Diageo invests in African sites

The alcoholic beverage producer Diageo announced a plan to invest £180m in renewable energy resources for its production sites across Africa. 11 of Diageo’s African sites that produce products like Smirnoff and Guinness will receive investments in solar and biomass energy and water recovery in an attempt to bring the company’s production to a carbon-efficient level. The investments will also support supply chain infrastructure.

This investment represents a second chance at sustainability targets that were missed in 2015. Despite a commitment to reduce waste water pollution and by 60 per cent, Diageo had only managed to reduce this figure by three per cent. The company managed to cut its carbon emission levels by one third but this was below the stated goal of 50 per cent, causing some consumer distrust and criticism from environmental groups like the CORE Coalition and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Diageo’s investment could improve these sustainability numbers in its African sites. Switches to solar and biomass energy at three of the company’s African breweries in Kenya and Uganda could help the company reach its carbon targets of 42,000 fewer tonnes of carbon emissions, while new water recovery and purification infrastructure is predicted by Diageo to save over two billion cubic litres of water per year. Diageo will be looking to reach these goals and quell any remaining sustainability criticisms.

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