Going green seems to be the done thing these days.
From separating cardboards and glass to driving an electric car, there are plenty of ways to adapt your lifestyle to make sure you have a low carbon footprint and are helping rather than hindering the environment.
But thankfully, there is one area in life where you do not have to change your old habits and that is your love of Whisky.
With new innovation within the Scotch industry there have been massive leaps forward in making the drink more sustainable.
One place that is happening is in Celtic renewables, a Edinburgh-based company that is turning Whisky residue into low carbon fuel.
The company has just received an £11 Million grant from the UK government that will allow them to continue their research into creating a sustainable biofuel from the by-products created during distillation.
As well as creating a fuel, the company also plans to create other green products such as animal feed, 80% of which is currently imported mostly from South America.
This will be a huge step forward in both innovating new products that are kind to the environment as well as creating a use for distillery by-products.
Distllery b-products are also coming in handy in the production of electricity.
The group, Combination of Rothes Distillers, which includes big names such as Diageo and Chivas Brothers, is a collection of distilleries that is using Whisky by-products to create electricity.
In a new biomass plant, the by-products of sixteen distilleries are being used to generate electricity and the excess of this is then sold back to the national grid.
In total, the excess alone is enough to power up to 9,000 houses!
The target of this group is to ensure that at least 20% of the Scotch industry’s power needs will be met by non-fossil fuel sources by the year 2020.
Considering the excess that is created, they seem to be reaching their targets! They also plan to increase this number to 80% by the year 2050.
On a smaller scale, Tomatin Distillery based in Inverness have recently installed a biomass steam boiler.
This boiler is fuelled by locally sourced wood pellets and has succeeded in significantly reducing the distilleries carbon emissions.
This has placed Tomatin ahead of the rest in the Scotch industry through its innovation and effectiveness.
The boiler has allowed the distillery to reduced its emissions by around 4,000 tonnes. This is the equivalent of taking 1,200 family cars off the road!
Let’s hope plenty more follow suit! The boiler not only helps Tomatin address their carbon footprint, but has also created plenty of new local jobs and supports the local economy.
So the next time you feel like you’ve abused the environment a bit too much for one day, just crack open another bottle of Scotch and you’ll be doing both nature and yourself the world of good!
But please don’t do it too much good, or it might not feel so great the morning after!