The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced it has achieved its 2020 non-fossil fuel target four years ahead of schedule.

In 2009 the SWA set out its Environmental Strategy, which aimed to increase the use of greener fuels by 20 per cent across the entire sector.

The Scotch Whisky industry now sources around 21 per cent of primary energy use from environmentally sustainable sources, up from three per cent in 2008.

Karen Betts, ceo at the SWA, said: “The Scotch Whisky industry takes sustainability extremely seriously. I am delighted that the industry has made significant progress in a number of areas, and particularly that we have reached our target for the use of non-fossil fuel four years early. The fact that we have done so is a testament to the industry’s significant progress in helping to protect Scotland’s natural resources and environment.”

The SWA has also achieved the following targets:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 22% since 2008; this means with global exports of £4.37 billion, the Scotch Whisky industry accounts for 20% of all UK food and drink exports, but only accounts for 10.7% of the energy use.
  • Net water use has fallen by 29% since the 2012 base year. This means that since 2012, the equivalent of more than 1,800 Olympic sized swimming pools has been saved.
  • The recycled content of the industry’s product packaging stood at 44% in 2016, beating the 2020 goal that 40% of product packaging will be made from recyclable materials.

Betts added: The Scotch Whisky industry may be one of Scotland’s oldest and most successful exports, but these ambitious targets highlight how as a sector we are embracing innovation and technology to help protect the environment.

“Looking ahead there is more work to be done to achieve all our 2020 goals.”