Scotch Whisky Industry Builds On Its Green Credentials
12 Sep 2012
Great Strides Being Made In Meeting
The Scotch Whisky industry is on course to meet its ambitious
environmental targets, from use of non-fossil fuel to waste
management, according to a report published today.
The Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy
Report 2012 provides a comprehensive update on progress towards
reaching the strategy targets set for 2020 and 2050. Launched in
2009, it is the most comprehensive industry-wide environmental
strategy in Scotland.
The report from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reveals that
energy sourced from non-fossil fuel has doubled to 6% since the
last report published in 2010. This supports a low carbon
A series of large investments by Scotch Whisky distilleries has
assisted the move to renewable energy. Since 2008, more than £160
million has been invested in renewable energy schemes at five
industry sites, including large-scale anaerobic digestion, biomass
and renewable combined heat and power. Scotch Whisky companies are
the biggest investors in renewable energy in Scotland outside the
One example of a renewables project is the £60.5 million
biomass/feeds combined heat and power plant under construction in
Rothes, Speyside. It will use Scotch Whisky distillery by-products
to generate enough electricity to power all the houses in Elgin,
produce animal feed and drastically cut carbon emissions.
Helius CoRDe Ltd - a consortium including Scotch Whisky producers -
is behind the scheme.
As well as investing in the use of by-products to create energy,
the Scotch Whisky industry remains committed to the supply of
high-quality animal feed.
Impressive progress has also been made on reaching the
commitment of sending no packaging waste to landfill by 2020, with
a cut from 17% to 7% as a result of changes already made to the
handling of waste at bottling halls.
Julie Hesketh-Laird, director of operational and technical
affairs at the SWA, said:
"The Scotch Whisky industry has always had strong green
credentials. Progress in reaching our stretching environmental
targets is evidence of the industry's ongoing commitment which is
supported by the considerable capital investment in sustainability
projects. These are still early days of a 40-year plus programme
and the industry is making good steps towards its goals.
"We're delighted at the level of innovation shown by the
industry, from pioneering light-weight bottles to vast renewables
schemes, by Scotch Whisky producers of all sizes. We realise more
work remains to be done, but we're confident we can achieve our
aims. A number of major capital investments have been announced
recently and the industry is working closely with the supply chain
to share efficiencies. However, we also need support from
governments in a number of areas, including planning, incentives to
switch to renewables and a simplification of the energy policy
Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and
the Environment, said:
"The Scotch Whisky industry has been quick to recognise the
importance of an industry that can deliver sustainable economic
growth. It is showing true leadership to other industry sectors by
being the first to align itself with the Scottish Government's
climate change targets."
Notes to Editors:
For a full copy of the Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental
Strategy Report 2012 and a selection of industry case studies
please click here.
For further information please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA
communications manager, on 0131 222 9230/0743 260 5385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Rosie, head of operations - north, Scottish Environment
Protection Agency (SEPA), said: "SEPA is delighted to acknowledge
the continuing progress made by the Scotch Whisky industry in
pursuing their Environmental Strategy. This is an excellent
example of an industry going beyond strict compliance with Scottish
regulations and setting challenging targets for itself; thereby
demonstrating real leadership in reducing their environmental
foot-print because they have a strong conviction that it is the
right thing to do.
"SEPA works cooperatively with the sector on aspects of
environmental management, helping the industry focus on priorities
and achieve environmental outcomes that really make a difference to
the environment, and neighbouring communities close to Scottish
Lloyd Austin, head of conservation policy at RSPB Scotland,
said: "RSPB Scotland welcomes the efforts that the Scotch Whisky
Industry is taking to become more sustainable. The ambition held by
Scotch Whisky producers to move "beyond compliance" is especially
welcome - and a recognition that the industry, and its brand
values, depends on a clean, healthy environment. As well as
direct benefit to the industry from, for example, a clean,
unpolluted water supply, the Scottish environment is also the
backdrop to brand image. We wish all the industry well as
their efforts continue and look forward to working with them to
deepen this commitment, both in the industry itself and through
their supply chains."
Dr Richard Dixon, head of WWF Scotland: "These results are
excellent and doubly pleasing since whisky is such an iconic
product of Scotland. I have been very impressed with the high
levels of co-operation within the whisky industry and the long-term
thinking evident among the key players."
Daniel Gotts, policy and advice manager - sustainable
development, Scottish Natural Heritage, said: "We welcome this
initiative by the Scotch Whisky industry to address the
environmental impacts of its operations. It's good to see an
economic sector explicitly recognising both the benefits it gets
from Scotland's high-quality natural environment and the importance
of looking after this key asset. The whisky industry is providing
leadership and setting a great example to other sectors by working
with its upstream and downstream suppliers to help them improve
their environmental performance as well."