John Dewar & Sons Helps Power Thousands of Scottish Homes

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John Dewar & Sons Helps Power Thousands of Scottish Homes

Industry-wide collaboration generates energy by burning whisky by-products
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 6:05am

Hamilton, Bermuda, August 25, 2015 /3BL Media/ – In a country famous for its award-winning, highly respectable Scotch whisky production, Scotland now boasts an innovative partnership with benefits beyond the traditional toast and good cheer.

The Rothes CoRDe, part-owned by The Combination of Rothes Distillers, is a facility that produces enough energy to power entire communities of neighboring distilleries. “A number of whisky companies are part of an industry consortium looking at sustainable ways of processing by-products from our distilleries,” says Iain Lochhead, Operations Director for John Dewar & Sons Ltd., part of the Bacardi group of companies.

The Speyside area of the Scottish Highlands is home to around 50 whisky distilleries. Rothes, in the heart of that region, is the site of a new, blended-biomass plant that generates heat and power for local communities. It works by burning draff (the spent grains used in the distilling process) with woodchips to create steam-generating electricity.

“We generate 8.3 megawatts of electricity every hour of every day. We use some onsite and export the rest – enough for 20,000 people in 8,000 homes,” explains Frank Burns, Managing Director, Rothes CoRDe. “We are powering all of the local communities.”

Another innovation is converting pot ale – the residue from copper whisky stills – into organic feedstock that local farmers use for their animals. “By recovering by-products from our distilleries, we turn them into material of purpose and value,” adds Burns. “Ultimately, everything we make, whether it’s animal feed – or even the ash from our boiler process – goes back to the land or to the farm.”

“In the end, we want to take this industry forward, to invest and grow, but also make sure we preserve the natural environment we rely on to support Scotch whisky for many years to come,” says David Williamson of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

As part of the Bacardi group of companies, John Dewar & Sons honors the spirit of sustainability. “We believe we are doing our part in protecting the environment of Scotland,” says Lochhead. “Since we use natural ingredients to make our whisky, we want to leave our surroundings in the same pristine condition as we find them.”

The CoRDe project is part of a broad scope of sustainability initiatives for John Dewar & Sons, producers of DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky and the single malt brands of ABERFELDY®, AULTMORE®, CRAIGELLACHIE®, THE DEVERON® and ROYAL BRACKLA®.

As part of Bacardi, John Dewar & Sons honors the spirit of sustainability with these benchmarks at its five malt distilleries:

  • 34 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2006
  • 46 percent reduction in water use since 2009
  • 30 percent reduction of waste to landfill since 2010

Since 2006, when Bacardi began tracking its global impact on the environment, it has reduced nonrenewable energy use by nearly 28 percent and decreased its greenhouse gas emissions from production by more than 28 percent. Building on current programs and efficiencies that reduce its environmental impacts, the Bacardi Limited “Good Spirited” sustainability program sets specific goals in three areas to help reach its vision of a net zero impact:

  1. Responsible Sourcing: Bacardi strives to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers. By 2017, the goal is to obtain 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rum from certified, sustainable sources – and 100 percent by 2022. This pledge from Bacardi is an industry first.
  2. Global Packaging: Bacardi commits to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials. By 2017, Bacardi plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10 percent and achieve 15 percent by 2022.
  3. Operational Efficiencies: Bacardi continues to focus on reducing water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with a 2017 goal to cut water use by 55 percent and GHG emissions by 50 percent. In addition, Bacardi aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.

To learn more about Bacardi Limited and its “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” environmental initiative for sourcing, packaging and operational efficiencies across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits and wine brands, visit

About John Dewar & Sons Ltd. 
John Dewar & Sons Ltd. employs 300 people at seven locations throughout Scotland. The Company currently operates whisky distilleries in Aberfeldy, Macduff, Aultmore, Craigellachie and Nairn with ageing, blending, bottling and packaging facilities in Glasgow and additional maturation facilities in Poniel in Central Scotland.

DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, the world’s most-awarded blended Scotch; WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky, the world’s second fastest growing Scotch; and the single malt brands of ABERFELDY®, AULTMORE®, CRAIGELLACHIE®, THE DEVERON® and ROYAL BRACKLA® are part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.  

About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky, ERISTOFF® vodka, and ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur.

Founded 153 years ago in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, family-owned Bacardi manufactures its brands at 29 facilities and sells in more than 160 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.

Media Contact
Amy Federman


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Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Bacardi | Business & Trade | Climate and the environment | Corporate Social Responsibility | Dewars | Energy | Ethical Production & Consumption | Green Business | Renewable Energy | Sustainable Enterprises