Multi-award-winning single malt Scotch whisky giant Glenfiddich has become the first global spirits brand to use its own distillation residue as biofuel for its delivery fleet.

With an aim to minimise its carbon footprint, the Glenfiddich distillery at Dufftown in north-eastern Scotland uses homebrewed technology which allows production waste to be converted into an Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel (ULCF).

Parent company William Grant & Sons developed the innovative conversion method which has seen special fuelling stations installed at the delivery, used to help power a fleet of specially converted trucks that will handle transportation of the spirit from production through to bottling and packaging.

With the new trucks emblazoned with the slogan, ‘Fuelled by Glenfiddich – turning whisky waste into Ultra Low Carbon Fuel’, Stuart Watts, Distilleries Director, William Grant & Sons, praised the new initiative. He said, “Glenfiddich is appreciated around the world as a unique single malt whisky, which is the result of generations of pioneering craftsmanship and concern for the long-term sustainability of the spirit.”

“It has taken more than a decade for Glenfiddich to become the first distillery to process 100% of its waste residues on its own site, then to be the first to process those residues into biogas fuel to power its trucks, and finally to be the first to install a biogas truck fuelling station supplied by our on-site renewable energy facility.”

The biogas can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) by over 95% and other harmful particulates and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 99% over the entire production lifecycle. The environmental benefits are clear, with each truck displacing up to 250 tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent of planting up to 4,000 trees every year.

With a history as a pioneering distiller going back more than 130 years, Watts added that the company intend to scale up the de-carbonising benefits of this closed-loop process across its entire transport fleet.

Claudia Falcone, Global Brand Director, Glenfiddich, added, “Our consumers have a maverick mindset that encourages us to push boundaries. As a family-owned business we think in the long term whether our focus is on the sustainable measures we employ at the distillery or on producing the world’s most awarded single malt.”

Working in line with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)’s roadmap to tackle climate change by reducing its environmental impact, the ‘Fuelled by Glenfiddich’ initiative is just one of William Grant & Son’s sustainability activities.

Along with its GHG emission reduction by 2040 goal, the company intends to restore and conserve Scotland’s peatland by 2030. With its targets being a focus of the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November, the technology will be made available across the Scottish whisky industry.