Pernod Ricard Strengthens Commitment to Sustainable Future of American Whiskey with Kentucky Investment

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by KnowESG,

Pernod Ricard SA

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Pernod Ricard made a big move to take advantage of the strong growth of its premium American whiskey portfolio, The American Whiskey Collective, by investing €238 million ($250 million) over five years to build a state-of-the-art, carbon-neutral distillery and ageing warehouses in Marion County, Kentucky, for its fast-growing Jefferson's Bourbon brand.

The investment will also include the construction of a world-class visitor centre to welcome whiskey enthusiasts on the famous South Trail of Kentucky Bourbon.

The distillery will also be the first of its size in the United States to achieve LEED certification, an internationally recognised sustainability framework for environmentally friendly buildings that are healthy, efficient, low-carbon, and cost-effective. The distillery and warehouses will have low-carbon technologies like electrode boilers that run on certified renewable electricity. This will allow the distillery to make bourbon without using fossil fuels.

“American whiskey is an extremely vibrant spirits category, and our strategic investments over the last few years have proven successful,” said Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard. “Our philosophy of partnering with entrepreneurial brand founders while preserving the heritage and terroir associated with the brands they created has made us an established player in premium American Whiskey. Jefferson’s founder Trey Zoeller is no exception. This new investment will allow us to grow our share of category sales not only in the U.S. but also in export markets."

Ann Mukherjee, Chairman and CEO Pernod Ricard North America, said:

“The new distillery will enable Jefferson’s to efficiently keep up with very strong consumer demand while staying true to the company’s longstanding commitment to sustainability.

"At its core, our company is an agricultural company, so it's important that we lead the category forward, in partnership with our farmers and growers, and stay committed to the long-term sustainability of our people, our industry, and our planet. This investment is the latest example of that belief."

Pernod Ricard's Irish Distillers and Chivas Brothers brand companies recently announced plans to invest €300 million in Ireland and €100 million in Scotland as part of the Group's strategy to invest in evermore sustainable growth, to equip these brands with more sustainable distillation technologies and increased production capacity to meet growing demand. The Group is on course to reach the ambitious targets outlined in its 2030 global sustainability and responsibility strategy, 'Good Times from a Good Place,' which align with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

“For the last 25 years we have been sourcing, contract distilling, and—through Kentucky Artisan Distillery—distilling ourselves,” said Trey Zoeller, who continues to guide Jefferson's in his role as Founder and Chief Strategist. “It is now time for us to take more control of our destiny. The carbon neutral, state-of-the-art distillery we are building would not be possible without Pernod Ricard’s forward-thinking, integrity, and commitment to Jefferson’s and the Bourbon category’s future.”

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Source: Pernod Ricard

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