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Issue 78 - The green revolution

Whisky Magazine Issue 78
February 2009


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The green revolution

With green issues firmly on the agenda,how eco-friendly have malt whisky distilleries become? Ian Wisniewski finds out.

It's the ultimate mission statement. Maximising efficiency makes financial sense for every business, while eco-issues such as sustainability also benefit everyone else. And eco-warriors,who worry about the future of the planet, can now look forward to the industry's next phase of initiatives.

“We're launching a program across the Scotch whisky industry this year, the basis of which is a lifecycle analysis up and down the supply chain.

“We'll be setting mid-term goals for 2020, and long-term goals for 2050, with challenging targets concentrating on renewable energy and reducing energy usage. This will be a noncompetitive agreement, not for companies to outdo each other but to cooperate on a sustainability program throughout the industry from which we all benefit,”says Graham Hutcheon of The Edrington Group, who has also been chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association's environment committee since 2003.

“The SWA environment committee was established from a number of committees formed around 10 years ago, with the Scotch Whisky Research Institute providing scientific advice.

The SWA also contributes legal advice, while specialists within the industry are acting as advisors on issues such as packaging and waste. It's not a project, but a way of learning and working in the future,”adds Graham Hutcheon.

With malt whisky having entered the eco-era, farming methods are an initial aspect to consider.

“In the late 1990s we reviewed and identified the growth trends in t...

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