Case Study - Diageo Zero Waste
01 Dec 2012
Diageo is a global drinks company behind an array of
world-renowned Scotch Whisky brands, including single malts, such
as Talisker and Lagavulin and the iconic Johnnie Walker premium
Blended Scotch. With over 50 sites in Scotland, ranging from malt
and grain whisky distilleries to warehousing, from coopering to
coppersmiths and from office buildings to major packaging plants,
Diageo's operations are extensive and varied.
And it is inevitable that such wide-ranging operations also
produce extensive and varied amounts of waste. Because of this, in
2007 Diageo decided to take radical and decisive action to reduce
the impact of its day-to-day operations on the environment and a
key target was to reduce dramatically waste to landfill across its
In the five years since, through a process of setting strong
targets and by engaging employees in the drive towards
sustainability, Diageo has reduced the amount of waste it sends to
landfill by 97%, achieving an overall reduction from 2,735 tonnes
per annum to 85 tonnes.
At 30 June 2012 a third of Diageo's sites in Scotland had
achieved a full year with zero waste being sent to landfill. These
sites included many with complex and varied waste streams such as
Diageo's Leven packaging plant in Fife, its corporate HQ in
Edinburgh, Cambus Cooperage and Abercrombie's Coppersmiths in
Alloa. It also includes malt distilleries, such as Glenkinchie near
Edinburgh. In 2008 the sites which are now zerowaste-to-landfill
had sent a combined total of 620 tonnes to landfill.
For the rest of Diageo's sites the vast majority of waste
produced is also now recycled with only a small amount of waste
going to landfill where it is absolutely unavoidable. Every site
remains firmly focused on achieving zero waste to landfill. To
achieve this level of reduction, Diageo focused across all of its
sites on clearly identifying waste streams and working in the first
instance to reduce the amount of waste and then on ensuring any
unavoidable waste was recycled rather than sent to landfill.
Key to the success which has been achieved so far is the high
level of employee engagement, with Diageo staff at all sites taking
a proactive role in reducing the amount of waste produced and
taking pride in reducing their environmental impact.