Diageo take stride towards climate change goal with first carbon neutral distillery
Our new Kentucky whiskey distillery producing Bulleit is expected to be one of the largest carbon neutral distilleries in North America
Feature 29 JUN 2020
We have announced that our new Kentucky whiskey distillery, which will distill Bulleit, is expected to be carbon neutral – one of the largest in North America, and a first for Diageo. Reinforcing our global commitment to reducing our carbon emissions and addressing climate change, the site will be powered by 100% renewable electricity, with a capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year.
The new distillery, which is currently under construction in Lebanon, Kentucky, reflects Diageo’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions and moves us closer to our goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Employing electrode boilers, the site will utilize a mix of renewable electricity sources to power a 72,000 square-foot distillery, dry house, and warehousing facilities. As previously announced “The Diageo Lebanon Distillery” will have the capability to distill a variety of bourbon and American whiskey brands. Bulleit will be the first and lead brand produced at the new distillery – supplementing existing production at The Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky. This move will further strengthen the brand’s commitment to a more sustainable future.
““As a company we know that our long-term sustainable growth depends on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change,” said Perry Jones, President, North America Supply for Diageo. “This groundbreaking undertaking to electrify our operations and then power them with renewable electricity will result in one of the largest carbon neutral distilleries in North America. 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.””
To achieve carbon neutrality at the site, we plan to incorporate a variety of features that will avoid annual carbon emissions by more than 117,000 metric tons. This is the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for an entire year. These features include, but are not limited to:
- Electrification of operations
- Energy efficiency embedded into the facility design
- Sourcing renewable energy
- Water savings design
- Zero waste to landfill
Committed to decarbonization with approved science-based targets, Diageo is part of a pioneering group of organizations that are championing a green recovery and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, through membership of the United Nations Global Compact, We Mean Business Coalition and other key global advocacy organizations. As a signatory to RE100, Diageo aims to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In addition, Diageo has signed onto the global Race to Zero campaign, a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We recently joined over 150 multinationals to reaffirm our commitment to Science Based Targets and urge governments around the world to align their COVID-19 recovery efforts with the latest climate science.
““For Bulleit, our passion for sustainability began when we built the Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, where we focus on reducing carbon emissions, water conservation and waste management during production. Then, when we opened our Visitor Experience there, we chose to implement practices like eliminating single use plastics from our bar and sourcing locally-grown organic cocktail garnishes from our onsite garden,” said Sophie Kelly, SVP Whiskies, Diageo NA. “Our commitment to the environment evolves with the Lebanon distillery, where no fossil fuels will be consumed for the production of Bulleit. This allows us to really begin to double down on our ambition to reinvent category standards.””
Rendering of electrode boilers, courtesy of Precision Boilers