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Scotch whisky’s green energy strategy is “an example” for the whole industry

The Scotch whisky industry has hit its renewable energy targets four years ahead of schedule, according to new figures.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said that more than 20% of all whisky is produced without fossil fuels, smashing targets the industry body set out nearly a decade ago.

The SWA set out its Environmental Strategy in 2009, which aimed to increase the use of greener fuels by 20 percent across the entire sector.

The Scotch whisky industry now sources over a fifth (21%) of primary energy use from environmentally sustainable sources, up from just 3% at the end of 2008.

Greenhouse gas emissions have also fallen by 22% in the same period. This means with global exports of £4.37bn, the Scotch Whisky industry accounts for 20 percent of all UK food and drink exports, but only accounts for just over 10% of the energy use.

In addition to this, net water use has fallen by 29% since the 2012, which adds up to roughly 1,800 Olympic sized swimming pools’ worth of water being saved.

Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform, said that the achievements of Scotch producers are “an example we would encourage other sectors to follow and will feed into Scotland-wide environmental targets which will help make Scotland a cleaner and greener place to live.”

The ultimate aim is for 80% of all Scotch to be made with renewable energy recourses like wind farming and solar power by 2050.

SWA chief executive Karen Betts said that the initiative’s success “highlights how as a sector we are embracing innovation and technology to help protect the environment,” but more work needs to be done to reach the Environmental Strategy’s targets by 2020.

“The SWA will continue to work with Scotch Whisky producers, our supply chain, government and other stakeholders to ensure we continue to drive progress and deliver our sustainability strategy.”

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