Global insights: Zero emissions whiskey, neat idea

3 min

Production of alcohol around the world is big business and in recent years many major beverage manufacturers have been grappling with the challenge of making their heavy production businesses more sustainable by utilising renewable energy to offset their emissions.

Global beverage maker and producer Diageo (who makes Guinness, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan’s and many others) announced last month that its new 72,000 square-foot Kentucky, USA whiskey distillery, which will distill Bulleit Bourbon, is expected to be carbon neutral. That will make the facility one of the largest distilleries in North America to do so, and a first for Diageo. The site will be powered by 100% renewable electricity, with a capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year,

In a recent statement, Diageo detailed that they’d be able to guarantee a carbon neutral site by sourcing a mix of wind and solar energy, using electrode boilers that employ 100% renewable electricity, and capturing solar power on site for external lighting in addition to zero waste to landfill and highly-efficient water usage design. These measures will contribute to ensuring that no fossil fuels will be consumed in production at the Kentucky facility.

The company states that the distillery, which is expected to be operational by 2021, will help avoid more than 117,000 metric tonnes annually of direct and indirect carbon emissions – equivalent to taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year.

Here in Australia, beer giant Lion announced in May of this year that they had become Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer. They achieved this by complementing their carbon reduction program with the acquisition of certified carbon credits, and Lion has now offset its remaining organisational carbon footprint across its Australian beer business.

Asahi and Carlton United Breweries, who along with Lion own the vast majority of beer brands in Australia, are also committed to 100% renewable electricity.

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*As the system and market operator, we are fuel and technology neutral. The products, services and providers in this content are for illustrative purposes only and are not endorsed by AEMO.

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