Diageo, one of the world's largest producers of spirits and beers, has committed to investing $219million in renewable energy upgrades at 11 of its breweries in Africa. The move represents Diageo's largest environmental investment in a decade.
With a goal to reduce its carbon footprint and help address climate change, the company says it will ensure its production sites are the most carbon and water-efficient possible.
Diageo's investment will deliver new solar energy, biomass power and water recovery initiatives at the sites, and bring new infrastructure designed to improve the long-term sustainability of the company's African supply chain in seven countries.
“We believe this is one of the biggest single investments in addressing climate change issues across multiple sub-Saharan markets. It demonstrates the strength of our commitment to pioneer grain-to-glass sustainability and to positively impact the communities in which we live and work. We have a responsibility as a local manufacturer and employer in Africa to grow our business sustainably – creating shared value-and this significant investment continues our work to provide sustainable solutions for our local supply chains, says Ivan Menezes, Diageo’s CEO.
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The multi-million dollar investment includes:
• A commitment to switch to renewable energy at three African breweries in Kenya and Uganda.
• New biomass boilers will replace heavy fuel oil using sustainable fuel alternatives such as wood chip and rice husks to create steam power for the breweries, reducing carbon emissions by 42,000 tonnes (the equivalent of taking tens of thousands of cars off the road).
• New water recovery, purification and reuse facilities across five sites in Africa, including in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, saving over two billion cubic litres of water a year.
• Solar installations to provide renewable electricity at 12 breweries across six countries. These solar panels will produce up to 20% of each brewery’s electricity demand.
It will cover 11 sites in seven countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Seychelles, Nigeria and Ghana. In Kenya, Diageo’s new brewery Kisumu has already had solar power and water treatment facilities installed to ensure its operations have minimal impact from their start. According to the multinational drinks producer, with 100% renewables and cutting edge water efficiency, it believes that Tusker will be the most environmentally sustainable brewery in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We’ve set ourselves ambitious environmental targets, aligned with the United Nations global SDG’s, and our efforts to deliver on these by 2020 continues at pace. Progress has included a 45% reduction in our carbon emissions and a 44% reduction in our water consumption over the past decade, while we also now look to the future and how we extend beyond 2020 with this investment,” concludes Menezes.