight Bachelor in this year’s New Year Honours list. The appointment, which allows Menezes to use the title ‘sir’, recognises that Diageo accounts for 10% (£2 billion) of the UK’s total food and drinks exports.

“Diageo is one of the world’s leading companies on sustainability, receiving a Double A rating for water security and climate change and is committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2030,” the write-up on the UK government website said. “He champions for both women and the BAME community in British business and today, 42% of Diageo’s senior leadership positions globally are held by women, while 37% are ethnically diverse.”

In November 2020, Menezes announced £1 billion of investment in sustainability and community initiatives and to tackle alcohol related harm. He was chairman of Movement to Work from 2017-20, a UK voluntary organisation committed to tackling youth unemployment, “delivering 100,000 structured work placements for young people, with over 55% of participants securing permanent jobs”. He is also a member of the British-Asian Trust’s Founders Circle.

The write-up also highlighted the company’s production of around 10 million bottles of hand sanitiser for healthcare workers around the world, including the NHS, during the pandemic.

Menezes was appointed CEO of Diageo in July 2013, having been an executive director since July 2012.