Morvern distillery becomes UK’s first net zero emission whisky producer

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A Morvern distillery has become the UK’s first net zero emission whisky distillery, beating the Scotch whisky industry target by 20 years.

With the Scotch industry’s net zero target 2040, this distillery at Drimnin by Lochaline is one of only two whisky distilleries in the UK that are powered 100 per cent by renewable energy.

Nc’nean whisky is bottled in a 100 per cent recycled clear glass bottle which reduces each bottle’s carbon footprint by 40 per cent. Nc’nean is certified organic and only uses organic barley sourced in Scotland.

Nc’nean’s founder Annabel Thomas said: ‘This feels like our greatest achievement so far. From the moment we started out on this adventure, there have been plenty people who told us that using renewable energy would be too hard and that organic barley would be impossible to work with.  Many even said that using a 100 per cent recycled glass bottle wasn’t the done thing in premium spirits.

‘I am incredibly proud of our small team who have put their hearts and souls into overcoming all of these barriers to create a delicious whisky with the lowest possible footprint – and 20 years ahead of the industry’s target.

‘But this is just the beginning. In a year where Scotland is hosting COP263 and sustainability is such a hot topic, it is my hope our work will inspire others in our industry. We want more companies to look at their mode of operating and make improvements where they can, as we will be continuing to do across our business.’

Net zero status has been achieved by powering Nc’nean with 100 per cent renewable energy and offsetting the remaining few emissions through partner Highland Carbon.

The distillery uses woodchip from a commercial forest two miles from the distillery to power its biomass boiler which in turn heats its copper stills. All trees are replanted.

This ethos is evident throughout the business with its commitment to zero waste – 99.97 pecent of waste is recycled or reused. Leftover barley – draff – is fed to the cows on the farm.

Specifically designed to use 80 per cent less water than a traditional distillery, Nc’nean’s cooling water is continuously recycled via a natural cooling pond, which means the distillery can use the same water over and again without the need to use energy to cool it down or chemicals to keep it clean.

CAPTION: The Nc’nean distillery near Lochaline.

NO F50 NcNean distillery