Lord Dunlop met a group of Diageo engineering apprentices at the company’s Glendullan Distillery in Speyside where they are forging careers at the heart of the global Scotch Whisky industry. Glendullan is also the location of a recently completed £12million bio energy plant which powers the distillery with sustainable energy.
The Minister welcomed Diageo’s investment in creating apprenticeship opportunities and for leading the drive for environmental sustainability in the industry. He said: “This was an excellent opportunity to see at firsthand how Diageo is planning for the future – Its apprenticeship scheme will train the engineers the Scotch whisky industry needs in order to maintain its place as one of Scotland’s, and the UK’s.
“The commitment to powering distilleries like Glendullan with sustainable energy – recycled from the co-products of the whisky-making process – is also exactly the right thing to do. Good for the planet, good for the whisky industry and good for the Scottish economy.”
Keith Miller, Diageo’s Distillation and Maturation Director, said: “Our apprentices are the future of the industry and we’re delighted to be creating these opportunities in Speyside.
“We’re also very proud of our record in investing in cutting-edge sustainable technology at our distilleries. The bioenergy plant at Glendullan is the most recent example of how we use innovative technology which harnesses the potential of the natural raw materials we use in the distillation process to generate renewable energy.
Diageo has 72 apprentices in its business in Scotland, ranging from engineers in distilleries and packaging plants, to apprentice cooper and coppersmiths learning the age-old craft trades of the industry.
The new £12million bio energy plant at Glendullan Distillery represents the latest phase in an on-going programme which has seen Diageo invest over £100million in renewable energy projects at its distilleries over recent years.
The Glendullan plant, which was built in partnership with leading-edge British renewable energy company Clearfleau Ltd, takes the natural co-products from distillation and converts them into biogas using an anaerobic digestion process. The biogas is then utilised to raise steam to drive the distillery whilst clean water is returned to the environment. The plant has reduced the carbon foot print of the distillery by around 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent to removing 740 cars from the road.
Earlier this week the Glendullan bioenergy project was shortlisted in two categories at the prestigious Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland Awards.