Food waste is emerging as a big problem. From top food manufacturers to local brands,…
Going green is nothing new to big industries, with international pledged to reduce carbon footprints and reduce wastage as well as penalties for businesses who do not meet their targets industry bosses have a good reason to keep environmental agencies happy. Although despite their efforts we the public still see all too many examples of industries failing to meet these criteria prompting concern as to whether companies are but paying lip service to them. Certainly whisky companies are no different with Scotland’s largest independent bottling plant becoming the subject of harsh criticism after inadvertently polluting a local river with over 5,000 litres of whisky.
The incident happened at Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse’s site in East Ayrshire where the computer operated liquid deliver system directed over 27,000 litres of whisky to a tank that was already full. Before staff could react to shut the pump down, over 7,143 bottles worth of 67 percent proof spirit had gushed out into the bund that was designed to retain any leaks from the tanks, the only problem was that the drainage valve of the bund which lead directly to the river had been left open to drain away rain water and subsequently thousands of pounds worth of whisky was quite literally washed away.
Granted the plant did plead guilty to charges of failing to prevent the spillage however it must be said that such incidents in the whisky industry are rare and isolated, and it is likely that if a similar spill took place at a smaller distillery, especially those producing small batch single malt such as Bowmore or Glen Garioch, their limited volumes of spirit per batch would be easily contained. Unfortunately though not enough media coverage is given of those companies within the whisky industry that live up to their responsibilities and do things right.
Most recently the Glenfiddich Distillery has had plans approved by Moray council to build and anaerobic digestion facility that would use the distillery’s waste malt barley to produce gas and electricity for the national grid. In fact so impressed were councillors by this seemingly spontaneous act of charity that there was not one single objection to the plans and the project is being encouraged to start as soon as possible. The distillery has also taken in to account local concerns for maintaining the area’s natural beauty, and the new plant is to be sited in an area where it will be hidden as much as possible by the original distillery building to keep it barely visible to passers-by.
This is just one such example of the responsible approach taken by the majority of distillers, contrary to popular belief few are big faceless corporations that wouldn’t think twice of trampling over the little guy for profit. Especially when you consider the fact that the majority of those working in distilleries also live locally to them, and would you honestly expect anyone of any sense to allow their employer to destroy their home?
I am an enthusiastic blogger and lover of all things whisky. For more whisky related articles and news follow me on twitter.
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