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Our achievements

Our achievements
Learn more about where we are on our Sustainability journey, since launching our first strategy in 2009.

The Scotch Whisky industry has always been extremely compliant with environmental legislation. We already work closely with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and support their One Planet Prosperity ambition.  

We launched our first Environmental Strategy in 2009, with a set of ambitious targets taking us beyond legal compliance. 

This is what we had achieved by the end of 2018

Reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions 

  • 28% of primary energy use is generated from non-fossil fuel sources. We met our 2020 target of 20% in 2016.  
  • This has contributed to a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  
  • Energy efficiency has improved by 9.2% since 2008.  
  • Many of our members have switched from higher to lower or zero carbon-emitting fuels and have made significant investments in energy efficiency and renewable technologies.  

Water management

  • Water efficiency has improved by 22% since 2012.  
  • Distillers have introduced detailed site water audits that are driving progress.  

Circular Economy

  • Our members have reduced general waste to landfill to just 1%.  
  • We continue to collaborate with waste management companies to bring landfill use down further 
  • 94% of packaging is reusable or recyclable.  
  • The recycled content of our product packaging is 37%. Glass has the biggest impact on this target.  
  • We continue to explore how supplies of high-quality glass bottles can be maintained whilst increasing their recycled content.  
  • Our packaging weight has increased by 2.6% since 2012, reflecting that Scotch Whisky is a premium purchase. 
The Scotch Whisky industry is an incredibly forward-thinking sector when it comes to sustainability, and is already among the most environmentally compliant sectors that we regulate.

Terry A’Hearn, CEO of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)