British multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo will invest £180m in renewable energy resources for its sites in Africa to ensure the efficient use of water at the facilities and also reduce its carbon footprint.
The company said that the new investment demonstrates Diageo’s commitment to reduce carbon footprint while addressing climate change.
Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said: “We believe this is one of the biggest single investments in addressing climate change issues across multiple sub-Saharan markets. It demonstrates the strength of our commitment to pioneer grain-to-glass sustainability and to positively impact the communities in which we live and work.
“We have a responsibility as a local manufacturer and employer in Africa to grow our business sustainably–creating shared value–and this significant investment continues our work to provide sustainable solutions for our local supply chains.”
The investment will cover 11 sites in countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, and will see the transition to renewable energy at three breweries in Kenya and Uganda.
Additionally, the company will install new biomass boilers that will replace heavy fuel oil using sustainable fuel alternatives such as wood chip and rice husks to create steam power for the breweries. The new boilers are expected to reduce carbon emissions by 42,000 tonnes.
With the installation of new water recovery, purification and reuse facilities across five African facilities, including those in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, the company aims to save more than two billion cubic litres of water a year.
The company noted that new solar installations at 12 breweries across six countries would help the brewery to meet 20% of its electricity demand.
Menezes added: “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.”