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Prime Minister Gives Seal of Approval to Diageo Investment in Renewables, Whisky and Skills


The Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP, today (Friday 7th June) hammered home his support for the renewable energy revolution which is powering Scotch whisky export growth.

The Prime Minister visited the Cameronbridge Distillery in Fife where Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business, has recently completed a unique renewable energy facility which powers the distillery by recycling the natural co-products of distillation.

Diageo has recently completed a £105million investment programme to expand Cameronbridge Distillery and to build the bioenergy plant – a global first in terms of combining renewable energy and water treatment technologies with the potential to make the distillery one of the World’s most environmentally sustainable.

The Distillery is a flagship for Diageo’s ambition to drive environmentally sustainable growth. It is produces single grain Scotch whisky which is exported to more than 180 countries around the world as part of Diageo’s leading blended Scotch whisky brands, and helping drive UK export growth.

Cameronbridge Distillery is a key part of Diageo’s Scotch whisky production business. Scotch is Diageo’s strongest performing global spirits category, generating 10% net sales growth at the company’s last results (see attached download for source info) and representing one of the UK’s outstanding economic success stories, with industry exports generating £135-per-second for the UK balance of trade in 2012.

Mr Cameron said: “Whisky is an iconic product with a rich heritage and a fantastic future. It is a truly global brand.

“It was a real pleasure to see the Cameronbridge Distillery. It is at the cutting edge of the spirits industry, a world leader in embracing bioenergy technology and a major contributor to Scotland’s economy.

“All those who work there should be proud of what they produce.”

David Gosnell, Diageo’s President of Global Supply and Procurement, said: “Cameronbridge Distillery is a global flagship for Diageo, representing the scale of our ambition for the sustainable growth of our business. The Distillery is at the forefront of innovation in renewable energy and sets a new benchmark for environmental sustainability in distilling, not just in Scotland, but on a world stage.

“Cameronbridge Distillery is the engine for the growth of our Scotch whisky business and represents the investment we are putting into generating further export growth for our brands.

Mr Cameron marked his visit by hammering the bung – a ceremonial tradition in the Scotch whisky industry – into a cask of Cameron Brig single grain spirit produced using renewable energy from the bioenergy plant.

Cameron Brig is the name of the single grain Scotch whisky which is produced at Cameronbridge and which is a crucial part of the world’s leading blended Scotch whisky brands, including Johnnie Walker, J&B, Buchanan’s and Bell’s. The Prime Minister’s cask will now be laid down to mature for 10 years, with a pledge to auction it to raise money for environmental good causes in the future.

Mr Cameron also visited the distillery’s gin stillhouse at Cameronbridge to see how the company produces its world leading gin brands, such as Tanqueray, also powered by the site’s new renewable energy facility - which he toured to see at first hand the scale of Diageo’s investment in sustainability.

The bioenergy plant generates renewable energy from ‘spent wash’ – a mixture of wheat, malted barley, yeast and water - produced during distillation. The spent wash is separated into liquid and dried solids. The liquid is then converted, via anaerobic digestion, into biogas and the dried solids form a biomass fuel source.

While at the distillery the Prime Minister met a group of Diageo apprentices who work across a range of engineering, scientific and craft roles at the distillery and representing the company’s investment in skills and youth employment.

Diageo currently has 45 apprentices and plans to recruit more as its Scotch whisky investment progresses.

David Gosnell added: “We are particularly pleased to have had the opportunity to introduce the Prime Minister to some of our apprentices who represent the future of our business, a future which we are working to make as prosperous and sustainable as possible through the investment and innovation we have seen at Cameronbridge.”

In June 2012 Diageo announced the next phase of its Scotch whisky growth plans with a £1billion investment programme to expand production, including building a new malt whisky distillery, expanding existing distilleries and building extensive new warehousing capacity, capacity – while consistently applying Diageo’s rigorous environmental standards.

Background on Cameronbridge Distillery

The Distillery
- Diageo has invested £105million in expanding production capacity at Cameronbridge and in building a new on-site bioenergy plant. Diageo has invested over £40million expanding the distillery over the past five years in addition to the £65million invested in the bioenergy plant.

- Cameronbridge is the largest alcohol beverage distillery in Europe, with the capacity to produce over 100million litres of high quality Single Grain Scotch Whisky each year and 40million litres of gin and vodka.

- The high quality Grain Scotch Whisky produced at Cameronbridge is a key component of Diageo’s world-leading blended whisky brands – including Johnnie Walker, J&B, Buchanan’s and Bell’s - and is fundamental to the continued growth of Scotch whisky exports

- Diageo also produces Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray Gin and Gordon’s Gin at Cameronbridge
Bioenergy plant:

- Diageo has invested £65million in the cutting-edge bioenergy plant.

- The plant has been built and is run in partnership with energy management company Dalkia.

- The bioenergy facility is the first in the world to combine biomass combustion, anaerobic digestion and water recovery.

- The bioenergy plant has the capacity to generate over 30 Mega Watts of energy meeting up to 95% of the site’s energy needs by recycling the entirely natural co-products of distillation

- The bioenergy plant has the capacity to reduce carbon emissions by 56,000 tonnes annually – the equivalent to the amount of energy needed for 10,000 homes a year.

- The water recovery facility has the capacity to recover 30% of water from the distilling process, reducing the volume of water used and significantly improving the quality of the water discharged from site.

- Environmental sustainability is at the heart of Diageo’s business globally and is central to our Scotch whisky production investment programme in Scotland. Diageo has invested nearly £100m in renewable energy development in Scotland.


Notes to Editors

About Diageo

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

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About Diageo in Scotland

- Scotland is one of Diageo’s largest spirit supply centres responsible for producing around 50 million cases of leading brands of Scotch whisky and white spirits and over four million cases of Ready To Drink brands annually.

- Around 85% of Diageo’s production in Scotland is sold overseas.

- Diageo in Scotland currently employs around 4,000 people.

- Diageo currently operates 28 malt distilleries and one grain distillery and has a 50 per cent share in a further grain distillery. As well as engineering and technical support functions, there are extensive warehousing and packaging operations in Scotland and the company’s Scottish headquarters are in Edinburgh.

- Diageo is the owner of the Gleneagles Hotel, host venue of the Ryder Cup 2014.


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