Diageo – Leven

VIBES Award: Hydro Nation Scotland

Sponsored by: Scottish Government

Highlights:

  • Committed to reducing water use through a 50% improvement in water efficiency, safely returning 100% of wastewater from operations to the environment and replenishing the amount of water used in their final product into water-stressed areas.
  • Installed a reverse osmosis system at their Leven site, increasing operational performance from 88% to 98%, saving over 17m litres of water per year.
  • Diageo has also helped to provide safe drinking water to more than 10 million people in 21 countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The site at Leven is the biggest packaging site within Diageo consisting of 4 bottling halls with 21 productions lines. 40% of Diageo’s worldwide spirit is bottled and packaged at this site, totalling more than 40,000,000 cases per year. The site has a range of innovative measures relating to their use of water and the associated effluent treatment.

Diageo is committed to reducing water use through a 50% improvement in water-use efficiency, safely returning 100% of wastewater from operations to the environment and replenishing the amount of water used in their final product into water-stressed areas. They have recently installed a reverse osmosis system at their Leven site, the biggest bottling and packaging site within Diageo. This system has increased operational performance from 88% to 98% saving over 17 million litres of water per year as well as reducing the amount of effluent produced.

The over 17 million litres of water saved provides a financial saving of £29,000 per year. In addition to this they have also saved £9,000 per year on electrical costs due to the installation of more efficient equipment and have removed the need for over 70 tonnes of salt per year at a cost of £4,000 – the total savings direct from the projects is £45,000 per year giving a pay back of around 3 years.

Over the last two years, Diageo has been able to produce 10% more spirits whilst reducing water consumption by 10%. Diageo has also provided financial and other support to provide safe drinking water to more than 10 million people in 21 countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The judges were impressed by the improvement in efficiency in the reverse osmosis plant – as far as the company is aware, it is the highest efficiency seen in a reverse osmosis plant.

The Hydro Nation Scotland Award recognises businesses, partnerships and collaborations that have developed innovative products, practices or services in the area of water treatment and water technology, which have resulted in increased sustainability. The judges were impressed by the range of actions taken by Diageo in Scotland and around the world, helping to provide safe drinking water. They felt the company best captured the breadth and ethos of Scotland’s Hydro Nation Agenda.

Diageo is fully committed to sustainability, not only of their sites and products but the communities that they operate in. This include the fact that they are drawing less water that ever previously required, meaning less strain on the network.

Jay Christie, Environmental Manager at Diageo (Leven), said: “In the current climate it is essential that we continue to find new ways to innovate our water reduction methods and act as industry leaders for sustainable practices.

We are delighted that our contribution has been considered worth of recognition by the VIBES awards in the Hydro Nation category as these awards showcase the best environmental practices across Scotland and are a great showcase for the work we have carried out in our business, with a view to inspiring others to do the same."

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