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Diageo to build carbon neutral Crown Royal distillery near Sarnia, Ont.

A bottle of Crown Royal. Diageo/Handout

International beverage company Diageo announced plans Thursday for a $245-million carbon neutral distillery in Ontario to support the growth ambitions for its Crown Royal Canadian whisky brand.

The new site is a “significant milestone” for the brand and its North American operations, said Perry Jones, president of North America supply for Diageo, in a news release.

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The company behind brands like Crown Royal, Captain Morgan and Guinness says the facility will operate with 100 per cent renewable energy and will progressively reduce waste production from all direct operations where possible and reuse or recycle the remaining waste to the point of not needing to send it to landfills.

The new facility will sit on 400 acres in St. Clair Township in southwestern Ontario, near Sarnia, and will include blending and warehousing operations.

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It will have the capacity to produce up to 20 million litres of absolute alcohol. The company says it will create dozens of jobs.

Click to play video: 'Canadian Whisky guide highlights best spirits produced in the country'
Canadian Whisky guide highlights best spirits produced in the country

“We are excited about Diageo’s plans to invest in St. Clair Township and to bring positive economic impact to our community. The company’s commitment to building a carbon neutral operation is also aligned with our priorities in ensuring a clean environment in the businesses that are in our community,” Steve Arnold, mayor of St. Clair Township said in a news release.

Diageo, which employs about 700 people in Canada, says the facility will supplement the company’s existing Canadian manufacturing operations in Amherstburg, Ont., Gimli, Man., and Valleyfield, Que.

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Over the last three years, Diageo had invested approximately $75 million to develop technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable production capabilities in Canada. This project represents an additional $245 million investment in Canada over three years.

Diageo is committed to reaching net-zero carbon across its direct operations by 2030, with the goal of reaching net-zero carbon across the entire supply chain by 2050 or earlier.

Click to play video: 'A rare behind the scenes look in the Crown Royal distillery'
A rare behind the scenes look in the Crown Royal distillery

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