Global spirits and beer company Diageo announced today the opening of its first carbon neutral distillery, with capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year powered by 100% renewable electricity.
Based in Lebanon, Kentucky, the 72,000 square-foot facility has already begun distilling Bulleit Bourbon, the company’s ‘Frontier’ whiskey brand. The distillery is expected avoid more than 117,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
Sophie Kelly, SVP Whiskies, Diageo NA, said:
“At Bulleit, we believe we have a responsibility to our environment, our communities, and our planet. We are proud to initiate the production of Bulleit Bourbon at the carbon neutral Lebanon Distillery, as we take a significant step forward in the brand’s long-lasting commitment to sustainability.”
According to Diageo, the distillery was built to ensure that fossil fuels are not used during production, with a mix of wind and solar energy used to power the electrode boilers, onsite electric vehicles, and internal and external lighting and equipment. The site also utilizes virtual metering technology to advance visibility of water, electricity, and steam usage, enabling the collection of key data that is used to drive resource efficiency and sustainability.
The launch follows the announcement last year by Diageo of a wide-ranging sustainability program, ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress,’ with the introduction of 25 goals aimed at making a positive impact on the world by 2030. Among the commitments were goals to harness 100% renewable energy to achieve net zero carbon emissions across direct operations and working with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.
Earlier this month, Diageo announced that its 2030 GHG emission reduction targets have been approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) as meeting the criteria to keep global warming to 1.5°C.
Perry Jones, President, North America Supply for Diageo, said:
“Two years ago, we set a vision and commitment to build our first carbon neutral distillery in North America. Now that the Diageo Lebanon Distillery is operational, I’m incredibly proud of the innovative actions from our teams and partners to fully electrify the facilities and power them with renewable electricity. This is a significant step in our journey to create a low carbon future and be part of the solution to tackle the ongoing climate crisis.”