Scotch whisky producer Chivas Brothers has shared details of its heat recovery technology with the industry as it looks to encourage other distilleries to reduce carbon emissions. 

The Pernod Ricard unit, which produces brands such as Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet, has made information about its latest carbon cutting technology freely available to the wider drinks industry, including the design process and learnings from its implementation into Chivas Brothers’ operations.

The company’s heat recovery technologies aim to capture and recycle heat generated in the distillation process in order to reduce waste and cut emissions. 

Following a 2021 pilot programme, which was part-funded by the Scottish government through the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, the business has continued its use of said technologies as it looks to achieve carbon neutral distillation by the end of 2026.

According to brand owners, the adoption of this technology has reduced carbon emissions by 53% at Chivas Brothers’ Glentauchers distillery, while also reducing total energy consumption by 48%.

Reflecting on the success of the technology, Jean-Etienne Gourgues, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, said that heat recovery is a key part of reducing carbon emissions, adding: “Findings with such significant impact must be shared; this technology has the potential to transform our industry and accelerate its progress to net zero.  

 “As a business with a long history of innovation, we believe this is the right thing to do. Collaboration across our industry will be fundamental if we are to meet collective ambitions around sustainability, safeguarding the long-term future of our product and our planet. 

“Understandably, this technology won’t be right for every distillery, but we encourage our peers to explore whether it has the potential to reduce their own carbon output.”  

As part of its efforts to promote a more sustainable whisky industry, the company will also host a series of open house events at its Glentauchers site where other business owners can learn more about the heat capturing technology.

Scottish energy minister, Gillian Martin, said: “Sharing this breakthrough with the wider whisky industry has the potential to advance efforts to reach net zero across the sector.”