Future Diageo Canadian Whiskey Distillery project promising 100% Renewable Energy

March 11, 2022
The company’s sustainability action plan, “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress” will shape formation of the distillery, officials said. The buildings will operate with 100 percent renewable energy and include building energy efficiencies

Alcoholic beverage producer Diageo will build a new C$245 million ($193M U.S.) distillery in Canada that it promises to be carbon neutral.

The 400-acre will be located in Ontario’s St. Clair Township alongside blending and warehousing operations. Diageo plans to produce up to 20 million liters of absolute alcohol in support of its Crown Royal Canadian Whisky brand.

The company’s sustainability action plan, “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress” will shape formation of the distillery, officials said. The buildings will operate with 100 percent renewable energy and include resource efficiency innovations in the design and development phases, also striving for zero landfill waste, according to the company release.

“A low-carbon world is essential for a sustainable future, so I am thrilled to announced our first carbon-neutral distillery in Canada as we continue to build momentum in our journey to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030,” Perry Jones, president of North American supply for Diageo.

Related stories

Bacardi rum distillery CHP plant in Puerto Rico cutting GHG emissions with shift from Diesel to Propane

H2 Boiler Technology to provide Zero-Carbon Heat for Scottish Whiskey Distillery

Subscribe to EnergyTech's free, tri-weekly Newsletter for more Insights into the C&I Energy Transition

The release does not indicate what kind of renewable energy will power the distillery and co-located facilities. In terms of legacy renewables, 60 percent of Canada’s power generation mix already is powered by hydroelectric facilities, while carbon-free nuclear generates 15 percent. Non-hydro renewables are close to 10 percent of the Canadian electricity portfolio.

Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey is the No. 1 selling such brand globally, according to Diageo. Canadian whiskey accounted for 7 percent of Diageo’s global net sales, while the Crown Royal brand grew 12 percent in the first half of this fiscal year, according to the company.

“Crown Royal is the heart of our whiskey business, as the most valuable whisky brand. It’s critical when we extend our footprint, that we are committed to creating a more sustainable world,” said Sophie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Whiskies, Diageo North America.

The project should employ dozens of people once completed and operational, the company said.

Several years ago, Diageo announced a 180 million Euro ($197M U.S.) investment in its African breweries.

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.