Building a more sustainable business and supply chain in North America

Feature

Developing solutions to a global climate challenge is not an easy journey, and it isn’t one that can be undertaken alone. Over the last couple of years Diageo has continued to work with our North American network of colleagues, partners, and communities to further our efforts to make our environmental work a force for good for the benefit of our planet and our people.

This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Invest in our planet’ and it recognizes the collective responsibility we all have in accelerating the transition to a clean and resilient future. The urgency of climate action is also reflected in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which shows that if urgent action is not taken, humanity will fail to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the threshold for a future of more fires, drought, storms, and more.

At Diageo, we believe in making systemic changes across our business to achieve our ESG goals. And systemic changes mean investing in our future; both financially and environmentally. We’re constantly moving ahead with an even greater urgency to create a stronger, healthier and lower carbon future as part of our Society 2030 targets to create a more inclusive and sustainable world.

In 2022, this means continuing the pursuit of real progress in our fight against climate change. Diageo North America continues to work towards our commitment of net-zero carbon across direct operations by building new, and retrofitting existing, distilleries and sites to be carbon neutral, powering on 100% renewable energy, reducing water usage, and working with packaging teams and suppliers to reduce waste and innovate on more sustainable packaging.

“Our 2030 vision of becoming a more sustainable business is becoming a reality, which is particularly important as a leading manufacturer and creator of jobs in communities across North America. As we continue growing, it is our responsibility to find new, sustainable solutions to create a low carbon future and contribute to protecting the planet. We want to be part of the solution, not the problem.”

Pietro Di Pilato
Pietro Di Pilato

Senior Vice President, Technical, North America

Creating a low carbon world

We’ve announced that we’re investing in achieving carbon neutrality at sites around the world, from North America to China and the UK.

Our recently opened carbon neutral distillery in Lebanon, KY, is powered using 100% renewable energy and sources 100% non-GMO corn locally. This facility has the capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons of Bulleit Bourbon per year and is already fully operational.

In Canada, Diageo’s Valleyfield site in Quebec, in partnership with the government of Quebec is on track to become carbon neutral by 2025. And earlier this year, Diageo announced plans to build our latest carbon neutral distillery in Ontario, Canada. With capacity to produce up to 20 million liters of absolute alcohol of Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, the site will feature resource efficient technologies and operate with 100% renewable energy to ensure that it is carbon neutral and zero-waste to landfill from all direct operations.

In the UK, three of Diageo’s distilleries in Scotland -Brora, Royal Lochnagar and Oban- have achieved carbon neutrality, and we’ve announced plans for a Guinness experience centre at Old Brewers Yard in Covent Garden, London, that will also be carbon neutral when it opens. We also broke ground on our carbon neutral Eryuan Distillery in Yunan Province, China.  

We don’t have the answers on how we’ll reach our Society 2030 targets just yet, but we’re exploring the innovation gap between here and there as we know we need to find new ways of running our business to make lasting positive change on the environment.

We’ll only fill that innovation gap by continuing to invest in our procedures, our people and our products as we continue to push the boundaries on what’s traditional in the drinks trade and step up to the challenge of being the most sustainable versions of ourselves. Through collaboration up and down our supply chain, we’ll be able to identify new technologies and practices that we hope to implement to 2030 and beyond.

To learn more about our sustainability actions and progress, see here.