Global spirit giant Diageo plc, which owns Guinness, Tankare and many more brands, has opened its first carbon-neutral distillery in North America.
72,000-square-foot, Lebanon, Ki. It has the capacity to produce 10 million “proof” gallons per year using electrode boilers powered by 100% renewable electricity. Renewable foods will be used throughout the cooking, distilling and drying house process.
Electrode boilers will use a mixture of wind and solar energy to drive electric vehicles, indoor and outdoor lighting and equipment on site, one of the biggest advantages in North America.
These technologies, along with improved metering, will allow Diageo Lebanon Distillery to avoid about 117,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, it said. This is equivalent to taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year.
The new plant complements existing production at Bullet Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Key. Bullet also makes rye.
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The company has already halved the carbon emissions associated with its operations since 2008 and is now working to reach net-zero carbon across its direct operations by 2030 through 100% renewable energy.
According to a study of the carbon footprint of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable Spirit, actual distillation accounts for 36% to 40% of total emissions, while glass bottles of spirit contribute between 19% and 20%. The rest is calculated by warehousing, foundation materials, transportation and much more.
“We now more than ever believe that business has a responsibility to our environment, our community and our planet,” said Sophie Kelly, senior vice president of whiskey, Diageo NA.
The Lebanon Distillery’s carbon neutrality scope 1, or direct emissions from the generation site, and scope 2, combine indirect emissions with a business, for example from power generation. The site will need to purchase the remaining amount of carbon offset, as partly Diageo will purchase emergency backup power.
Promise Scope 3 does not extend until the release. This section applies to emissions from non-owned parts of a supply pipeline, such as retailers that sell spirit bottles.
Diageo said it expects to achieve net-zero carbon in the entire supply chain by 2050 or, sooner, will achieve a 50% reduction by 2030, including an interim milestone.
Diageo replaced Bullet as part of Sigram’s portfolio purchase in 2001, then a Kentucky bourbon. The London-based company’s US-traded ADR is up 20% in 2021 and up 40% from last year.
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Packaging waste is one of the main areas of concern for the spirits industry. English producer Silent Pool Distillers made it earlier this year claiming it was the “world’s first” spirit in a recycled paperboard bottle. The Green Man Woodland gin uses %% less plastic than other plastic bottles and has six times less carbon footprint than glass or PET plastic bottles.
Some manufacturers are using new innovations to achieve green goals. A startup called Bespoke Spirits has been focusing on sustainable distilling since its launch three years ago. The Bespoken technique creates speed-up aging in a controlled environment with wooden sticks, bypassing the common long barrel aging of its rye, bourbon and other offerings. Taste develops much faster and so overall, energy consumption decreases.
Hallmark whiskey industry in Scotland faces similar climate considerations. Whiskey is the UK’s most valuable net export, valued at around billion 1 billion in 2019, but its largest distilleries have relied on gas for many years, as well as fuel oil in remote areas.
Whiskey producers are aware that drought and seasonal variations in climate change will affect the water supply needed for Scottish barley crops and whiskey production, while flooding could affect both distilling and transportation, said Morag Gardner, head of sustainability at the Scratch Whiskey Association.
According to the SWA, the industry has set a net zero target date of 2040, 10 years ahead of the UK government’s current target and five years faster than Scotland.
Corporations, including the spirit industry, increasingly believe that carbon-cutting efforts are part of the cost of doing business. For example, about 105 signatories who together make more than 4 1.4 trillion worldwide and more than 5 million employees in 25 industries in 16 countries have joined Amazon AMZN,
Its climate commitment earlier this year.
Many have tried to respond to their clients ’climatic position and have made progress in regulation; They rely heavily on carbon offsets (for example, tree planting programs) to reduce fossil fuel use.