Diageo is to spend £180 million on renewable energy at its African facilities, which represents the firm’s largest environmental investment in a decade.
The project will benefit 11 of Diageo’s African brewing sites, delivering new solar energy, biomass power and water recovery initiatives.
The investment includes a commitment to switch to renewable energy at three African breweries in Kenya and Uganda as well as the installation of solar panels to provide renewable electricity at breweries across six countries. These solar panels will produce up to 20% of each brewery’s electricity demand.
“We believe this is one of the biggest single investments in addressing climate change issues across multiple sub-Saharan markets,” said Ivan Menezes, Diageo CEO.
“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.”
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.
In total, the investment will cover sites in seven countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Seychelles, Nigeria and Ghana.
In Kenya, Diageo’s new brewery in Kisumu has already had solar power and water treatment facilities installed to ensure its operations have minimal impact from the start.
Menezes added: “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.”
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