Tuesday, October 26, 2021


Bunnahabhain, has announced that it has accelerated its journey in becoming the first Islay distillery with a net zero emission distillation process.

The news follows the installation of a £6.5m biomass energy centre, powered entirely by forest biomass sourced only 15 miles away and spent malt, known as draff which is a by-product of distillation.

Bunnahabhain accelerates plans for net zero emission distillation process

The combination of wood chippings from low value timber felled on Islay and spent malt helps to nurture the island’s forests and promote sustainability and biodiversity as existing conifer forests are replanted with mixed hardwood and softwood.

Some peat bog that is currently planted will also be restored. Ash from the nutrient rich biomass fuel will then be used as natural fertiliser for the replanted forest, creating a circular model for sustainability.

Commenting on the news, Julian Patton, International Supply Chain Director at Distell International, the owner of Bunnahabhain Distillery, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Bunnahabhain distillery and whisky production on Islay. The Scotch Whisky Association has set a net zero target of 2040 and a lot of work is underway by our team in pursuit of achieving this goal long before this. The biomass centre makes Bunnahabhain Islay’s first distillery with a Net Zero distillation process, and we’re extremely proud, not only of the scale of the project but the entirely locally sourced fuelling system, which supports the island’s forests and economy.”

The new biomass energy centre will save approximately 3,500 tonnes of carbon per year – a CO2 saving equivalent to the emissions of 1,800 diesel cars, which is more than the total number of vehicles based on Islay.

Posted by Steve Rush