Scotch Whisky Industry Moves Closer to its Green Targets

16 Dec 2013

Annual report shows industry environmental commitment

The Scotch Whisky industry is embracing the use of non-fossil fuel and investing significantly in renewable technologies as part of its far-reaching Environmental Strategy, according to a report published today.

The strategy launched in 2009 - the only one embracing an entire manufacturing sector in Scotland - set a number of ambitious targets covering a range of areas, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, moving away from fossil fuel and sending no waste from packaging operations to landfill.

The latest annual report from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reveals the industry is close to achieving its zero waste target with only 5% of waste being landfilled last year. Greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 10% since 2008, despite spirit production increasing by 11% to meet growing global demand for Scotch Whisky. Renewable energy use reached 16% from 3% in 2008.

Scotch Whisky producers are making substantial investments in renewables. Case studies of industry initiatives in the report include Diageo's investments in Speyside in a new biomass plant at Glenlossie and a new anaerobic digestion plant at Dailuaine. Tomatin near Inverness is the first distillery to install a wood pellet fuelled steam boiler in its production process to reduce carbon emissions. In a different type of project, Chivas Brothers is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by introducing an electric car fleet.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, SWA director of operational and technical affairs, said:

"At a time when the industry is growing its distillation capacity in Scotland, green investments are at the heart of companies' commitments. 

"Renewables projects in-particular have caught the imagination of the Scotch Whisky industry and have attracted multi-million-pound capital investment.

"There are excellent examples of the commitment to sustainability from a number of Scotch Whisky producers in this year's report. They provide a snapshot of the type of projects distillers are investing in.

"The industry is committed to sustainability and will continue to work hard to meet its environmental targets."


Contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA communications manager on 0131 222 9230 or 07432 605 385 or with media enquiries.

A full copy of the report, including case studies starting on page 17, is available to download.