Whisky firm Chivas Brothers aims to create its first carbon-neutral distillery within two years.
The French-owned company has chosen Glentauchers, on Speyside, to lead the way in going 100% green-friendly.
Glentauchers – just off the A95 between Keith and Aberlour – is expected to be 90% carbon-neutral within 18 months, with Chivas switching an investment in heating power for the site to biofuels.
The two-year target is part of Glasgow-based Chivas’ new sustainability strategy which, together with commitments for 2030, were unveiled by chief executive Jean-Christophe Coutures yesterday.
Chivas aims to reduce greenhouse gases and emissions by a further 20% over the next two years, with the company claiming to have already cut these by one-third over the past decade.
The firm’s new Good Times from a Good Place plan also includes a commitment to cut its carbon emissions by 50% and increase its positive impact on the environment by 2030.
Chivas said it would also make sure every packaging component was 100% sustainably sourced by 2022.
And it announced a range of initiatives, including a £7.65 million investment in social enterprises by 2024 and support for healthcare, housing, education and “social isolation” projects – among others – as part of a mission to “impact over six million lives within communities and overseas” by 2030.
Chivas’ whisky brands include Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Clan Campbell, 100 Pipers, Something Special, Passport, Longmorn, Strathisla, Scapa and Tormore.
First half sales figures announced by Mr Coutures in London yesterday revealed year-on-year net growth of 4% during the six months to December 31 2019.
Chivas hailed a strong performance for all of its “strategic international” brands, with sales of Ballantine’s, The Glenlivet and Royal Salute up by 5%, 15% and 17% respectively.
The company said sales of Chivas Regal, produced at Strathisla Distillery in Keith since the 19th Century, were “resilient “ – down 2% – despite a challenging economic environment.
“Ultra premium” and “prestige” brands grew sales by 7% and 14% respectively.
Chivas is a subsidiary of Paris-based Pernod Ricard, whose chief executive, Alexandre Ricard, has said group sales for its whole drink portfolio are likely to grow by up to 4% this year, even assuming a “severe impact” of the coronavirus outbreak.