Solar switch on lights way to more sustainable future for Diageo Leven 

Kerry Easter and Jay Christie of Diageo at Leven Solar array

THE world’s largest spirits maker, Diageo, has switched on one of the largest private solar panel arrays in Scotland to provide renewable energy for the packaging of its iconic global brands.

The solar farm at Diageo Leven in Fife consists of 8,000 panels on an area the size of eight football pitches adjacent to the packaging plant and will generate up to 22% of the site’s annual electrical demand, and up to 60% in the summer months. The farm will produce 4.1MW of electricity – enough to power 2,500 homes for a year – and will reduce CO2emissions by about 830 tonnes a year.

Diageo Leven is the company’s largest global packaging plant, producing more than 40 million cases of premium spirits every year, including leading brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Gordon’s and Captain Morgan.

The investment in the solar panel is part of Diageo’s Society 2030 commitment to decarbonise its direct operations by the end of the decade.

Stuart Galbraith, Operations Director at Diageo Leven, said: “This is a very proud moment for the team at Diageo Leven who have worked to make this project a reality.

“Our people are passionate about protecting the environment and building a sustainable future. It is fantastic to know that as we work to make some of the world’s greatest quality products we are doing it with renewable energy produced by the Scottish daylight.” 

Delivery of the solar panel installation project has been supported by Emtec and E-ON. The project is going live alongside a rainwater harvesting development that will deliver up to 7 million litres of water a year that will be reused on the site. 

Diageo has already halved its carbon footprint between 2007 and 2020. Building on Diageo’s long-standing commitment to significant science-based action to create a sustainable low-carbon future, Society 2030: Spirit of Progress aims to remove the rest by 2030, harnessing 100% renewable energy everywhere the company operates. It has also committed to partnering with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50%. 

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