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23 July 2021

100 Days Until COP26: Scotch Whisky Sites Showcase Sustainable Scotch

100 Days Until COP26: Scotch Whisky Sites Showcase Sustainable Scotch
Scotch Whisky sites have opened their doors to showcase the industry's sustainability efforts, 100 days ahead of COP26.

Scotch Whisky sites throughout Scotland are welcoming MPs and MSPs today to showcase the industry’s sustainability efforts, as part of an industry-wide ‘Countdown to COP’ open day marking 100 days until the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

Politicians from across Holyrood and Westminster and from across the political spectrum joined the teams at distilleries, warehouses, research centres and other industry sites to learn more about how Scotch Whisky companies are working to tackle climate change and deliver on the industry’s Sustainability Strategy, which has committed the sector to reach net-zero by 2040.

The Scotch Whisky industry first launched a sector-wide Environmental Strategy in 2009. In the past decade, the industry has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by a third, improved water efficiency by 22%, and made a 75% reduction in waste to landfill.

The new Sustainability Strategy commits the industry to go further and includes new targets to ensure water is used efficiently; all new packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable; and land is used responsibly with the industry playing an active role in the wider conservation and restoration of Scotland’s peatland.

The Scottish Government's Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: "Whisky is an iconic product and a key part of Scotland's economic and cultural landscape.

“As preparations continue to welcome visitors from across the globe to COP26, it's fantastic to see one of the country's internationally renowned industries showcasing the work it is doing to help Scotland become a net-zero nation."

Graeme Littlejohn, Director of Strategy for the SWA, said: “The Scotch Whisky industry is proud of progress already made to drive down our environmental impact, but there is much more to do. Our new sustainability strategy commits us to go further and faster, and underlines the industry’s commitment to reach net-zero by 2040.

“It’s great to see such fantastic support throughout Scotland as distilleries and supply chain sites open their doors. We look forward to November’s COP26 conference as a chance for the Scotch Whisky industry to showcase its ambition to tackle climate change, and to be a key player in the conversations around how business and government can work together in the race to zero.”

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11 MSPs and 3 MPs will visit 8 industry sites across Scotland. 

Further information on the Scotch whisky industry’s Sustainability Strategy can be found here.

Follow the hashtags #CountdownToCOP and #SustainableScotch for updates from the industry throughout the day

Find the SWA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for direct updates