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Drinks giant Diageo to invest in biomass boilers at African breweries

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Drinks giant Diageo has announced plans to invest in biomass boilers as part of a green energy drive at its brewing sites in Africa.

The company, which is behind brands including Smirnoff, Guinness and Baileys, has pledged to spend £180 million (€196 million) to install green energy and water recovery systems across 11 breweries in Africa. Diageo employs 5,000 people in Africa and the region contributes 13% to the firm’s total sales profile.

Three breweries in Kenya and Uganda will be fitted with biomass boilers as soon as October 2019. They will replace systems previously powered by heavy fuel oil, according to Business Green. Types of biomass will include woodchips, bamboo and rice husks. It is hoped the drive will reduce carbon emissions by 42,000 tonnes a year, according to Diageo.

Chief executive Ivan Menezes said: “We believe this is one of the biggest single investments in addressing climate change issues across multiple sub Saharan markets. It demonstrates the strength of our commitment to minimise our environmental impact and crucially take action.

“We have a responsibility as a local manufacturer and employer in Africa to grow our business sustainably – creating shared value – and this significant investment continues our work to pioneer sustainable solutions for our local supply chains.”