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Environmental Strategy

Scotch Whisky Casks
A thriving natural environment is vital for Scotch Whisky. We are determined to do more and ensure a sustainable future for Scotch Whisky and our natural environment.

A Sustainable Future

The Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy was launched in 2009 and the first of its kind covering an entire Scottish sector. It covered voluntary targets for water, use of non-fossil fuels and energy efficiency, packaging, and sourcing of sustainably produced casks.

The Strategy was refreshed in 2016 to bring us in line with government ambitions and to cover more of our activities, such as the circular economy and sustainable land use, including peat restoration.

We took on board feedback from environmental stakeholders, raised our ambitions, and started to spread the word about our continued commitment to the environment.

Our strategy reflects our ambition for strong collaboration and deeper engagement with the industry’s supply chain. Only by working together will we achieve our shared aim of combatting climate change.

2016 Environmental Strategy Refresh
2018 Environmental Strategy Report

SEPA Sector Plans

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) under their One Planet Prosperity ambition is publishing a series of sector plans to support innovative and sustainable practices across key industries, and to enable and empower businesses to go beyond compliance.

SEPA’s first sector plan focused on the Scotch Whisky Sector and was launched at the Macallan Distillery in October 2018. SEPA’s Scotch Whisky Sector Plan (PDF version)is a welcome step toward deepening the cooperation between industry and regulators. It ensures our sector’s environmental targets are met and that we continue to protect Scotland’s environment.

Looking beyond our 2020 targets and goals

Building on our refreshed 2016 sector environmental strategy we are committed to further raising our ambitions and environmental reach. In 2019 – 2020 we will be reviewing our environmental strategy. This may lead to more far-reaching targets; it could also bring in new areas.

One of the areas we will focus on is peat: the Scotch Whisky sector is a relatively small user, but a responsible one, of this natural resource. We are therefore committed to the sustainable use of peat and to ensuring its availability for the long-term.

To deliver on this we will work in collaboration with the supply chain as well as other key stakeholders to put a Peat Use Action Plan into place.

Case Studies

Energy Review

Biomass plant

Collaborative Glass Project

Bottling Line

news & commentary

27 April 2018

Environmental Strategy 2018

The Scotch Whisky Association is delighted to announce that it has achieved its 2020 non-fossil fuel target four years ahead of schedule.

29 January 2018

Scotch Whisky industry to phase out use of plastic straws

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is to phase out the use of plastic straws and stirrers as part of the industry's continuing commitment to environmental sustainability.

publications

26 April 2018

2018 Environmental Strategy Report

The Scotch Whisky industry takes sustainability extremely seriously. The industry has made significant progress in a number of areas, and the 2018 Report details how the non-fossil fuel target has been achieved four years early.

21 September 2016

2016 Environmental Strategy Refresh

The Scotch Whisky industry sees no contradiction between being modern, profitable and successful producers of a world-beating product and being at the heart of protecting Scotland's unique environment. This vision is embedded in the four themes of our refreshed strategy.