Diageo’s Valleyfield Distillery to become carbon neutral by 2025

Diageo is to receive CAD$45.8 million in financial contributions from the governments of Quebec and Canada, along with Hydro-Québec, to support the electrical conversion of its Diageo Valleyfield manufacturing plant and become carbon neutral by 2025.

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This project represents an investment of $94 million in the company’s Salaberry-de-Valleyfield facilities. It will eliminate the consumption of approximately 21,000,000 m3 of natural gas and 1,500 litres of heavy fuel oil, which is the equivalent to an annual reduction of nearly 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec or taking more than 11,000 cars off the road for a year[1].

“Today’s announcement marks an important milestone for our North American operations and our global carbon footprint. As part of our Society 2030: Spirit of Progress plan we are committed to reaching zero net carbon emissions by 2030 and we are very grateful for this partnership with the Quebec government, which allows us to make significant progress in creating a more sustainable world.”

Ewan Andrew

President Global Supply & Procurement and Chief Sustainability Officer

Quebec Premier François Legault and Ewan Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer at Diageo, made the announcement at COP 26 in Glasgow.

“Diageo is going to be an industry leader in the green economy thanks to Quebec’s clean energy. With today’s announcement, it will be able to position its Quebec products as “green” spirits, both domestically and abroad. This is a great way to promote Quebec’s green energy. It’s also a way to ensure the distillery’s long-term prosperity in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. It’s a winning project for Quebec and a winning project for the planet.”

François Legault

Premier of Quebec

Our Valleyfield distillery generates 290 direct jobs in Quebec and purchases grain from 1,500 Quebec farmers. The site distills, ages in barrels, and bottles several of the company’s products and brands, such as the iconic Canadian whisky Crown Royal. The Valleyfield plant will be our first distillery in North America to make the transition to carbon neutrality via implementing four energy efficiency measures and two measures to convert from natural gas and fuel oil to electricity. To do so, it will acquire specialized equipment, such as a mechanical vapour recompression evaporator, steam dryers and an electric boiler.

“The Government of Canada continues to drive ambitious climate policy supported by concrete actions already under way to go further and faster in the fight against climate change. It is important to support innovative projects that reduce emissions, create good jobs and allow Canada to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Today’s announcement highlights some of the significant work being done by Quebec and its partners to build a stronger economy and a healthier province. Leadership in strategic projects such as Diageo announced today will reduce emissions and ensure that workers and communities have a cleaner and healthier environment.”

Steven Guilbeault

Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada

We will also significantly reduce our electricity consumption during peak periods to avoid putting pressure on the network and thus contribute to the sound management of Quebec’s energy resources. During these periods, we will use alternative green energy sources to maintain its production.

“The energy transition will be achieved largely through more efficient use of existing resources. We are very proud to participate in the electric conversion of the Diageo facilities, and to contribute to the implementation of energy efficiency measures. This project is a concrete example of changes we need to keep making in the future — using our clean energy to electrify as many economic activities as possible.”

Sophie Brochu

President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro-Québec

Diageo’s commitment to sustainability: More information on Diageo’s Society 2030 Spirit of Progress action plan can be found here.

[1] According to the National Resources Canada department Agency (Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator): https://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/corporate/statistics/neud/dpa/calculator/ghg-calculator.cfm#results).