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Issue 102 - A Greener Future

Whisky Magazine Issue 102
March 2012


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A Greener Future

We asked two of our writers to look at the issues affecting Scottish and American producers. The problems may be pressing but there is plenty of innovation out there to keep the industry green

The need to have good green credentials and a reduced carbon footprint is ever pressing; and the whisky industry is not immune to this mounting pressure.

There is a dichotomy in the whisky production world. Here we have a spirit which prides itself on its attachment to the land and its environment. It is perhaps the ultimate slow food drink; and this slow movement is becoming more and more prevalent as people seek higher quality, more taste and of course less impact on the environment as they source food and drink.

But here's the rub: while whisky has all this in spades, how do you reconcile the massive outlays in energy and resources?

Coal may have been replaced by gas, Yoichi withstanding but even here emissions are tightly monitored, but the industry still consumes a lot of energy to produce its spirit.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) launched an environmental strategy paper in 2009 challenging the Scotch industry. The document set out to deliver long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability across the industry.

This includes: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, water management, packaging materials and waste, encouraging the adoption of high environmental standards and relevant sustainable practices.

Let's not forget the step the industry has taken to offset its consumption. In recent years we have seen some companies planting trees to replenish wood sourcing, water usage is monitored and regulated, and for the time bein...

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