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Diageo Reducing Material Use to Achieve Zero Waste by 2015

Global beverage company Diageo says it is working towards zero waste to landfill targets at all of its sites by 2015, but is looking to make its waste management activities a higher priority via a five-pronged approach.

The company's latest sustainability and responsibility report says it has reduced waste to landfill by 53.4 percent this year, contributing to an overall reduction of 77.9 percent against a 2007 baseline. This means that 81,099 tons of manufacturing waste is now being reused or recycled.

This has resulted in the elimination of around 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, or 11 percent of Diageo's total emissions from direct operations.
Diageo says some 25 operational sites have achieved zero waste to landfill, including the firm’s first site in Africa, the Achimota brewery in Ghana, where Guinness is produced. Fifty locations also now send less than one ton of waste to landfill.

While most of Diageo's waste is non-hazardous, the company says it is looking to better utilize certain by-products, including the yeast from the brewing and distillation processes and the pulped labels from recycled bottles. In several of its Mey Icki facilities in Turkey, by‑products from raki distillation are now being used in animal feed and fertilizers, which has reduced waste to landfill by 40 percent this year.

Diageo also is focusing on technical innovation to cut down on material use. At a Guinness brewery in Nigeria, a new beer membrane filtration system has eliminated the need to use kieselguhr, a sock rock used for filtration, reducing overall waste by 14 percent this year.

The company also says that at its distillery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, all by‑products from rum distillation are being used in animal feed.

Applying the same technology at its Ogba brewery resulted in a 53 percent reduction in waste to landfill at the site within one year, the company says.“Our priorities, and accordingly this year’s report, reflect feedback from our stakeholders,” said Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo. “Earning the trust of our stakeholders is not only important to me personally, but it is essential as we continue to expand in high growth markets around the world – many of which have evolving, and more demanding, expectations of the private sector.”

Roberta Barbieri, Diageo's Global Environmental Director, will be speaking at next month's The New Metrics of Sustainable Business conference taking place September 24-25 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Worldwide Brewery Industry Water and Energy Benchmarking Survey, which is carried out by Campden BRI and KWA on behalf of the Dutch Brewers Association every four years, >recently revealed that breweries have reduced their energy usage by over 9% and water usage by over 17% over the last four years, according to Campden BRI.


Currently based in Washington, D.C, Mike Hower is a writer and strategic communicator helping to drive the conversation at the intersection of sustainable business and public policy. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from University of California,… [Read more about Mike Hower]


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