From now on, the distillery’s core range single malts — Springbank 10, 12 and 15, Longrow Peated and Hazelburn 10 Years Old — along with the Kilkerran single malts from the company’s second distillery, Glengyle, will be shipped and begin to appear on shelves without any external packaging such as cardboard boxes or tubes. As Ranald Watson, director of sales and marketing at Springbank’s parent company J&A Mitchell & Co Ltd, said, “it’s what’s inside the bottle that counts.”
Watson adds: “Springbank 10, Kilkerran 12 and our other core whiskies will now appear ‘naked’, which we believe makes us amongst the first, if not the very first, distilleries to present our products in that way." (For the company's luxury whiskies, more local, sustainable options for packaging will be sought.) "Springbank distillery has been a fixture in Campbeltown for almost 200 years and if it is to be here for 200 more and beyond, there has to be an environment and a planet to host it.”
It is not only the packaging that is changing at the distillery. The company is also reviewing its operations from an ecological perspective, switching from red diesel to the less polluting, more efficient LPG as its primary fuel source and undertaking a water-mapping study to review and reduce water consumption.
Director of production Findlay Ross explained: “Whilst there are certain aspects of our production we regard as sacrosanct in order to preserve the character and quality of our whiskies, we are also aware that this distillery operates in the modern world...The distillery was built when water and energy were cheap and readily available, and there was little regard for the wider impact of distilling operations...Springbank drinkers can rest assured that the drams they love will remain as they always have, but we’ll aim to ensure to leave as delicate a footprint as possible in the process.”
The move to more sustainable practices was announced at the opening of the distillery’s new Washback Bar. It was also announced that the company, through its local marketing vehicle Explore Campbeltown, will be donating £1,000 each to the town’s three schools to help them develop and expand on existing eco-friendly projects.