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Whisky: even Scottish distilleries are looking to save water

In one of the rainiest regions of Europe, a plan has been drawn up for a sustainable use of water

The Scotch Whiskey Association (SWA) is working to make water usage more efficient during the brewing process. The use of water by Scotch Whiskey distilleries varies greatly according to capacity and location, however each of them are making efforts to save water, even though Scotland is notoriously one of the rainiest regions in the world. 'Europe. As part of its sustainability strategy launched in 2021, SWA has set a target of between 12.5 and 25 l/lpa (the amount of water used per liter of alcohol produced) by 2025, depending on size and production of the distillery.

The Framework focuses on three key areas: responsible use, engagement and collaboration, advocacy. These three themes aim to provide Swa member companies with clear direction on how to address water use and efficiency improvement in their operations.

A collaborative industry approach is encouraged to deliver field improvement projects and influence future policy to ensure the protection and conservation of a vital resource. Previous data analyzed by the SW showed that water efficiency - measured in l/lpa (liters of pure alcohol) - has improved by 22% since 2012. The SW will continue to collect data from across the industry to reassess progress and set ambitious goals.

Water Stewardship Framework is the title of the guidelines that Swa has addressed to its companies in this sustainability operation: it is, explained Ruth Piggin, Director of Industry Sustainability of Swa, "an action-oriented commitment for the continuous work industry to improve water stewardship and a serious recognition of the importance of water to nature and the wider environment surrounding industrial sites".

“The impact of the climate crisis is already being felt in Scotland's water supply chain - continues Piggin - and, although the distilleries manage it well, we understand that we have a duty of care to ensure that our use of water is as efficient as possible. efficient and responsible as possible. We are committed to working closely with relevant stakeholders, including SEPA, government bodies and other stakeholders to further improve the sector's water stewardship."

For his part, Nathan Critchlow-Watton, Head of Water and Planning at Sepa, said: 'Scotland may be renowned for its rains but, as we've already seen this year, it can be extremely vulnerable to prolonged dry spells. and climate change, which is expected to become more frequent in the coming years". Critchlow-Watton concludes by recalling that "the companies that will thrive in the face of this challenge will be those that recognize the link between environmental and economic prosperity".

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EFA News - European Food Agency