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Diageo receives $75m to decarbonise production operations at two US plants
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

1 April 2024

Diageo receives $75m to decarbonise production operations at two US plants

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations has awarded up to $75 million to decarbonise operations at two Diageo North America facilites. The funds will support the electrification of its production sites in Shelbyville, Kentucky and Plainfield, Illinois – with the aim of making both facilities carbon neutral by 2026 and 2028, respectively. The deal will see Diageo partner with Rondo Energy to install Rondo’s heat batteries at the production sites, providing low-cost, zero-carbon heat and power and eliminating reliance on natural gas for boilers used in heating processes. These upgrades would reduce carbon emissions by nearly 17,000 metric tons per year, decarbonising the production facilities for spirits, RTD cocktails and Bulleit whiskey. The US Department of Energy believes that the facility upgrades will provide a ‘highly replicable blueprint’ for how manufacturing facilities can integrate thermal batteries with intermittent renewable energy to achieve direct decarbonisation while reliably delivering a consumer-facing product to market. Marsha McIntosh-Hamilton, president of North America supply, Diageo North America, said: “Today’s announcement from the Department of Energy marks a milestone for our North American operations and gives us the opportunity to incorporate innovative technologies into our production footprint to make our business more efficient, resilient and sustainable. Through our partnership with Rondo Energy we’ll build a model that can be replicated across our supply operations in the US." US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, commented: “Spurring on the next generation of decarbonisation technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth. Thanks to President Biden’s industrial strategy, the US Department of Energy is making the largest investment in industrial decarbonisation in the history of the US. These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonise sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy." Through the project, Diageo expects to create around 144 construction jobs across the two locations. This is the latest in a string of investments in F&B manufacturing from the US Department of Energy. Last week the department also announced a $170 million investment to decarbonise Kraft Heinz's operations across ten of its US facilities, and a $20.9 million injection into Unilever to reduce its carbon footprint at four of its ice cream plants.

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