Diageo Innovation call to improve Water use across its Supply Chain

Deadline Date: March 20, 2024

 Donor Name: Diageo

 Grant Size: Not Available


Diageo has announced an open innovation call for five innovations intended to lessen and more effectively manage the water used across Diageo’s global supply chain.

The open innovation call is part of Diageo Sustainable Solutions which began in 2020 after Diageo launched its 10-year ESG action plan, Society 2030: Spirit of Progress. The purpose of the programme is to fill the innovation gap the company’s targets were set with, with the acknowledgement that new technologies and approaches will need to be uncovered for systemic change to reach its goals.

Focus Areas

  • Diageo believes the water crisis is a climate crisis and responsible water management is central to its licence to operate. The innovation challenges address five different points across Diageo’s supply chain where the company would benefit from innovation and new technology to work towards its ESG goals. The five challenges will focus on:
    • Improving water efficiency in Diageo’s own operations and those of its manufacturing suppliers. Solutions that will bring step change improvements in water efficiency.
      • Potential solutions could include but are not limited to:
        • Monitoring and measurement tools such as connected sensors and software technologies
        • Membrane filtration systems, softeners, activated carbon filters, ion exchange
        • Cooling tower water capture, recycling, and reuse
        • Wort cooling, tunnel pasteurisers, bottle washers, vacuum pumps
        • Waterless systems
        • Continuous loop water management systems
        • Greywater recycling systems
    • Maximising the value of Diageo’s waste streams. Solutions that can be applied to Diageo’s distillation and brewing operations to upcycle wastewater into additional products or services.
      • Potential Solutions could include but are not limited to:
        • Wastewater sludge pyrolysis
        • Anaerobic digestion
        • Fertiliser production from biosolids and sludge
        • Biological, membrane, electrochemical and evaporation treatment
        • High-carbon feedstock solutions
        • Heat recovery from wastewater
    • Minimizing the climate and water risks of the ingredients Diageo sources and uses. New and complementary blue-sky technology solutions to support Diageo’s growth ambition while preserving existing agricultural supply chains. The aim is to find additional sources of ingredients with reduced water usage and water quality effects.
      • Potential Solutions could include but are not limited to:
        • Alternative, novel crop production methods such as ocean farming
        • Alternative ingredient production processes such as precision fermentation, cellular agriculture, or molecular farming
        • Alternative feedstocks for ingredient production, including waste streams
        • Controlled environment agriculture solutions
    • Improving water efficiency in agricultural operations. Solutions that will help Diageo to reduce water impact and make the existing agricultural processes more efficient.
      • Potential Solutions could include but are not limited to:
        • Environmental monitoring and sensor technologies for on-farm water efficiency and water quality
        • Water-efficient crop inputs and precision tools
        • Irrigation technologies that minimise watershed impact
        • Crop-level water monitoring and management solutions
    • Improving water use across the hospitality sector. Creative solutions within a bar, restaurant or pub setting to reduce water usage wherever water is used to consume Diageo products – including shaking cocktails, serving drinks, glassware, ice to chill before filling.

Cost Covered

  • All pitches during the evaluation stage will be made by video calls. Decisions on travel requirements will be made with innovators once they are chosen.
  • Travel and subsistence expenses will be covered by the Diageo Sustainable Solutions programme, if deemed appropriate.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants from around the world are invited to apply to Diageo Sustainable Solutions. The technology can be used or trialled in other companies, and there is no exclusivity to working with Diageo.
  • Only one innovator will be chosen per challenge statement, although they may have exceptions.

For more information, visit Diageo.

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