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How far we've come

How far we've come
The Scotch Whisky industry's sustainability journey began more than a decade ago - find out how far we've come and where we're headed.

Sustainable Scotch

The Scotch Whisky industry has been on a sustainability journey for more than a decade.

We first published an environmental strategy in 2009, detailing ambitious targets on emissions, water use and waste to landfill for the industry to collectively work towards. Since then:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions in the industry have reduced by a third
  • Primary energy use from non-fossil fuel sources has gone from 3% to 28%
  • We’ve seen a 75% decrease in waste to landfill since 2016
  • Water efficiency has improved by 22%

Our 2040 Strategy

The Scotch Whisky Sustainability Strategy was launched in 2021 and has the full backing of the SWA’s membership.

Together, the industry has committed to:

  • Reach net zero in our own operations by 2040, five years ahead of the Scottish Government’s net zero target, and 10 years ahead of the UK Government’s
  • Ensure that all new packaging is compostable, recyclable or reusable by 2025
  • Improve our water use and make sure all companies are within a responsible usage range by 2025
  • Working to conserve and restore Scotland’s biodiversity – including peatlands – and deliver environmental benefits by 2035.

Learn more about the Scotch Whisky industry’s strategy for Sustainable Scotch here.