Belfast Telegraph

Whisky industry set fresh environmental targets

The Scotch whisky industry has set new targets to make it more environmentally friendly.

A green strategy first launched in 2009 to cover the entire industry is being updated to reduce energy consumption and make water use more efficient.

Scotch whisky is made from three raw materials - water, cereals and yeast - but the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said it has a responsibility to "minimise its use of natural resources".

The voluntary targets have been set to reduce reliance on fossil fuels to 20% by 2050 and improve d istilling water efficiency by 10% by 2020.

Making packaging 100% recyclable, and s ustainable land use are also targets.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, SWA deputy chief executive, said: "The refresh of the Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy is a clear sign of bold industry intentions on sustainability.

"Sound environmental management is an industry priority and goes hand in hand with business growth.

"Our strategy is collective, building on the work of individual Scotch Whisky producers. And strong support from governments and our supply chains will be needed to help deliver on our ambitions.

"The strategy remains the only one in Scotland covering an entire industry. It sets out challenging voluntary goals that will protect the natural environment for generations to come."

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The whisky sector has already made a significant contribution to increasing sustainability and I very much welcome this commitment to further progress.

"Making good whisky relies on quality ingredients and these in turn depend on our environment. It is heartening to see recognition of this in the SWA's refreshed strategy, which is an excellent example of positive interaction between our natural environment and the economy."