Diageo opens innovation centre in Scotland

Drinks giant Diageo has opened its new £6.4 million (US$8m) Innovation and Research Centre in Scotland, which aims to drive sustainable growth in distilling.

Diageo first announced plans to open the technical centre in July 2018.

The site was officially opened last Friday (11 October) by Roseanna Cunningham, cabinet secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform. It is located in the village of Menstrie in Clackmannanshire.

The facility will be home to teams working on science, technology and innovation projects across the industry’s supply chain.

The lab is adjacent to the company’s International Technical Centre, once home to the Glenochil Research Station, which pioneered the scientific study of Scotch whisky distilling in the early 20th century.

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo said it is focused on the grain-to-glass sustainability of its business for the next 100 years.

The teams based at the centre will “play a leading role in driving innovation in sustainability at every stage of the supply chain including distillation, maturation, packaging and logistics”.

Diageo global president for supply and procurement and chief sustainability officer, David Cutter, said: “For over a century we have been at forefront of scientific and technological advances in the distilling industry and with these state-of-the-art facilities we are now investing in the next 100 years of innovation and growth.

“We have exceptionally talented people and these new laboratories provide a great environment for them to do their best work. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to lead the next generation of research into sustainability throughout our supply chain for the future.”

Diageo operates several sites in Clackmannanshire, including the company’s largest warehousing site Blackgrange, the Cambus cooperage, Abercrombie coppersmiths in Alloa and its global brand archive in Menstrie.

“Diageo is responsible for many of Scotland’s most famous drinks brands and makes a significant contribution to our economy while also playing a key role in our food and drink tourism industry,” said Cunningham.

“I commend their support for our island communities through investment in developing and enhancing our distillery heritage.

“I particularly welcome its commitment to environmental sustainability, which has included a £100 million (US$125.6m) investment in renewable energy facilities.

“Our journey towards becoming a net-zero society will require us all – governments, businesses communities and individuals – to work together to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change whilst seizing the economic opportunities that this will creates.”

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