Tuesday, January 26, 2021


The Scotch Whisky Association, has unveiled a new sustainability strategy to tackle climate change and reduce the industry’s environmental impact.

The strategy commits the industry 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 Scotch Whisky Association launches new sustainability strategy

The 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 and caring for the land.

The strategy also commits the industry to work collaboratively with supply chain partners and government towards a collective goal of a sustainable dram from grain to glass. 

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 and a 22% more efficient use of water.

Commenting on the news, Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “The Scotch Whisky industry’s new Sustainability Strategy is both ambitious and achievable. A huge amount of work has gone into its development and is now going into its implementation.  This is a great example of collaboration within our industry and with other organisations in our supply chain, the energy sector and in government.”

She went onto say: “Already a leading sector in reducing our environmental impact, we are now committing to achieving net zero in our operations by 2040, five years ahead of the Scottish Government’s target and 10 years ahead of the UK Government’s. We are also overhauling our water use and land use to ensure their sustainability, and where possible deliver an environmental net gain.  And we are committing that all new packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.”

The Scotch Whisky Association, has 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.

For full details and to read the strategy, visit: scotch-whisky.org.uk

Posted by Steve Rush