Green biogas from whisky residues to power Glenfiddich’s transport fleet

By Luke Barras-hill |

Kirsty Dagnan, Dufftown Site Leader, alongside Stuart Watts, Distilleries Director at WGS.

William Grant & Sons (WGS) has introduced a ‘closed-loop’ sustainable transport initiative for pillar brand Glenfiddich that allows its delivery fleet to run off green biogas made from the residues of the distilling process.

The ‘first-of-its-kind’ initiative for a global spirits brand uses a special technology enabling the Dufftown-based distillery to convert production waste and residues into an ultra low-carbon fuel (ULCF) gas with minimal CO2 and other emissions.

Fuelling stations have been installed at the distillery with biogas supplied to specially converted trucks responsible for transporting the acclaimed liquid through its stages of production, including bottling and packaging, across its four sites in central and western Scotland.

‘FUELLED BY GLENFIDDICH’

Stuart Watts, Distilleries Director, said: “Across the entire production lifecycle, the biogas reduces carbon dioxide by over 95% and other harmful particulates and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 99% when compared to diesel and other fossil fuels.

“Each truck will displace up to 250 tonnes of CO2 annually, which has the same environmental benefit as planting up to 4,000 trees every year, the equivalent of displacing natural gas – a fossil fuel – from 112 households.

“We are proud of these renewable energy breakthroughs in our industry as we scale up the de-carbonising benefits of this closed-loop process across our entire transport fleet.”

Glenfiddich has achieved several firsts, including processing 100% of its waste residues on site and converting it into biogas to fuel its trucks. These are supported by a biogas truck fuelling station fed by an on-site renewable energy source.

Claudia Falcone, Global Brand Director, Glenfiddich added: “Our green biogas transport fleet is absolutely in line with our brand ethos of ‘Where Next’ – always challenging ourselves not to rest on our past achievements but to always look for what is coming next.”

The distillery is using the ‘Fuelled by Glenfiddich’ slogan to demonstrate actions taken to reduce its environmental footprint.

It is one example of a number of sustainability measures being undertaken by WGS in line with the Scotch Whisky Association’s pursuit of targets specified by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a main focus at the forthcoming UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November (31 October – 12 November).

Having launched ‘Fuelled by Glenfiddich’, WGS is due to scale up the de-carbonising benefits of the ULCF closed-loop process across its entire transport fleet and industry supply chain.

It plans to make the technology available across the Scottish whisky industry as part of wider government net-zero targets.

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