Net Zero plan
Chivas shares carbon-cutting tech with industry
Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard and maker of global Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet, is sharing its carbon cutting technology across the industry.
The company believes that distillers should work together to produce a sustainable future for Scotch and says other firms can benefit from its heat recovery technology, applied at its Glentauchers site.
The technology is designed to capture and recycle heat generated in the distillation process that would otherwise go to waste.
To date, these have reduced total energy consumption almost by half (48%) at Chivas Brothers’ Glentauchers distillery, near Keith in Speyside, reducing the site’s total carbon emissions by 53% as a result. This represents an energy saving equivalent to powering 4,979 average UK homes – more than all the houses in Keith – for an entire year.
The business plans to roll out these integrations across all viable sites as part of a drive to achieve carbon neutral distillation by the end of 2026.
Chivas Brothers expects these technologies to reduce its overall energy consumption and carbon emissions in distillation by one third, which is more than 30,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, or the equivalent of 67,226 UK homes.
While not suitable for application in every distillery, Chivas Brothers estimates that if these technologies were applied by the wider industry’s malt distilleries alone, this could equate to a saving of some 1,756Gwh per year – enough to power 605,000 average homes for a year, more than the number in Edinburgh and Aberdeen combined.
Commenting on the ‘open source’ move, Jean-Etienne Gourgues, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, said: “Heat recovery forms a critical part of our commitment to achieve carbon neutral distillation by 2026. Findings with such significant impact must be shared; this technology has the potential to transform our industry and accelerate its progress to net zero.
“That’s why today we’re making our design process and implementation learnings available to all. As a business with a long history of innovation, we believe this is the right thing to do. Collaboration across our industry will be fundamental if we are to meet collective ambitions around sustainability, safeguarding the long-term future of our product and our planet.
“Understandably, this technology won’t be right for every distillery, but we encourage our peers to explore whether it has the potential to reduce their own carbon output.”
The successes of this programme are shared with the company’s supplier, Piller Blowers & Compressors GmbH, manufacturers of high-performance blowers and compressors for the process industry, whose team worked alongside Chivas Brothers to adapt its technology for distillery applications.