Nikka Whisky owner Asahi Group has recently announced that three of their factories have switched to purchasing renewable energy: Nikka Whisky’s Miyagikyo Distillery, Nikka Whisky’s Hirosaki Factory, and Asahi Beer’s Fukushima Factory.The firm is aiming for zero CO2 emissions by 2050, a goal they’ve named “Asahi Carbon Zero.” These three new factories switching over to renewables means that 21 of the group’s factories are now using renewable energy, bringing renewable use to 54% of all their factories’ energy. So far, their CO2 emissions have been reduced by 67,000 tons.
The company also said they’re the first drinks maker in Japan to join RE100, a global initiative of businesses pushing for 100% renewable energy use.
Asahi isn’t done yet: they want to have all of their domestic factories running via renewables by 2025, and also 90% of their overseas factories running renewables that same year.
To my knowledge, this makes Miyagikyo Distillery the first whisky distillery in Japan to run on renewable energy. Nikka has already switched over their Tochigi, Kashiwa, and Nishinomiya Factories to renewable energy, but those sites aren’t distilling any whisky.
Nikka’s Yoichi recently installed a biomass power plant, so it too will hopefully switch over to renewables. Yoichi, however, may need an asterisk by it, because as long as they’re using coal-fired direct heating for their pot stills–as Yoichi is famous for–you could easily argue that they’re not entirely carbon-neutral.
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