Pernod Ricard Plans $250M Carbon Neutral Distillery for Jefferson’s

Pernod Ricard $250M Carbon Neutral Distillery Jefferson's bourbon jeffersons 250 million
Distillery rendering, courtesy of Pernod Ricard.

In a move that highlights the industry’s commitment to eco-conscious business, Pernod Ricard today announced a $250M investment in a carbon neutral distillery in Marion County, KY.

The newly planned facility will make and age spirits for the company’s Jefferson’s Bourbon brand.

This investment will also include the construction of a visitor center.

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“American whiskey is an extremely vibrant spirits category, and our strategic investments over the last few years have proven successful,” says 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.”

The new distillery will enable Jefferson’s to keep up with consumer demand, the company says. And the facility is expected to be the first 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.

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“Construction of the new distillery — which will have a 7.5 million proof gallon capacity — is expected to begin in January 2023,” says Pierre Joncourt, SVP, Operations, Pernod Ricard North America. “Our target completion date for the distillery and related warehouses is 2025.”

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
  • Extensive use of solar and natural lighting throughout the property and facility

In addition, Jefferson’s will continue to partner with local farmers and suppliers to source ingredients and casks.  

“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,” says Ann Mukherjee, Chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard North America. “This investment is the latest illustration of that belief.”

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 a long history of sustainable production. Pernod Ricard is on track to meet the targets set out in its 2030 global sustainability & responsibility roadmap, “Good Times from a Good Place,” the company says, which align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Founded in 1997 by Trey Zoeller and his father Chet, Jefferson’s joined the Pernod Ricard portfolio in 2019 when the company acquired the brand’s parent, Castle Brands. Since the acquisition, Jefferson’s U.S. sales have doubled, the company says.

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