Our future intentions
Sustainability strategy

Energy


AS PART OF OUR PROGRAM TO REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT, WE’VE INSTALLED A CIRCULATORY HEATING SYSTEM TO RECYCLE OUR HOT WASTEWATER AND HAVE SWITCHED TO 100% RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY, SOURCED WITHIN THE UK. BUILDING ON OUR PROGRESS TO DATE, WE ARE EXPLORING SHORT, MEDIUM AND LONG-TERM ENERGY SOLUTIONS.

To create an energy infrastructure for the future, our next actions will tackle weighty issues requiring investment and a long-term commitment. Faced with additional complexity due to the lack of renewable capabilities on the island, we are measuring potential options according to timescales and on-site energy requirements. Solutions must provide power for many different areas across the distillery; including production, warehousing, on-site accommodation, two guest houses, bottling halls, Shore House Croft and its outbuildings.

  • Short Term

    Feasibility Study

    We are in Stage 1 of a renewables feasibility study

  • Medium term

    Alternative Energy

    We are looking at alternative sources of energy and fuel for the production requirements of our distillery

  • Long Term

    Tidal, Biomass & Hydropower

    We will further investigate the most appropriate renewable energy options

Whilst our focus here is to reduce the carbon emissions from our production process, we are also entering discussions with our suppliers to reduce our carbon footprint across our indirect activities.

Agriculture & Biodiversity


First and foremost, we are distillers. Over the last two decades, we have been distillers who have worked hard to reconnect whisky with agriculture. We have forged new partnerships in an industry where the concept of terroir, of changing flavours according to ingredients and their locale, has been dismissed as all but irrelevant.

In our learning, we have nurtured a sense of restless curiosity and an idea that our work is never done. We have broken away from the traditional expectations of the staid whisky world. So, while the methods we apply in our production are traditional, distilling slowly and by hand, we are adamant that the continual reimagining of our Victorian distillery will help us establish and support a more meaningful local ecosystem.

Our contributions to the agricultural community will be twofold. Firstly, we will invest in exploring progressive agriculture through the management of our own Shore House Croft. We will take on the associated risks of growing trial crops, accepting failure wherever necessary. Secondly, we will help foster and inspire an ever-growing entrepreneurial mindset in our local community, hoping that the creation of more local businesses can help rebalance more value back into our local economy.

Our intentions for the future are ambitious. These may evolve over time but we believe in thinking big, starting small, but starting today.

We will develop our understanding of rotational farming, investing with a with a view to nurture natural soil fertility in the long-term.

We will find and adopt an accreditation for each area of our barley buying, from organic to biodynamic to our conventional varieties. With our sister distilleries at Westland and Domaine des Hautes Glaces, we will further define what sustainable barley buying means to each of us, and our respective locations on Islay, the Pacific North West of the USA and the French Alps.

We will explore the feasibility of minimising inputs, knowing that some conditions in Scotland will be more suited to minimal intervention than others.

We will discourage monocrops, with a view to exploring permaculture and the idea that as a distillery, we can act as an accessible market for our local farming community. Where we cannot make use of beneficial crops, we will encourage their sale on the island.

We will continue our pursuit of a farmer and flavour first mentality, working with agronomists and breeders to set parameters for crops that celebrate diversity, flavour and yield – not each in isolation.

As part of our maltings installation, we intend to malt micro-batches of barley in order to assess their suitability for malting and distilling.

Packaging & Waste


From production to disposal, our products and processes will leave as little impact and waste on the environment as possible. We started with our individual impact and removed single use plastic from all of our sites including bottled water and carrier bags. Happily, our glass bottles, outer tins, card liners, and outer cases are already 100% recyclable. We know there is much more to do, and so our packaging strategy launching later this year will see us:

Use Less

Reduce 100% unnecessary packaging and encourage our
clients to refuse packaging where it is not needed

Use Better

Ensure the materials we do use are recyclable or re-usable

Our ambition is to not only eradicate our waste to landfill but to use waste as a resource to the best of our ability and create circularity in our production lifecycle; implementing composting facilities, effluent management systems and improving our water management.

Islay & Community


Since our renaissance in 2001, the island of Islay has been at the very heart of our business’ decision making. We have a strong sense of responsibility to Islay and the people who live here. To us, this means spreading the economic benefit of the whisky industry into our community, whether that’s directly, through our employment, or indirectly through our opportunities in farming, haulage, hospitality or construction.

Focussing on our people, our growing partners, our Islay centric process, volunteering or in our local projects, we will continue to develop our Islay-centricity. Indeed our next major project will allow us to complete a proportion of annual production through an ‘all-Islay’ outfit. The installation of on-site maltings is the final piece of the jigsaw, whereby we’ll be able to grow barley locally, then malt, distil, mature and bottle locally.

As our current maltings are based in Inverness, this installation will see less haulage sent to the north east of the Scottish Mainland. Our carbon footprint will immediately be reduced as less haulage will be required. However, our energy requirements at the distillery are predicted to rise, therefore the progress of our energy and maltings projects are very closely linked. If we are to be successful in decarbonising our production process, we must consider the energy requirements of our new maltings when we test the feasibility of alternative energy and fuel sources.

We will keep you updated on the progress of our maltings as their installation unfolds. To read more about the milestones we have hit in our commitments to Islay and Community, including our other pillars of sustainability, discover our timeline view overleaf.

Bruichladdich Distillery
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