On Monday, Diageo North America announced plans for its first-ever U.S. carbon-neutral distillery. For those unfamiliar with Diageo, the multinational alcohol conglomerate is one of the world’s leading beer and spirits producers. It owns a large roster of household brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray, and Guinness.
Currently under construction in Lebanon, Ky., the carbon-neutral distillery is being built specifically for Diageo’s Bulleit bourbon brand. The 72,000 square-foot facility will have the capacity to produce 10 million gallons of 100 proof alcohol per year.
In order to become carbon neutral, the distillery will run on 100 percent renewable energy, and will incorporate a range of innovative features and strategies. These concepts include using electrode boilers for steam production; electric onsite vehicles, including trucks and forklifts; solar-powered lighting (when possible); and recycling as many production materials as possible.
Credit: Diageo Lebanon Distillery
The mix of initiatives could avoid carbon emissions of up to 117,000 metric tons annually — the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for an entire year, according to Diageo. The new facility also marks a major step in Diageo’s aim to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“As a company, we know that our long-term sustainable growth depends on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.” Perry Jones, president of North America supply for Diageo, said in the press release. “This is a significant step to strengthen our commitment to minimizing our carbon emissions and will result in an important reduction of Diageo’s environmental impact on a global level.”