£10 million fund set live to help create eco-friendly distilleries

The UK government has set live a £10 million fund to help the country’s distilleries become environmentally sustainable.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the fund back in March 2020 (Photo: HM Treasury/Simon Walker)

The fund, which went live on 17 August, was first announced in March 2020 by Rishi Sunak during the spring Budget.

The government will provide funding the businesses if they choose to convert to using renewable energy sources such as low-carbon hydrogen, biomass and repurposed waste. There may also be opportunities to get government backing for things like fuel conversion, or technology to reduce emissions in transportation.

“We want to harness the tremendous innovation of our distilleries so customers can enjoy their favourite tipple in the knowledge they are helping us to tackle climate change,” Kwasi Kwarteng, environment minister, said.

“In 2019, the UK distilleries industry grew by 20%, demonstrating the opportunity for the sector to be at the heart of a clean and resilient recovery.”

Called the Green Distilleries Competition, the government said the scheme aims could cut distilleries’ emissions by almost one million tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road.

Dagmar Droogsma, head of industry at the Scotch Whisky Association, said the project will help distilleries to research new ways of cutting carbon emissions that could benefit companies in the long-term.

Droogsnma said it will provide businesses with “the opportunity to put forward bids for demonstration projects for so-far untested technologies, helping the Scotch Whisky industry play its part in reaching Scotland’s emissions targets.”

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