LEBANON, Ky. — Diageo beverage brands has opened its first carbon-neutral distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky. The site will support the local community with 30 full-time jobs while also sourcing 100% non-GMO corn locally. The 72,000 square-foot facility has the capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year and has begun distilling Bulleit Bourbon using electrode boilers that are powered by 100% renewable electricity throughout the cooking, distillation, and dry house processes.
Bulleit is the first and lead brand being produced at the Diageo Lebanon Distillery –and supplements existing production at the nearby Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
Designed with sustainability at its core, the distillery is built to ensure that fossil fuels are not used during production. By partnering with Inter-County Energy and East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), Diageo is sourcing a mix of wind and solar energy to power the electrode boilers, onsite electric vehicles, internal and external lighting, and equipment-making the facility one of the largest of its kind in North America.
The site has implemented virtual metering technology to advance visibility of water, electricity, and steam usage, collecting key data that is used to drive the company’s resource efficiency and sustainability. These technologies will allow the Diageo Lebanon Distillery to avoid approximately more than 117,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year.
In addition to the sustainability features of the new facility, Diageo implemented an optimized staffing model consisting of Bourbon Production Experts (BPE’s) responsible for all aspects of the distillery, dry house, and operations. By rotating the BPE’s through each operational area to ensure depth of knowledge and flexibility, Diageo aims to accelerate the development of future leaders, ensuring a focus on gender equity and diversity to help shape the industry.
Bulleit has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint at the existing distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky, which was honored with the award of Highly Commended for Sustainable Distillery of the Year at Whisky Magazine’s 2020 Icons of Whisky American Awards.
In 2021, the brand committed an annual $25,000 grant to support Kentucky State University students in the Master of Agriculture Sciences in Environmental Studies program for the next five years, helping build a pipeline of diverse talent into the spirits industry by supporting sustainability leaders of tomorrow.
Bulleit recently partnered with American Forests to plant one million trees by 2025, providing a variety of environmental benefits including carbon sequestration, air purification, water conservation, and providing vital wildlife habitat.
The Bulleit Distilling Co. production is a zero waste to landfill site.
The Bulleit Visitor Experience includes a partnership with the non-profit Oceanic Global to ensure its tasting experience and cocktail bar aligns with The Oceanic Standard (TOS) a certification for venues that have adopted sustainable operating practices and are committed to eliminating single-use plastics.
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