Pernod Ricard’s Midleton Distillery to become carbon neutral by 2026

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Irish Distillers
Pic: Irish Distillers

Related tags: Pernod ricard, Distillery

Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers will invest €50m ($52m) in Midleton Distillery over the next four years to create a carbon neutral operation by the end of 2026.

This will see the Irish whiskey distillery – which produces Jameson and Midleton among other spirits - become the first and largest carbon neutral distillery in Ireland

The carbon neutral roadmap for Midleton Distillery will involve the roll out of several projects aimed firstly at reducing overall energy use by improving on-site energy generation efficiency and recycling waste heat in the distillation process. In time, the distillery’s remaining energy requirements will be fulfilled by generating power from renewable sources.  

“This is the largest investment made by an Irish distillery to date in pursuit of this ambition, putting Midleton Distillery on track to become Ireland’s first and largest carbon neutral distillery,”​ says the company.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions

Eliminating scope 1 and scope 2 carbon emissions will see Midleton Distillery entirely phase out the use of fossil fuels to power its operation.

As part of the initial phases of the roadmap, Irish Distillers has invested in highly efficient boilers which will require less fuel to operate.  

To deliver subsequent phases of the roadmap, Irish Distillers is working with global experts and partners on innovative Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) technology which will see a closed loop system capture, compress and recycle waste heat in the distilling process. This the first time this technology has been used across multiple batch processes in distilling. 

The first three phases of the roadmap alone are expected to reduce emissions by up to 70%. 

The final phases will see the introduction of renewable sources of energy, including green hydrogen and biogas to power the distillery and close the door on natural gas usage. To achieve this, Irish Distillers has partnered with local experts at EI-H2 to explore opportunities to source green hydrogen.  

Irish Distillers has also carried out research in partnership with MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, hosted by University College Cork, to determine the biomethane potential of the by-products of distillation and design the required anaerobic digestion process necessary to produce biogas. 

For the wider value and supply chain, Irish Distillers has recently completed a mapping exercise of its entire carbon footprint. Based on this data and insights gathered, Irish Distillers has committed to working with suppliers on projects and initiatives to reduce scope 3 emissions across all areas of its business including raw materials, dry goods, transportation, logistics and freight.  

Commenting on the announcement, Conor McQuaid, CEO and Chairman said: “We understand that our long-term future depends on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. This plan was many years in the making, and we understand that there are many more years ahead to reach our goal. H

"owever, we are confident that by making this bold and brave move into the future, we will leave fossil fuels behind for good. Through the delivery of this plan, we hope to play our part in supporting Ireland’s decarbonising strategy while also aligning with Pernod Ricard’s commitment to follow a Net Zero trajectory by 2050.”​ 

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