Environmental Strategy

Protecting the environment and promoting sustainability help underpin Scotch Whisky's reputation for quality around the world.

The Scotch Whisky Industry's Environmental Strategy is the most ambitious, voluntary, environmental sustainability strategy of any single UK manufacturing sector. 

Launched in June 2009, the Strategy aligns members' ambitions and identifies specific, measurable collective goals which go beyond compliance and lead by example. It encourages sustainability across the industry's supply chain. It sets a firm programme of action, supported by the whole sector.

Strategy reached a five-year milestone in 2014. We have been reflecting on the sector's achievements and checking our progress against stakeholder expectations and our ever-evolving operational environment.

In December 2015 we published our fourth report charting the Scotch Whisky industry's progress against these initial targets.

The SWA has provided regular updates on progress;

Case Studies

Effective Water Management

We will engage actively with SEPA and other relevant authorities in the development of Scotland’s River Basin Management Plans to ensure that a sustainable and good quality water supply, on which the industry critically depends, is maintained.Read More

Sustainable Use of Casks

We will seek to ensure that in future all casks brought into the industry are made from oak sourced from sustainable forests.Read More

Reducing Reliance on Fossil Fuel

By 2020 we will ensure that 20% of the industry’s primary energy requirements will be derived from non-fossil fuel sources, with a target of 80% by 2050, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel sources to a minimal level.Read More

Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We will continue to mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, and to increase our energy efficiency in the production process, through innovation and adoption of relevant technologies.Read More

Meeting Packaging Recycling Targets

By 2020 we will reduce the average unit weight of our product packaging materials by 10%, ensure that 40% of it is made from recycled materials, all packaging will be reusable or recyclable and we will send no packaging waste from our packaging operations to landfill.Read More

Reporting to Stakeholders

We will report annually to our stakeholders on our progress to demonstrate how we are meeting our commitments and delivering against our targets.Read More