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27 April 2018

Environmental Strategy 2018

Scotch Whisky Distillery Pagodas
The Scotch Whisky Association is delighted to announce that it has achieved its 2020 non-fossil fuel target four years ahead of schedule.

The Scotch Whisky Association is delighted to annouce that it has achieved its 2020 non-fossil fuel target four years ahead of schedule. 

In 2009, the SWA set out its Environmental Strategy, the first of its kind, which aimed to increase the use of green fuels by 20% across the entire sector. 

The industry has made significant progress in a number of areas, and the 2018 Report details how the non-fossil fuel target has been achieved four years early.

The Scotch Whisky industry now sources over 20% of energy use from environmentally sustainable sources, up from 3% in 2008. 

Welcoming the news, Karen Betts, CEO at the SWA, said: "The Scotch Whisky industry takes sustainability extremely seriously. I am delighted that the industry has made significant progress in a number of areas, and particularly that we have reached our target for the use of non-fossil fuel four years early. The fact that we have done so is a testament to the industry's significant progress in helping to protect Scotland's natural resources and environment."

The SWA has also achieved the following targets:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 22 percent since 2008. This means with global exports of £4.37bn, the Scotch Whisky industry accounts for 20 percent of all UK food and drink exports, but only accounts for 10.7 percent of the energy use 
  • Net water use has fallen by 29 percent since the 2012 base year. This means that since 2012, the equivalent of over 1,800 Olympic sized swimming pools has been saved 
  • The recycled content of the industry's product packaging stood at 44 percent in 2016, beating the 2020 goal that 40 percent of product packaging will be made from recyclable materials

Karen Betts added: "The Scotch Whisky industry may be one of Scotland's oldest and most successful exports, but these ambitious targets highlight how as a sector we are embracing innovation and technology to help protect the environment.

"Looking ahead, there is more work to be done to achieve all our 2020 goals. The SWA will continue to work with Scotch Whisky producers, our supply chain, government and other stakeholders to ensure we continue to drive progress and deliver our sustainability strategy."

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham MSP said:

"It is encouraging to see the strong progress the Scotch whisky industry has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become more environmentally sustainable.

"The industry's efforts to use non-fossil fuels, cut down on water use and to recycle packaging are an example we would encourage other sectors to follow and will feed into Scotland-wide environmental targets which will help make Scotland a cleaner and greener place to live."

A full copy of the 2018 Environmental Strategy Report can be viewed here.