Whiskey giants Glenfiddich have begun converting their fleet of trucks to run on low-emission biogas created from waste generated during the whiskey-making process. The Speyside distillery, located in the north-east Scottish Highlands, has set up specialist filling stations at its distillery for its lorries as part of a closed-loop sustainability initiative.
The biofuel is developed from used barley grains, known as draff in the industry. These grains are usually pelletized and sold as protein-rich cattle feed. However, using an anaerobic digestion plant, liquid waste from the whiskey-making process is fed to bacteria in the digestion to produce biogas, which is then converted into fuel.
So far, three trucks have been converted, transporting Glenfiddich’s spirit from production at its Dufftown bottling and packaging facility, covering four locations in central and western Scotland, belonging to Glenfiddich’s parent company, William Grant & Sons.
In the groundbreaking story from Reuters, Glenfiddich distillery director Stuart Watts explained why the distillery went in this direction of sustainability:
“The thought process behind this was ‘what can we do that is better for all of us?'”
According to Glenfiddich, each truck will reduce its CO2 footprint by 250 tonnes of CO2 per year. They are converted vehicles manufactured by truck manufacturer Iveco, which usually run on liquefied natural gas. Using biogas reduces emissions by 95% compared to diesel and other fossil fuels and similarly reduces harmful particles by up to 99%.
Watts said the technology could be extended to the rest of its 20 trucks as well as to fleets from other companies.
The announcement from Glenfiddich is probably not the last of its kind to come from the Scottish whiskey industry. Its commercial body, the Scotch Whiskey Association, has announced a net zero target across the industry by 2040.