Scotch makers target 40% green energy use by 2030

22 Sep 2016


The Scotch Whisky industry has targeted use of 40 per cent of primary energy to make whisky, from non-fossil fuels by 2030, under new guidelines announced yesterday by the industry body.

According to The Scotch Whisky Association, it had refreshed its Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy - first published in 2009 - and would look for manufacturers of the spirit to use energy sources such as anaerobic digestion and solar power.

The new interim target of 40 per cent came in addition to the long-term aim of reducing fossil fuel energy use to 20 per cent by 2050.

Currently, 17 per cent of the energy the whisky industry uses, is generated from non-fossil fuels, as against only 3 per cent in 2008.

Other guidelines include improving distilling water efficiency by 10 per cent and ensuring that no general waste from Scotch Whisky operations would go to landfill - both by 2020. Scotch whisky made up around a quarter of UK food and drink exports, generating £3.95 billion for the UK balance of trade.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association deputy chief executive, said: ''The refresh of the Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy is a clear sign of bold industry intentions on sustainability.''

The new strategy updated an earlier commitment published in 2009 and covered the entire industry, including voluntary commitments to reduce energy and water consumption.

The SWA said the industry had a responsibility to ''minimise its use of natural resources'', though the targets set are voluntary.

Laird, said:''Sound environmental management  is an industry priority and goes hand in hand with business growth.

''Our strategy is collective, building on the work of individual Scotch Whisky producers.

''And strong support from governments and our supply chains will be needed to help deliver on our ambitions.

''The strategy remains the only one in Scotland covering an entire industry.

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