Diageo has opened its first carbon neutral distillery in Lebanon, Ky. The 72,000-sq-ft facility has the capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year and has begun distilling Bulleit Bourbon using electrode boilers that are powered by 100% renewable electricity throughout the cooking, distillation, and dry house processes.
Designed with sustainability at its core, the distillery is built to ensure that fossil fuels are not used during production. By partnering with Inter-County Energy and East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), Diageo is sourcing a mix of wind and solar energy to power the electrode boilers, on-site electric vehicles, internal and external lighting, and equipment making the facility one of the largest of its kind in North America. The site has implemented virtual metering technology to advance visibility of water, electricity, and steam usage, collecting key data that is used to drive the company’s resource efficiency and sustainability. These technologies will allow the Diageo Lebanon distillery to avoid approximately more than 117,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year. The site also will support the local community with 30 full-time jobs while sourcing 100% non-GMO corn locally.
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“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,” says Perry Jones, president, North America Supply for Diageo.
Combating climate change and its associated impacts is at the heart of Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress action plan. The company has already halved the carbon emissions associated with its operations since 2008 and is now working to reach net-zero carbon across its direct operations by 2030, harnessing 100% renewable energy. As part of its action plan, Diageo is developing site-by-site roadmaps and is also working to achieve net-zero carbon across the entire supply chain by 2050 or sooner, with an interim milestone to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030.