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Waste

We want nothing to be thrown away: by 2015, we aim to have eliminated waste to landfill from our operations. To reach that goal we’re finding new and better ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Our approach

As with most products, making alcoholic beverages generates waste at almost every stage of the product lifecycle. Where possible, we aim to reuse or recycle the waste from our operations in ways that bring benefits to our business, the environment, and local communities.

Above all, we’re committed to eliminating waste to landfill from our operations by 2015. Landfill sites can cause the contamination of ground water, emit the greenhouse gas methane, and take up land that could be put to better use. They can also damage the biodiversity that we and our local communities rely on.

The vast majority of our waste is non‑hazardous, including organic matter like yeast remaining from the brewing and distillation processes; kieselguhr, which is a soft rock used for filtration; and the pulped labels from the bottles which we recycle. Other waste streams include damaged packaging, sludge from wastewater treatment, boiler ash, and office waste.

Less than 0.5% of our total waste is hazardous; it includes oils, acids, bases, and construction waste. These are used subject to government regulations and environmental consents, and are disposed of through specialist contractors.

For all our waste, our strategy is based on five platforms:

  • Eliminating materials where possible
  • Reducing materials
  • Finding agricultural uses for waste
  • Recycling packaging and other materials
  • Recovering waste for energy.

Performance

We reduced waste to landfill by 53.4% this year, contributing to an overall reduction of 77.9% against our 2007 baseline: the equivalent of 81,099 tonnes of manufacturing waste now being reused or recycled, instead of going to landfill. This also means we have eliminated an estimated 80,000 tonnes of GHG emissions, equivalent to 11% of Diageo’s total emissions from direct operations.

Overall, 25 operational sites have achieved zero waste to landfill already, including our first site in Africa, the Achimota brewery in Ghana, where we make Guinness and other beer brands, while 50 sites send less than one tonne of waste to landfill. Eliminating waste to landfill entirely by 2015 remains a challenging target, but we are making good progress.

Reducing materials

We can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by reducing the volume of materials we use in the first place. For example, at our brewery in Benin, Nigeria, where we make Guinness, a new beer membrane filtration system has eliminated the need to use kieselguhr, reducing overall waste by 14% this year. The same technology applied at our Ogba brewery in 2012 has, in a full year, reduced waste to landfill by 53%.

Finding agricultural uses for waste

Material that in the past was sent to landfill is now being put to good use by farmers. At several of our Mey İçki facilities in Turkey, the by‑products from raki distillation are now being used in animal feed and fertilisers, reducing waste to landfill by 40% this year – read more in our case study. At our distillery in the US Virgin Islands, all the by‑products from rum distillation are now being used in animal feed.

Recycling packaging and other materials

We want as much material as possible to be recycled. At our Red Stripe brewery in Jamaica, better waste segregation reduced waste to landfill by 26% this year.

Recovering waste for energy

Where materials cannot be recycled, as a last resort we explore their potential for energy recovery through thermal combustion. Where energy recovery is the only feasible option, we work with trusted partners using advanced technology to minimise the impact of converting waste to energy. For example, less than 1% of waste from our operations in Scotland is sent for energy recovery.

Total waste to landfill by year (tonnes)1

total_waste_to_landfill_new_300x234

  1. 2007 baseline data, and data for each of the five years ended 30 June 2012, have been restated in accordance with Diageo’s environmental reporting methodologies.

+ Total waste to landfill for the year ended 30 June 2013 is covered by KPMG’s independent assurance report.

Total waste to landfill by region by year (tonnes)1
Region 2007 2011 2012 2013
North America 40,828 20,516 16,573 535
Western Europe 3,627 579 181 1,2402
Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey 52,536 35,698 30,754 19,615
Latin America and Caribbean 4,698 696 941 693
Asia Pacific 1,287 75 107 91
Corporate 1,140 787 852 843
Diageo (total) 104,116 58,351 49,408 23,017+
  1. 2007 baseline data, and data for each of the five years ended 30 June 2012, have been restated in accordance Diageo’s environmental reporting methodologies.
  2. Increased waste to landfill attributable to construction waste.

+ Total waste to landfill for the year ended 30 June 2013 is covered by KPMG’s independent assurance report.

Total weight of waste by type and disposal in 2013 (tonnes)
Region Total waste
reused or recycled
Total waste
to landfill
Total waste
North America 76,207 535 76,742
Western Europe 396,976 1,240 398,216
Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey 209,968 19,615 229,583
Latin America and Caribbean 7,802 693 8,495
Asia Pacific 36,207 91 36,298
Corporate 6,192 843 7,035
Diageo (total) 733,352 23,017+ 756,369

+ Total waste to landfill for the year ended 30 June 2013 is covered by KPMG’s independent assurance report.

Hazardous waste, reused, recycled and sent to landfill in 2013 (tonnes)
Region Hazardous
waste reused
or recycled
Hazardous
waste to
landfill
North America 95 0
Western Europe 1,388 1,100
Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey 65 3
Latin America and Caribbean 399 0
Asia Pacific 0 0
Corporate 9 0
Diageo (total) 1,956 1,103

Reporting frameworks in this section

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