ANOTHER MILESTONE HIT AS B CORP CERTIFIED BRUICHLADDICH URGES THEIR SHOPPERS TO GO ‘ONE TIN LIGHTER’
Single malt whisky, now with no tin? Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore single malts, made at Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay, are known for their modern packaging design and convention challenging spirits. Their bold type and eye-catching colour palettes have helped distinguish the Scotch brands from the traditional designs expected from the category.
Ensuring their actions are as progressive as their packaging, Bruichladdich have launched a new initiative that urges customers to leave the tin out of their baskets and ‘make the world of whisky one tin lighter’. Across their online shop (www.bruichladdich.com) and in their visitor centre, preferences will be set to ‘no tin’ as a matter of default. Customers will purposefully have to select for a tin to be included.
In a bid to eliminate secondary packaging overall, this slow but steady approach to reducing demand will eventually see one less tin produced, one less transported and one less tin at risk of going to landfill.
Ambitious plans have been set to roll the initiative out globally. The volume of tins reduced from the web-shop and visitor centre could potentially reach ~15,000 tins annually, saving approximately ~17 tonnes of CO2e1. While it is a relatively small proportion of Bruichladdich’s overall business, the project is an immensely important ‘incubator’ phase that will seed long-term intentions with customers and help shape recommendations on how to reduce packaging universally.
Speaking on the matter, CEO Douglas Taylor: “As a business that places social and environmental progress at the heart of our decision making, we have an obligation to reduce our footprint and cut our carbon emissions wherever possible. While we are tackling the most impactful alternatives in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, the marginal gains matter. A tin is an inevitable luxury that emits over 1kg of CO2e in its creation alone. It is our duty to phase them out wherever we can – producing less, transporting less and risking less packaging going to landfill.
“We are determined to lead from the front; to use less, use better, and take small steps towards significant milestones. We trust that our customers will support us as they always have done, knowing their choices will help us fuel investment into the long-term sustainability projects that reduce our impact and drive positive change.
“To date, we’ve purchased 30 acres of croft land that is designated for agronomical R&D. We’ve planted ~7,500 trees and invested in biodiversity through a pollinator project and wildflower conservation. We’ve installed a circulatory heating system to recycle our hot wastewater and have switched to 100% renewable electricity, sourced within the UK. For the community, we’ve based our warehousing, bottling and in the future, a proportion of our maltings on the island, to keep career benefits here. Decarbonising our stillhouse’s steam requirement is also within our future ambition. It’s a challenge that has seen us assess the feasibility of green hydrogen technology, as well as the potential of biomass, electrification, wind, solar and fuel-switching.
“We will continue to scrutinise packaging and waste under this wider sustainability program, taking a holistic view for the betterment of our people and our planet. We’ll learn from our community, share progress along the way, and no doubt urge and inspire others to join us on this journey.”
1 The creation of one Classic Laddie 70cl tin is estimated at 1.13kg CO2e. This calculation does not account for transportation of the outer packaging and is a minimum estimate.
On Bruichladdich Distillery:
Bruichladdich Distillery is situated on the southwestern tip of the Hebridean island of Islay.
Bruichladdich Distillery crafts four different spirits:
• Bruichladdich, unpeated Islay single malt Scotch whisky
• Port Charlotte, heavily peated Islay single malt Scotch whisky (40PPM)
• Octomore, the world’s most heavily peated Scotch whisky series (80+PPM)
The distillery was first established in 1881 by the Harvey brothers. It survived through periods of closure including world wars and economic uncertainly, only to be closed for 7 years in 1994. The closure left all but two redundant.
The distillery was reopened by Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin and Jim McEwan in 2001. The team have breathed new life into the community by keeping as much of their operations on Islay as possible. They installed a bottling hall in 2003, first grew Islay barley in 2004 (now 52% of production) and have since added additional warehousing to ensure all single malts are conceived, distilled, matured and bottled on the island. They are one of only two distilleries on the island (9 total) to make those claims.
The independently owned Bruichladdich was purchased by luxury spirits company Remy Cointreau in 2012. They continue to invest in the values of the business, in being Islay-based, and in the local community.
In 2020, Bruichladdich became one of the only distilleries in the world to be B Corp certified. They are the first gin and whisky distillery in Europe, and one of two globally, to be recognised for balancing profit and purpose.
On Sustainability at Bruichladdich Distillery:
The distillery’s sustainability strategy is organised around four key pillars; Agriculture and Biodiversity, Energy, Packaging & Waste and Islay & Community.
Key milestones achieved to date, arranged under each pillar, can be found in the additional support material.