Diageo Plc’s East African unit is using biomass from macadamia shells, sugar bagasse and coffee and rice husks to produce electricity at factories in Kenya and Uganda. This allows the company to move closer to its goal of net-zero status eight years ahead of schedule.
East African Breweries Plc, which contributes about 1% of Kenya’s gross domestic product, had a 2030 target to run operations on renewable power. It is already at 97%, exceeding its target of 95%, according to a sustainability report published in November.
“By burning agricultural waste supplied by farmers for steam, the brewer is producing sufficient power to enable it to balance out greenhouse gases produced by its other activities”, according to CEO Jane Karuku. Karuku added that Diageo has similar plans for a factory in Moshi, Tanzania, in an interview in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
The facilities in Kenya generate enough power to help reduce the company’s carbon emissions by 95%, or 34,000 tons a year, according to the sustainability report. Biomass is a green source of energy and its emissions are 95% less than those by fossil fuel, according to East African Breweries Plc. EABL’s home market of Kenya prides itself for sourcing more than 90% of its power from renewable energy including hydro, wind, solar and geothermal.
At present, Kenya has an installed capacity of 3,081 megawatts, out of which 949 megawatts come from geothermal and 838 megawatts from hydro. Electricity production in the nations is relatively new, where some manufacturers are turning to green sources as a back-up during frequent outages, rather than using costly diesel-powered generators.
“All employees are working quite hard to develop the backward supply chains because biomass is not quite developed,” Karuku said.