Scotland’s whisky industry has reached a target for increased renewable energy use four years ahead of schedule.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) set out an environmental strategy in 2009 to reduce fossil fuel usage and increase its reliance on green energy across the sector.
Renewable energy use increased from 3% in 2008 to 21% by 2016.
The industry has also reduced emissions by 22% over the last decade and has increased the amount of recycled materials in product packaging to 44%, SWA said.
Chief executive Karen Betts said: “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.
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.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “It is encouraging to see the strong progress the Scotch whisky industry has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become more environmentally sustainable.
“The industry’s efforts to use non-fossil fuels, cut down on water use and to recycle packaging 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.”
Hannah Smith, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “To see the Scottish whisky industry smashing targets ahead of schedule is inspiring and shows the benefit of setting ambitious clean energy goals to drive forward real change.
“Utilising Scotland’s incredible renewable energy innovations to produce the country’s most iconic national beverage is something to be proud of.”