The Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery in Scotland has cut its carbon footprint by 90 percent after installing a biomass boiler late last year.
Traditionally, distilleries are heavy users of fossil fuels, but this is the latest example of investment in biomass gaining traction industry-wide.
“Moving away from boilers that use heavy fuel oil – to more efficient wood pellets – helps reduce energy costs and lower emissions into the environment,” a spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said in a statement.
Dewar’s, which is part of the Bacardi group of companies, estimates that under the current production schedule, it will reduce its carbon emissions from fossil fuel sources by up to six thousand tons per year of carbon dioxide at the Aberfeldy Distillery.
To pay for the biomass boiler, Dewar’s raised £1.2 million through the UK Green Investment Bank, with the rest of the funds coming from the private sector.
Across its five malt distilleries, Dewar’s says it has achieved a 34 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2006; a 46 percent reduction in water use since 2009; and a 30 percent reduction of waste to landfill since 2010.
Since 2006, when Bacardi began tracking its global impact on the environment, it claims to have reduced nonrenewable energy use by nearly 28 percent and decreased its greenhouse gas emissions from production by more than 28 percent.
Building on current programs and efficiencies that reduce its environmental impacts, the Bacardi Limited “Good Spirited” sustainability program sets specific goals in three areas to help reach its vision of a net zero impact. This includes striving to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers; committing to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials; and planning to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10 percent and achieve 15 percent by 2022.
Bacardi also has vowed to reduce water use by 55 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2017. In addition, the company aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.