Sustainability is the key principle that underlies all of Diageo’s activities. For Diageo, sustainability is about taking into consideration how every dimension of how our business operates. As one of the largest corporate entities in Ireland and as an integral part of one of the largest drinks groups in the world, our overall aim is to become leaders in sustainability. From environmental policies to employee development and community engagement we are committed to continually seeking out ways to create a more sustainable business.
In 2014 Diageo completed a €169 million project, building a cutting edge new brewhouse at St. James’s Gate. Environmental sustainability was core to the design of the building and it was the first major brewery in the world to be awarded LEED Platinum certification and the BREEAM Outstanding Rating for energy efficiency. Both of these are internationally recognised standards for best practice in sustainable design, construction and operation. Thanks to the efficiency of the new brew house and environmental economies of scale as the Brewhouse got up and running this move has helped to achieve an overall reduction in carbon emissions of 20,920 tonnes and a 19% reduction in the volume of water used per unit of output between the 2010 financial year, and 2015.
Bord Bia, Ireland’s Food Board, awarded Diageo Origin Green status in late 2015. Origin Green is Ireland’s national sustainability programme for food producers, and Diageo’s application to the programme assessed the environmental standards of its suppliers, its greenhouse gas emissions and its water usage.
To be leaders in sustainability and to maximise the effectiveness of Diageo’s environmental policies, they must reach across the entire supply chain. Therefore we rely on our employees to drive our policies forward.
Green IQ is Diageo’s leading employee engagement green initiative that harnesses the collective power of staff. The programme aims to enhance environmental performance and increase employee awareness of the importance of environmental protection and sustainable development. GREENIQ enlists employees as environmental champions for their sites and then supports them through online networking, a news portal and awards programme.
The initiative supports Diageo’s environmental policy, re-affirming the company’s commitment to achieving sustainability throughout the entire supply chain.
Diageo won the sustainable water achievement award at Ireland’s Green Awards in April 2016, recognising initiatives to manage and reduce water usage at the company’s breweries over the last number of years. Between 2007 and 2015 Diageo reduced water usage at its brewing operations in Ireland by 45%, equivalent to a saving of 1.9 billion litres. The St. James’s Gate brewery aims to make a substantial contribution to Diageo’s global target to improve water use efficiency by 50% by 2020 and to return wastewater to the environment safely while reducing impact on the environment.
Through consolidation and continuous improvements in the brewing processes, Diageo reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its brewing activities in Ireland by 26%, from 75,293 tonnes in F10, to 54,373 tonnes in F15, the most recent full financial year for which data is available.
In 2008 Diageo committed to eliminating non-hazardous waste sent to landfill. Between 2010 and 2015, landfilled waste from St James’s Gate was reduced by 94 tonnes or 91%. In December 2014, half way through the financial year, the St James’s Gate site achieved the target of sending zero waste to landfill. The site, its employees and its recycling partners have strict procedures and systems in place aimed at maintaining and sustaining the site’s zero waste to landfill status.