Scotch Whisky industry renews commitment to sustainability
21 Sep 2016
Ambitious environmental targets unveiled
A commitment to environmental sustainability lies at the heart
of the Scotch Whisky industry which today unveils even more
ambitious green targets, from responsible water use to cutting
greenhouse gas emissions.
The Scotch Whisky Environmental Strategy - first launched in
2009 and the only one of its kind covering an entire Scottish
industry - has been refreshed to broaden its remit to reflect an
evolving world and changing business operations.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which manages the strategy
for the industry, says it recognises the need for a thriving
natural environment. Scotch Whisky is made from three raw materials
- water, cereals and yeast - and the industry has a responsibility
to minimise its use of natural resources and its impact on the
The refreshed strategy has four themes with voluntary targets to
be met by the industry by 2020 and 2050:
- Reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050 some
80% of primary energy will come from non-fossil fuels, such as
anaerobic digestion and solar power. In 2008 this figure was 3% and
increased to 17% by 2014.
- Responsible water use. Distilling water efficiency will improve
by 10% by 2020. This target is based on companies optimising
efficient water use at their production sites.
- Embracing a 'circular economy' in the industry supply chain.
The aim will be to use resources for as long as possible,
extracting maximum value from them and recovering and regenerating
materials. For example, by 2020 no general waste will go to
landfill, compared with 13% in 2008, and product packaging will be
- Sustainable land use. The goal is to ensure a secure supply of
high-quality raw materials, namely cereals and wood. This includes
encouraging the use of wood sourced from sustainable oak forests to
manufacture new casks.
The refreshed Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy is
being launched at an event in Edinburgh on the evening of 21
September with a panel session including Roseanna Cunningham MSP,
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land
Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association deputy chief
executive, said: "The refresh of the Scotch Whisky Industry
Environmental Strategy is a clear sign of bold industry intentions
on sustainability. Sound environmental management is an industry
priority and goes hand in hand with business growth. Our strategy
is collective, building on the work of individual Scotch Whisky
producers. And strong support from governments and our supply
chains will be needed to help deliver on our ambitions.
"The strategy remains the only one in Scotland covering an
entire industry. It sets out challenging voluntary goals that will
protect the natural environment for generations to come."
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The whisky
sector has already made a significant contribution to increasing
sustainability and I very much welcome this commitment to further
progress. Making good whisky relies on quality ingredients and
these in turn depend on our environment. It is heartening to see
recognition of this in the SWA's refreshed strategy, which is an
excellent example of positive interaction between our natural
environment and the economy."
The SWA works to sustain Scotch Whisky's place as the world's
leading high quality drink and its long-term growth worldwide.
You can download the full strategy refresh document
You can watch a film on the strategy here: https://vimeo.com/182085228
For more information on the SWA visit www.scotch-whisky.org.uk
and follow us on Twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA.
With media queries, please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head
of communications (0131 222 9230 or 07432 605385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)