Diageo chases net-zero goal with plans to make Canadian distillery carbon neutral by 2025

CANADA – British multinational alcoholic beverages company, Diageo has announced that its Valleyfield Distillery in Quebec, Canada, will become carbon neutral by 2025. 

Valleyfield Distillery distills, ages in barrels, and bottles several of the company’s products and brands, such as Canadian whisky Crown Royal.  

If successful, the Valleyfield plant will be Diageo’s first distillery in North America to make the transition to carbon neutrality. 

To achieve its goal, Diageo plans to implement four energy efficiency measures and two measures to convert from natural gas and fuel oil to electricity.  

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This will involve acquiring specialized equipment, such as a mechanical vapour recompression evaporator, steam dryers and an electric boiler.  

Diageo further notes that it will also reduce electricity consumption at the site during peak periods to avoid putting pressure on the network and therefore contribute to the management of Quebec’s energy resources.  

During these periods, the facility will use alternative green energy sources to maintain production, according to a statement from the company. 

This project represents an investment of C$94m (US$$75.5m) with Diageo receiving $45.8m (US$43.68m) in financial contributions from the governments of Quebec and Canada along with Hydro-Québec. 

The maker of Johny Walker whisky says the project will eliminate the consumption of approximately 21,000,000 m of natural gas and 1,500 litres of heavy fuel oil. 

These savings are 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. 

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Earlier in September, Diageo opened its first carbon-neutral whiskey distillery in North America in Lebanon, Kentucky. 

The new distillery will operate using 100% renewable electricity, zero fossil fuels for production, and virtual metering technology  

The 72,000 square-foot facility is also designed with sustainability in mind and has in place careful measures to ensure that fossil fuels are not used during production.   

Don Julio Tequila receives environmental certification 

Meanwhile, Diageo’s Don Julio Blanco has become the first tequila brand to obtain The Environmentally Responsible Agave (ARA, acronym in Spanish) certification. 

The brand received the certification from the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) and the Government of the State of Jalisco, Mexico after successfully completing the requirements to produce batches according to the ARA standards.   

The ARA certification’s purpose is to assure consumers that the tequila they are drinking has been manufactured in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner with no deforestation in the production process.  

According to a Diageo statement, this certification reiterates the tequila industry’s commitment to improve its environmental footprint, conserve and restore biodiversity, and to care for natural resources, such as agave. 

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