The British multinational, responsible for at least 24 Scottish whisky brands including Johnny Walker, Bells, J&B, Talisker and Langavulin, failed to cut waste water contamination, climate emissions and landfill waste as it promised. The company, which made over £3 billion profit in 2014, also owns Guinness, Smirnoff, Baileys, and Captain Morgan.
One of Diageo’s most polluting plants - with some of the highest emissions of any industrial site in Scotland - is the Cameronbridge grain distillery at Leven in Fife. The plant’s carbon dioxide pollution has risen in recent years to a record high.
Environmentalists have attacked the company’s “shoddy” performance, alleging that it is damaging the clean image on which its whisky depends. Diageo argued, however, that its targets were “very stretching” and it had significantly reduced its environmental impact.
In 2008 Diageo set itself eight targets to achieve in 2015, aimed at significantly improving the environmental sustainability of its business. But its latest annual report reveals that it has only managed to meet one of them – improving water efficiency by 30 per cent.