Scotch sector halves greenhouse gas emissions

Trade body the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) revealed its latest data for the industry, covering the period from 2008 to 2020. In 2018, the Scotch sector cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 34%.

In addition, the SWA found that 39% of energy in the Scotch industry came from the use of non-fossil fuels in 2020, up from 3% in 2008. In 2018, the result was 28%. The industry set a target of 20% for 2020.

Earlier this year, the SWA revealed its new sustainability strategy, which included the goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2040.

Karen Betts, outgoing chief executive of the SWA, said the new figures were “very encouraging”.

“We still clearly have progress to make, but we are determined to reach our 2040 net zero target across the whole industry, not least as the future of one of Scotland’s most historic and successful industries depends on it, as do the people we employ and the communities in which we are based,” she said.

“As we face this next, decisive decade Scotch whisky distillers are redoubling their collaborative efforts not only to reverse the impacts of climate change but to ensure that our industry makes an overall positive impact on the environment around us.”

In September 2021, the SWA said it had become Scotland’s first trade body, and the UK’s first food and drink trade association, to be recognised as a partner of United Nation’s Race to Zero initiative.

As part of its green strategy, the SWA is also aiming for all new product packaging used by the Scotch industry to be reusable, recyclable and compostable by 2025.

The SWA released its first environmental strategy in 2009, described as the first of its kind for the sector.

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