Scotland – home of advanced spirits research

Diageo officially opened the doors of a new state-of-the-art Innovation and Research Centre in Scotland yesterday as part of the company’s investment in the sustainable growth of the distilling industry.

The new £6.4 million laboratory building at Menstrie in Clackmannanshire was officially opened by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. The centre will be the new home for the Diageo teams working on science, technology and innovation projects across the drinks industry supply chain.

The new building is adjacent to the company’s existing International Technical Centre in a location with more than a century of leadership in industrial innovation, dating back to the Glenochil Research Station which pioneered the scientific study of Scotch whisky distilling in the early 20th Century.

Diageo is now focused on the grain-to-glass sustainability of its business for the next 100 years and the teams based at the Innovation and Research Centre will play a leading role in driving innovation in sustainability at every stage of the supply chain including distillation, maturation, packaging and logistics.

Environment Secretary Ms Cunningham joined guests and employees at an event to officially mark the opening of the new facility.

She said: ‘Diageo is responsible for many of Scotland’s most famous drinks brands and makes a significant contribution to our economy while also playing a key role in our food and drink tourism industry. I commend their support for our island communities through investment in developing and enhancing our distillery heritage.

‘I particularly welcome its commitment to environmental sustainability, which has included a £100 million investment in renewable energy facilities. Our journey towards becoming a net-zero society will require us all – governments, businesses communities and individuals – need to work together to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change whilst seizing the economic opportunities that this will creates.

‘Diageo is also, of course, a major employer across the country and the opening of this new Innovation and Research Centre demonstrates its continued investment in the people of Scotland. We are a country of innovators with world-renowned skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and I am pleased that Diageo continues to commit its support to our skilled and talented workforce.’

Diageo Global President for Supply & Procurement and Chief Sustainability Officer David Cutter joined the Cabinet Secretary at the official opening.

He said: ‘For over a century we have been at forefront of scientific and technological advances in the distilling industry and with these state-of-the-art facilities we are now investing in the next 100 years of innovation and growth.

‘We have exceptionally talented people and these new laboratories provide a great environment for them to do their best work. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to lead the next generation of research into sustainability throughout our supply chain for the future.’

The new laboratory builds on Diageo’s already extensive footprint in Clackmannanshire, which includes the company’s largest warehousing site (Blackgrange), cooperage (Cambus), coppersmiths (Abercrombie in Alloa) and global brand archive (Menstrie).

It also builds on a remarkable heritage of innovation in the whisky industry at the location in Menstrie.