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Diageo plans CA$245m Crown Royal distillery

Crown Royal owner Diageo is building a CA$245 million (US$190.96m) carbon-neutral distillery in Canada for the whisky brand.

Crown Royal Diageo
The distillery will aim to produce 20 million litres of alcohol per year

The new facility is located in St Clair Township, Ontario, and will sit on 400 acres of land. It will replace Diageo’s existing manufacturing operations in the country, and will aim to produce 20 million litres of alcohol per year.

“A low-carbon world is essential for a sustainable future, so I am thrilled to announce our first carbon-neutral distillery in Canada as we continue to build momentum in our journey to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030,” said Perry Jones, president, North America Supply for Diageo. “We celebrate such a significant milestone for our Crown Royal brand, our North American operations and global footprint.”

Crown Royal’s new distillery project aligns with Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress sustainability plan, which will shape the design and development of the distillery.

The site will include the distillery, plus blending and warehousing operations. The distillery will run on 100% renewable energy; there will be zero waste to landfill from direct operations.

“Crown Royal is the heart of our whisky business as the most valuable whisky brand. It’s critical when we extend our footprint, that we are committed to creating a more sustainable world,” said Sophie Kelly, senior vice-president of whiskies, Diageo North America.

“We are thrilled by this new world-class distillery. It will enable us to drive momentum to 2030 and beyond to elevate Crown Royal as a best-in-class whisky brand that leads innovation in the industry.”

Diageo currently has three production facilities in Canada, which are headquartered in Toronto. In the last three years, the brand claims to have invested CA$75 million (US$58.4m) to develop technologically advanced, sustainable distilleries and production methods in the country.

The new Diageo St Clair Distillery will supplement the company’s existing Canadian manufacturing operations in Amherstburg, in Ontario; Gimli, in Manitoba; and Valleyfield, in Quebec. It is expected to provide dozens of jobs for the local community.

“We are excited about Diageo’s plans to invest in St Clair Township and to bring positive economic impact to our community. The company’s commitment to building a carbon-neutral operation is also aligned with our priorities in ensuring a clean environment in the businesses that are in our community,” said Steve Arnold, mayor of St Clair Township.

Diageo is hoping to cut down carbon emissions across its entire supply chain by 2050 or sooner, with an interim milestone to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030.

The firm unveiled its first carbon-neutral whiskey distillery in North America in 2021, which is based in Kentucky. Diageo also revealed plans to transition its Valleyfield manufacturing site in Quebec, Canada, to become carbon-neutral by 2025.

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