Pernod Ricard to build US$250m carbon-neutral distillery in Kentucky

US- Pernod Ricard plans to invest more than US$250 million over five years in building a carbon-neutral distillery in Kentucky that will include technologies like electrode boilers powered with renewable energy.

Construction of the state-of-the-art facility is set to begin in January and is due to be completed in 2025. The new facility will raise the brand’s output to around capacity of around 7.5 million gallons a year and will also include a world-class visitor center to welcome whiskey aficionados on the historic South Trail of Kentucky Bourbon, the company said.

The distillery is being designed to achieve LEED certification – an internationally recognized sustainability framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving environmentally friendly buildings.

In addition, the facility will be fitted with low-carbon technologies such as electrode boilers powered by certified renewable electricity, to ensure that fossil fuels are not used during bourbon production. On-site electric trucks and vehicles will also be powered with renewable energy.

An electrode boiler is electrically operated, with the Pernod Ricard system using renewable energy, where a current flow in water between electrodes and generates heat, which can be used for hot water or heating systems. It also can be used as an energy source for industrial purposes.

This type of boiler has been around for decades but is becoming more common in these types of production processes with the increase of energy sources, such as renewables.

Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, Ann Mukherjee, said that American whiskey was booming and that Jefferson’s growth has been “phenomenal”.

“We’re very bullish on the brand’s potential, and we’re committed to making our new Jefferson’s facility one of the most exemplary distilleries in the world to achieve it.”

As part of its plan for the Kentucky carbon-neutral facility, Pernod Ricard also plans to use local agricultural products produced with sustainable practices, through a partnership with local suppliers to source its ingredients and casks.

The French Brewer noted that it is an agricultural company, and its foundation and investment show a long-term commitment to sustainable practices in the sector.

Jefferson’s co-founder Trey Zoeller, commented that the carbon-neutral, state-of-the-art distillery the company is to build would not be possible without Pernod Ricard’s forward-thinking, integrity, and commitment to Jefferson’s and the Bourbon category’s future.

Recently, Pernod Ricard announced an investment of more than €400 million to extend and add more sustainable facilities to its Irish Distillers and Chivas Brothers brands company.

Earlier this year, Woodinville Whiskey also unveiled plans to expand operations of its sustainable processing facility in Washington.

Diageo has plans to also investing US$192 million in constructing a carbon-neutral facility in Canada for its Crown Royal Canadian Whisky brand.

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