Environmental Strategy Report 2015

10 Dec 2015

The Scotch Whisky industry launched its first ever Environmental Strategy in 2009, with a set of ambitious targets driving sustainability. To our knowledge, the Strategy remains the only one in Scotland embracing a whole business sector.

This is our fourth report charting the Scotch Whisky industry's progress against these targets. Six years after the launch, we are proud to show our members' continued commitment to being part of a responsible and sustainable sector and to protecting the pristine environment essential for the production of Scotch Whisky.

We believe this report is a comprehensive representation of the Scotch Whisky sector as participating companies represent 85% of Scotch Whisky production by volume.

Our ambition is to become world leaders in sustainability. Scotland has an abundance of natural attributes which can support this. Our Strategy aims to protect Scotland's natural capital for generations to come.

Our sector takes a global view. As we look to the future we need to understand the challenges we face - environmental, social, political, and commercial. To meet these challenges effectively, while delivering sustainable economic growth, we are refreshing some of our Environmental Strategy targets. We will publish more details on this in coming months.

Accordingly, this is the final progress report on the current targets. It summarises what we have achieved in the last five years. We are delighted that the industry has made significant progress in many areas.

We are particularly proud of the leadership the industry has shown in embracing non-fossil fuel energy and making significant investment in renewable technologies in Scotland. This year we saw the opening of new distilleries, such as Dalmunach, owned by Chivas Brothers, built using the latest innovations and environmental expertise, and Harris, to name just two. This comes on the back of multimillion pound investments already committed in a wide range of low-carbon technologies to meet our 2050 target of sourcing 80% of industry energy requirements from nonfossil fuel sources.

On waste, too, the news is good. The industry is close to achieving zero waste to landfill. Only 2% of waste was sent to landfill in 2014 and many sites already have met the
target of zero.

When it comes to sustainability, the performance of others will directly impact the progress of the Scotch Whisky industry. This is a time of real partnership both within the industry and externally. Some significant supply chain initiatives are underway that involve individual companies as well as the whole sector working with the Association.

We have detailed some of these on-going collaborations in this report. We are grateful to those organisations and individuals who have helped drive these alliances through which further improvements can be made.

Our efforts on all this really matter. Scotch Whisky is of significant importance in the Scottish and UK economy, adding almost £5 billion to GDP each year, supporting more than 40,000 jobs, and contributing £4bn to the UK's trade performance. We are proud of our performance in creating wealth in an environmentally sustainable way, and the industry will work to improve our performance even further.

Julie Hesketh-Laird
Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Operational and Technical Affairs