Irish Distillers has announced that it will invest €50 million in Midleton Distillery over the next four years to deliver a carbon-neutral operation by the end of 2026.
The investment puts Midleton Distillery on track to become Ireland’s first and largest carbon-neutral distillery in what is the largest investment made by an Irish distillery to date in pursuit of this ambition.
The plan to eliminate scope 1 and scope 2 carbon emissions by the end of 2026 will involve the execution of a roadmap comprising several ground-breaking projects which will see Midleton Distillery entirely phase out the use of fossil fuels to power its operation.
The carbon-neutral roadmap for Midleton Distillery will involve the rollout 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.
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 looped system capture, compress and recycle waste heat in the distilling process.
We are delighted to announce a landmark sustainability investment of €50 million to fund projects aimed at transforming Midleton Distillery into a carbon neutral operation by the end of 2026— Irish Distillers (@IrishDistillers) June 13, 2022
Thank you to @Entirl, @UCC and all our partners for supporting us on this journey pic.twitter.com/qXwvOcLo69
The first three phases of the roadmap alone are expected to reduce emissions by up to 70% and 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.
Speaking about the launch of the project at Midleton Distillery, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, said: “Congratulations to the entire Irish Distillers team for blazing a trail, investing an incredible €50m to become Ireland’s first carbon-neutral distillery by 2026.
We need to take better care of our planet. Enterprise has a role to play, not just in reducing emissions that come directly from their operations, but by innovating and creating new products and ways of doing things that will help us make the changes that are needed.
“Companies, like Irish Distillers, who are committing to such bold and transformational change, will lead the way for many other similar businesses and I commend the team for their ambition and commitment.” CEO and Chairman Conor McQuaid said that the announcement is reflective of its commitment and ambition to reduce our environmental impact.
“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.
“However, 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.
Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said Enterprise Ireland is proud to partner with Irish Distillers to support the rollout of an ambitious roadmap.
Operations Director at Irish Distillers Tommy Keane said that Irish Distillers is “committed” to reducing its environmental impact across its entire value chain.
“While the technical challenges the team face in transforming our operations at Midleton Distillery to become carbon neutral are considerable, we believe that with the help and support of our partners at home and across the globe, this is possible. We are committed to doing the right thing for our industry, people, and communities. Together, we can make a real impact,” he said.