Home of Guinness to accelerate to net zero carbon goal with planned €100 million investment by Diageo at St. James’s Gate

Project targeting an improvement in water use efficiency and a reduction in the water used to brew Guinness by 30%
Home of Guinness to accelerate to net zero carbon goal with planned €100 million investment by Diageo at St. James’s Gate
Photo - Diageo

Diageo has announced plans to invest over €100 million to decarbonize its historic St. James’s Gate site in Dublin 8, where Guinness has been brewed for 264 years. The investment underpins the goal to accelerate to net zero carbon emissions for the site and will transform energy and water consumption with the aim to make it one of the most efficient breweries in the world by 2030.

The investment was announced at St. James’s Gate by Diageo’s Global CEO, Debra Crew, this morning, where she was joined by the Taoiseach, Simon Harris TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Peter Burke, and the CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo Clancy, who are providing Government-backed support for the decarbonzation project.

Today’s investment announcement will enable St. James’s Gate to entirely phase out the use of fossil fuels in its direct brewing operations and reduce Scope 1+2 GHG emissions generated by the site by more than 90%, in line with the Science Based Target initiative’s definition of net zero.

By 2030, the site’s renewable energy strategy will combine the use of grid-supplied electrical power heat pumps; and biogas generated within a new water recovery facility. This facility will also improve water use efficiency and enable a projected reduction in the water used to brew Guinness by 30%.

Taoiseach Simon Harris welcomed the leadership Diageo was demonstrating for industry on decarbonizing its operations and being at the forefront of sustainable business, commenting:

“Industry is a key pillar of national and global efforts to address climate change, and it is welcome and important that Diageo is showing leadership by decarbonizing its operations here in its home city. Guinness has been made in Dublin for over a quarter of a millennium, and today so many tourists visit the location while they are here. It’s not just a green transformation for St. James’s Gate but a flagship transformation that will send a strong message to the world. It also demonstrates the Government’s commitment to businesses, big and small, to make the green transition, and to work in partnership to help achieve our climate goals.”

Diageo’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Debra Crew, commented, “I want to thank the Taoiseach and Minister Burke for their support for our ambitious decarbonisation plan for St. James’s Gate as demonstrated by the support from our partners Enterprise Ireland.

“St. James’s Gate is an historic location for an iconic brand. We’re 260 years into our 9,000-year lease at St. James’s Gate and this investment will ensure that Guinness has an exciting and long-term sustainable future. We are proud to lead the way on decarbonisation, both as a major Irish business and as an industry-leading company.”

Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Peter Burke said, “Diageo's investment into decarbonising St. James’s Gate sets a powerful example for businesses transitioning to sustainability. This investment not only reduces carbon emissions but also fosters innovation, job creation and long-term economic stability. Diageo’s leadership here underscores the idea that sustainable practices are not just ethically sound but also economically savvy, paving the way for a future where economic progress can align with environmental responsibility.”

Leo Clancy, chief executive officer of Enterprise Ireland commented, “Diageo's investment into decarbonizing its operations at St. James’s Gate is a landmark project in Ireland’s decarbonization landscape. Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting businesses in the transition towards a low-carbon economy while capitalising on the new market opportunities that decarbonisation presents and creating jobs. It is fantastic to see Diageo’s continued investment in the highest sustainability standards in Ireland and we look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with Diageo as it embarks on this industry-leading work.”

This plan is the latest move by Guinness towards futureproofing its business, with the company long-since known for its pioneering employment offering of free health care, pension, paid holidays, and free meals to employees for over 200 years.

Diageo is taking action across its operations globally and in Ireland to reduce its carbon emissions in line with its 10-year ESG action plan, Society 2030: Spirit of Progress. Diageo is working towards significant science-based action to create a sustainable low carbon future. Today’s announcement represents the next step in an integrated approach towards that by becoming net zero in its direct operations.

Diageo is preparing a planning application for this decarbonization project that will be submitted to Dublin City Council later this year and will be engaging with industry experts, local communities and representatives prior to submitting the application.

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