Scotland’s whisky industry hits Scottish renewable energy target four years ahead of schedule

Scots whisky is going green-er and green-er... (even although it's white when first distilled!)
Scots whisky is going green-er and green-er… (even although it’s white when first distilled!) Ps: For our American cousins – it’s the sherry casks that impact the ‘colour’…

Scotland’s whisky industry has reached a target for increased renewable energy use four years ahead of schedule.

The Scotch Whisky Association set out an environmental strategy in 2009 to reduce fossil-fuel usage and increase its use of ‘green’ energy across the industry.

SWA members are now distilling more than 20% of whisky without using fossil-fuels – compared to just 3% in 2008.

The SWA has also achieved the following energy- and renewables-related targets:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 22% since 2008. This means with global exports of £4.37 billion, Scotland’s 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, chief executive of the SWA, said: ” The 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.

“We take 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.”

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Scottish environment minister, commented: “It is encouraging to see the strong progress the 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 examples we encourage other sectors to follow.”

30 Apr 2018


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