Diageo Commits to a Renewable Future in Africa

Diageo Commits to a Renewable Future in Africa

Diageo will invest GBP 180 million in renewable energy resources across its sites in Africa to ensure that it breweries are carbon and water-efficient

Diageo Renewable Africa

British multinational alcoholic beverages company, Diageo has announced that it will invest GBP 180 million in renewable energy resources across its sites in Africa to ensure that it breweries are the most carbon and water-efficient.

“This commitment represents Diageo’s largest environmental investment in a decade confirming our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and addressing climate change,” the firm issued in a statement.

The alcohol multinational said biomass boilers using sustainable fuels would be installed at three breweries in Kenya and neighbouring Uganda, replacing dirtier sources of energy production. 

Wood chip, bamboo and rice husk would create steam power, cutting emissions and creating jobs with local farmers providing the raw materials. Solar panels would be rolled out at facilities in six countries, starting with Kenya and Ghana, producing up to one-fifth of each breweries’ energy needs. Recovery, purification and reuse facilities at five breweries, meanwhile, including in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, would save two billion cubic litres of water a year, Diageo said. 

Fifty-million pounds would be provided upfront to kick-off the projects spanning 11 breweries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Seychelles, Nigeria and Ghana. 

“We believe this is one of the biggest single investments in addressing climate change issues across multiple sub-Saharan markets,” Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said in a statement. “It demonstrates the strength of our commitment to minimise our environmental impact and crucially take action.” Diageo, which produces Guinness stout, Smirnoff vodka, Baileys liqueur and Johnnie Walker whiskey, has committed to reducing its carbon emissions from direct operations by half by 2020. 

“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.”

Africa produces 13 percent of its global sales and is the largest region by volume for beer. It operates 12 breweries across the continent. 

Its newest facility, in the western Kenyan city of Kisumu, already has solar and water recycling capabilities. Another plant bottling the Kenyan beer Tusker operates on 100 percent renewable energy, the company says.

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]saurenergy.com

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.