Pernod Ricard, the world’s second largest wine and spirit company has announced that it will invest approximately $250 million over five years to build a state-of-the-art, carbon neutral distillery, with related aging warehouses in Marion County, Kentucky for its fast-growing Jefferson’s Bourbon brand. This investment will also include the build of a world class visitor center facility that will welcome whiskey aficionados on the historic South Trail of Kentucky Bourbon.
“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,” Ricard said.
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. “American whiskey is booming, and Jefferson’s growth has been phenomenal,” Mukherjee said. “We’re very bullish on the brand’s potential, and we’re committed to making our new Jefferson’s facility one of the most exemplary distilleries in the world in order to achieve it.
Pernod Ricard has announced the intention for this new distillery to be carbon neutral once operational. The facility is also expected to be the first distillery of its size in the U.S. to achieve LEED certification, an internationally recognized sustainability framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving environmentally friendly buildings.
The distillery and warehouses will include such low carbon technologies as electrode boilers powered by certified renewable electricity, enabling the distillery to not use fossil fuels during bourbon production; on site electric trucks and facility vehicles also powered by renewable electricity; and extensive use of solar and natural lighting throughout the property and facility.
“Our company is an agricultural company at its core and so it is vital that we lead the category forward – in partnership with our farmers and growers – and remain committed to the long-term sustainability of our people, our industry and our planet. This investment is the latest illustration of that belief,” said Mukherjee.
Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers and Chivas Brothers brand companies recently announced plans to invest in decarbonizing their distilleries and creating new carbon neutral facilities, following the example set by The Absolut Company, which has consistently set the industry standard for sustainable production. Pernod Ricard is on track to meet the ambitious targets set out in its 2030 global sustainability & responsibility roadmap, ‘Good Times from a Good Place,’ which align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.