Scotch Whisky commits to reach Net-Zero by 2040 with launch of New Sustainability Strategy
Ambrosia|January 2021
The Scotch Whisky industry has unveiled its new Sustainability Strategy to tackle climate change and reduce the sector's environmental impact.

The Scotch Whisky industry has launched a new Sustainability Strategy which commits the sector to reaching net-zero emissions in its operations by 2040 and to reducing dramatically the environmental impact of Scotland’s national drink in other areas.

The industry’s revised Sustainability Strategy builds on progress made over the last decade which has seen distillers work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than a third. It covers four main themes (tackling climate change, using water responsibly, moving to a circular economy, caring for the land) and commits the industry to work collaboratively with supply chain partners and government towards a collective goal of a sustainable dram from grain to glass.

Launching the strategy, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) have also set their sights on this year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow where the industry plans to showcase its environmental work in the fight against climate change.

Commitments in the Scotch Whisky industry’s Sustainability Strategy include: A commitment to reach Net Zero emissions in its own operations by 2040, five years ahead of the Scottish Government’s 2045 Net Zero target and 10 years ahead of the UK Government’s target. By 2025, all new product packaging will be reusable, recyclable and compostable.

A commitment to play an active role in the wider conservation and restoration of Scotland’s peatland to deliver environmental benefits for the common good by 2035.

Continue to use water efficiently – so that all producers are within a responsible water use range by 2025.

The Scotch Whisky industry’s first Environmental Strategy was launched in 2009, the first of its kind to cover an entire sector. Since then, the industry has made significant progress against its original targets, including: a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; 28% of primary energy use is now from non-fossil fuel sources, up from 3% in 2008; efficiency of water use in Scotch Whisky production has improved by 22%; just 1% of waste is now being sent to landfill, down 75% since 2016.

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