|11 December 2015|

The Scotch whisky industry is on track to meet its ambitious environmental targets, according to a report published this week.

The latest industry Environmental Strategy Report from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reveals an 11% drop to just 2% in the amount of waste from Scotch whisky packaging going to landfill in 2014 compared to 2008. And energy generated from non-fossil fuels rose from 3% to 17%.

Launched in 2009 the Environmental Strategy targeted moving away from fossil fuels and sending no waste to landfill by 2020 so these statistics show the industry is well on track to meet these goals.

The reports publication came as SWA chief executive David Frost spoke Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Delivering a keynote speech at an event at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, SWA  chief executive David Frost said: “While world leaders gather in Paris to agree climate targets at the COP21 United Nations conference, we are in Edinburgh discussing how businesses, governments and other stakeholders can promote sustainability. We believe our Environmental Strategy is a great example of what can be achieved by an industry working in collaboration. Our progress report, published today, shows that the Scotch Whisky industry is committed to sustainability and maintaining a pristine environment for generations to come.

“We have made great strides since the Industry Environmental Strategy was launched in 2009 and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. Results include only sending 2% of waste from Scotch Whisky packaging operations to landfill last year, down from 13% in 2008, and increasing use of non-fossil fuels to generate energy to 17% in 2014 from 3%.

“But when it comes to sustainability more can always be done and we will continue to work in partnership with governments, regulators and our supply chain to further improve our environmental performance.”

Cabinet secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead added: “The whisky sector continues to be more resourceful, and has proved that it is contributing significantly in Scotland’s shift towards a more circular economy, with the recycled content of its packaging increasing from 29 per cent in 2012 to 33 per cent in 2014.

“A flourishing natural environment is vitally important to all of us for practical, social and cultural purposes. The Scotch Whisky Association recognises this in its environment strategy, and I commend them in their endeavours set out in this report, and their commitment towards sustainability issues.”