Irish Distillers


Membership approved until 1st May 2018

Business Background

Sector
Beverages

Product Range
Jameson (Original, Caskmates, Crested, Black Barrel, The 2017 Jameson Limited Edition Bottle, The Distiller's Safe, The Cooper's Croze, The Blender's Dog, 18 Year Old Limited Reserve), Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy, Midleton Very Rare, Midleton Dair Ghaelach, Powers (Original, John Lane Release, Three Swallows Release), Redbreast (12 Year Old, 15 Cask Strength, 12 Cask Strength, 15 Year Old, 21 Year Old), Yellow Spot, Green Spot 

Specialists In
Supplying leading spirits and wines and producing the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys.

Irish Distillers’ character is forged through 240 years of turning barley into smooth blended whiskey. Inspired by its founders, the company has protected its craft with fierce determination across the centuries.

Committed to growing the Irish whiskey category internationally, Irish Distillers was formed in 1966 when a merger took place between John Powers & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988, Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, gaining access to unprecedented levels of investment and an extensive global distribution network.

In 2015, Irish Distillers completed a major investment at Midleton Distillery, which doubled its production capacity to meet global demand for its products.

Jameson is the number one Irish whiskey in the world and continues to spearhead the renaissance of the category, recording its 27th year of consecutive growth in 2016.

Irish Distillers’ prestige brands continue to grow and are now exported to 22 markets.

Key Sustainability Commitments

Raw Material Sourcing

  • 100% of all farmersto be IGAS certified.

Manufacturing Processes

  • Reduction of 21% of Midleton Distillery’s energy consumption per unit of production between 2012 and 2018.
  • Reduce water usage in Midleton Distillery by 15% per unit produced between 2012 and 2018.
  • Incorporate eco-design and biodiversity features in the new whiskey maturation complex in Dungourney.
  • Achieve zero waste to landfill by 2020.

Social Sustainability

  • Irish Distillers are committed to sustainable business practices which nurture the growth of the Irish whiskey industry. Minimising their environmental impact and maximising their potential contribution to society are central to their business. The company aims to surpass the highest environmental standards to ensure that their tradition can live on – a tradition based on a pure, natural whiskey, born of the rivers, fields and people around us.
  • 150% increase in support of Midleton local community through funding of several projects – to include company donations and employee fundraising.

Unique Selling Points

Jameson Irish Whiskey has a rich heritage. First pioneered by John Jameson in 1780, this time-honoured, smoothly blended Irish whiskey retains all of its unique taste characteristics to this very day.

However, it’s important to remember that Irish Distillers is about more than just Jameson. It has a diverse portfolio of the finest prestige Irish whiskeys including Redbreast, Green Spot and Midleton Very Rare.

Awards & Accreditations

  • Several World Whiskies Awards
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 50001

Case Study

About the Company

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966 following the merger of three of the great Irish whiskey distillers, namely John Jameson & Sons, established in Dublin in 1780; Powers & Sons, who were founded in Dublin in 1791 and the Cork Distillery whose origins date back to 1825. The distillery produces two main types of Irish Whiskey; Pot Still Whiskey and Grain Whiskey. Pot Still Whiskey is distilled in batch process and Grain Whiskey is distilled in a continuous process. Irish Distillers is a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, with responsibility for Jameson Irish Whiskey, as well as other Irish whiskeys and the distribution of Pernod Ricard brands in Ireland. Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of € 8,575 million in 2012/13.

Since the consolidation of Irish Whiskey into Irish Distillers in 1966 and the takeover by Pernod Ricard in 1988, Irish Distillers now operates from a number of locations around the country. The Head office is at Simmonscourt Road, Dublin, while the Bottling plant for spirits is in Clondalkin, Dublin. The visitor centres are located in Smithfield (site of the former Jameson Distillery) and in Midleton at the original Midleton Distillery.

Sustainability at Irish Distillers

Sustainability has always been a part of Irish Distiller’s DNA. The original Midleton Distillery (now a Heritage Centre) was sited in 1825 in an area abundant with its two key raw materials (located beside the Dungourney River in Midleton and in the heart of the Munster cereal growing region).

The current operating distillery is also based in Midelton and it produces two main types of Irish Whiskey; Pot Still Whiskey and Grain Whiskey. Pot Still Whiskey is distilled in batch process and Grain Whiskey is distilled in a continuous process. The company has now embarked on a state of the art €100m expansion project at the new distillery which will see production capacity doubled. Approximately 20% of the €100 million investment is directly related to improving sustainability, through reduced environmental impact (e.g. increased energy and water efficiency) and improved risk management.

“Early in the design phase Irish Distillers put sustainability as a key prerequisite. We worked with GEA in Germany to combine their energy saving technology on Column stills with our Whiskey Distilling expertise which resulted in up to 50% energy savings on the Distillation Columns. All of the ideas produced by the design team have been tested and validated using the pilot scale distillation plant in the Technical Centre based at Midleton. Overall we hope to achieve greater than 35% energy saving and 30% water reduction in our new processes.” Says Tommy Keane, General Manager, Midleton Distilleries.

For Irish Distillers, sustainable development entails reconciling economic efficiency with social fairness and the protection of the environment in a process of continuous improvement. Irish Distillers has, as a result, made a number of business commitments on the quality and safety of its products, the protection of the health and safety of its employees and contractors, responsible drinking and protection of the environment. Upholding these commitments is key to the long-term development of the company and its brands, and, in particular, its main brand, Jameson Whiskey.

As a result of this approach to sustainability and through the implementation of a programme or works, Irish Distillers has achieved accreditations for its management systems, including ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environmental), OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety), ISO 22000 (Food Safety) and FEMAS (Feed Material Assurance Scheme). The company has also developed and implemented a range of projects supporting its vision for sustainability: Midleton Distillery sources all its barley and malt (in excess of 30,000 tonnes annually) in Ireland and it subscribes to the Irish Grain Assurance Scheme (IGAS). The aim of the scheme is to establish minimum standards of environmental protection, hygiene and safety for the growing, handling, storage and transportation of grain.

Recently the key Jameson bottle was redesigned, resulting in a 30% reduction in weight. This has also realised a saving in excess of 435 tonnes of glass. 98% of all packaging waste from its bottling plant in Dublin is recycled. We are also committed to continuous employee education by means of both induction and refresher environmental awareness programs. Irish Distillers are proud to be a founder member of Repak and have won both their Best Packaging Prevention Initiative in 2009 and Best Member Award in 2010. Furthermore, the company is committed to continuous employee education by means of both induction and refresher environmental awareness programs.

Moreover, a significant reduction in energy consumption has been achieved in the distillery. During the 10-year period 2001 to 2011, a 41% reduction in energy consumption was achieved, and total energy consumption was reduced from 10.1 kWh/Litre of Pure Alcohol (LPA) to 6.0 kWh/LPA.

Origin Green Membership

Irish Distillers believe to succeed and achieve excellence in business it is essential to have a thoughtful and integrated approach to sustainability. This business belief, coupled with substantial accomplishments in relation to sustainability is why the company was invited to become one of the ten founding participants of the Bord Bia Origin Green initiative – an ongoing voluntary sustainability development programme that will demonstrate the commitment of Irish food and drink manufacturers to operating sustainably.

“We fully recognise our responsibility to society and the environment. This recognition is central to our drive for competitiveness – our ability to compete depends on it. Responsible production and consumption are central drivers of our business. Minimising our environmental impact and maximising our potential contribution to society are central to our strategic planning for business growth. We welcome the Origin Green sustainability development programme and are an early participant in the initiative to lead and contribute to a sustainable food and drink industry in Ireland” stated Anna Malmhake, CEO and Chairman Irish Distillers at the Origin Green launch.

Key Strategic Objectives

For many years the company has incorporated sustainability into its business practices in order to limit demand on future resources and increase profitability. Irish Distillers believes that multiple key business benefits are achievable through the better management of environmental, social and economic impacts. Benefits include improved reputation and risk management, new business opportunities, employee motivation and higher levels of efficiency.

The stated vision of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard is “…to become the undisputed industry leader in Ireland and build Jameson into a dynamic, growing and iconic global spirit brand producing superior returns…”. In the context of sustainability, the company has 5 overall objectives, which are consistent with the Pernod Ricard Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform and which support this vision. The key strategic objectives are focused on its employees, the community it operates in, its consumers, environmental protection/sustainable agriculture and financial performance, addressing all aspects of the triple bottom line.

Sustainability Targets

In its sustainability plan, the company chooses to address energy, waste, water and biodiversity as key target areas building on pre-existing goals the company had set itself prior to joining the programme. The timeline for the implementation of the goals is three financial years, and performance is reviewed on an annual basis.

Energy

Although the company has already made significant advances in relation to energy efficiency, it set the ambitious target of reducing energy consumption per unit of production by 19% between 2012 and 2015 at the Midleton distillery. Measures to achieve this target include reusing energy on pot distillation recovery columns and grain distillation recovery columns. Additionally, the company plans to install Thermal Vapour Recompression (TVR) technology, resulting in substantial energy savings, which will be further supported by introducing low temperature grain brewing to replace high temperature grain brewing.

Waste

The Irish Distillers Group commenced a focused environmental management programme in its production division in 1996, resulting in accreditation to the ISO14001 environmental management standard in the Midleton Distillery in 1999. Over the past decade, very high recycling rates have been achieved. Management wants to further build on this and has set the goal of reducing solid waste from 1.29 kg/kLPA to 1.10 kg/kLPA over the next three years. Plans to realise this reduction include paper initiatives aimed at reducing paper usage, such as double-sided printing and environmental awareness training. The company also plans to increase the recycling rate of canteen waste by further segregation of wastes and improved recycling.

Water

In relation to water, the company aims to reduce consumption per unit of production at the Midleton Distillery by 3%. Currently ‘once through’ groundwater is used for cooling the large fermentation vessels. The cooling water (post fermentation) will be used as process water, which will considerably reduce water consumption.

Biodiversity

To address the topic of biodiversity, the company is taking the opportunity to incorporate biodiversity features in the new whiskey maturation complex in Dungourney, which is presently under development. Inclusion of wetland vegetation in the proposed stormwater attenuation pond will enhance the ecology of the site by the creation of another habitat type, inevitably leading to greater biodiversity of the area. Further, planting of indigenous shrubs will encourage small birds to nest. Insects that will colonise the attenuation pond will also provide feeding for several small species of birds. Development plans of the new maturation whiskey site also include incorporation of traditional meadow grass and flower species in the large green areas.

Benefits of Origin Green Membership

Origin Green membership provides companies with a platform to communicate their sustainability commitments to a key business-to-business audience. The fact that members report on a variety of sustainability metrics, which are externally verified through SGS, make it a credible vehicle for companies to tell their story about their unique sustainability journey. Not only can members use the Origin Green mark in their company communications, but Bord Bia is also promoting Origin Green members as world class sustainable food and drink producers in a national and international context.

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