Glenfiddich turns whisky waste into biofuel

William Grant & Sons reached an important step regarding sustainability


As the world's first spirits brand, Glenfiddich operates its truck fleet with self-produced biogas. It is extracted from the residues of whisky production using a technology developed by William Grant & Sons. This low-carbon gas produces only minor emissions.

„It has taken more than a decade for Glenfiddich to become the first distillery to process 100 per cent of its waste residues on its own site, then to be the first to process those residues into biogas fuel to power its trucks. We are proud of these renewable energy breakthroughs in our industry as we scale up the decarbonising benefits of this closed-loop process across our entire transport fleet”, Stuart Watts explains, director of the William Grant & Sons distilleries.

Significant reduction in CO2 compared to fossil fuels

"Fuelled by Glenfiddich - turning whisky waste into ultra low carbon fuel" is written on the trucks that have been specially converted for running with this biogas. The special petrol stations have been set up for this on the grounds of the Glenfiddich distillery.

“This means that transport from the production facility in Dufftown in the north-east of Scotland to filling and packaging is almost climate-neutral. The route includes four William Grant & Sons locations in central and western Scotland, ” a recent press release explains."Compared to fossil fuels, each truck saves up to 250 tons of CO2 annually, which corresponds to a similar benefit for the environment as planting around 4,000 trees a year."

This innovative change will not remain the only measure in terms of sustainability. After converting Glenfiddich vehicles to Biogas, Wiliiam Grant & Sons plan to extend this low-carbon technology to its entire transport fleet and industrial supply chain. They also want to make this technology available to the entire Scottish whisky industry.

The Scotch Whisky Association's schedule for sustainability

William Grant & Sons are working hard to implement the schedule drawn up by the Scotch Whisky Association SWA to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The four main areas of SWA for the industry are:

  • Combating climate change by ending all greenhouse gas emissions by 2040
  • Sustainability of packaging that is reusable, recyclable or recyclable by 2025 be made compostable
  • Achieve responsible water consumption goals by 2025
  • Maintaining the land through the active conservation and restoration of Scotland's peat ecosystem by 2035.

Images: Glen Grant & Sons