Environmental Strategy Report 2012

12 Sep 2012

The Scotch Whisky industry's environmental strategy, launched in 2009, is founded on a strong commitment to long-term sustainability. It stems from a desire to realise our members' green ambitions to take Scotch Whisky production to a stage beyond compliance. The Strategy sets out the vision for collaboration on sustainability across the industry.

This is our second stakeholder report on the industry's progress. In these early days of a long-term strategy, the industry is making good steps towards its goals. We are proud of the leadership the Scotch Whisky industry has shown in the environmental arena. As the Strategy progresses, the level of detailed, up-to-date information available constantly improves.

The industry has made an excellent start on its journey to shift to non-fossil fuel use. A number of major capital investments are currently under construction and, coupled with more recent announcements, we are confident the industry is well on track to meet its medium and long-term energy ambitions. Distillers are becoming ever more energy efficient - despite the complex, and sometimes costly, climate change policy landscape facing the industry.

We now have a clearer picture of actual water use by the industry. This report sets out how we have improved our water data so we can better measure future progress.

On packaging, our companies are close to meeting some of the targets set back in 2009; others will be tougher to achieve. There is more to do. Global consumer demand for premium packaging and high-end 'luxury' Scotch can sometimes be difficult to square with reductions in packaging weight. Innovation is needed in packaging design and technologies. Great progress has been made recently with a leading Scotch Whisky producer, Edrington, committing to a lightweight bottle for all its UK sales of Famous Grouse. You can read more about this achievement, and several others, in the case studies at the back of this report. Such examples of good practice demonstrate innovation in the industry and the long-term commitment to the environment that have been sustaining Scotch for decades.

We are only three years into a 40-year plus programme. We are committed to being open and transparent about our progress and engaging actively with our stakeholders. We listen and act on issues that our results highlight and we communicate the benefits to the environment and industry of progress made. Collaboration helps build resilient supply chains, reduces costs and ensures efficiencies can be shared.

We wish to thank all those organisations and individuals who have helped shape our environmental sustainability work and those who follow our progress. I hope you find this report interesting and useful.

Julie Hesketh-Laird
Director of Operational and Technical Affairs
Scotch Whisky Association