Chivas Brothers Ltd

VIBES Award: Finalist for Best of VIBES

Highlights:

  • Dalmunach is Chivas Brothers’ most energy efficient distillery, using only 5.3kWh per litre of alcohol, 38% less than the industry average for sites of a similar size.
  • Between 2009 and 2018, the company’s commitments under the Scotch Whisky Association’s first sector-wide Environmental Strategy have delivered per litre savings of: 20% in energy, 37% in greenhouse gases, and 15% in water consumption across distilling and achieved 98% recycling or reuse.

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky business of the Pernod Ricard group, the world’s second-largest wine and spirits company. It produces and exports a range of single malt and blended whiskies all over the world, including: Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet.  The company comprises 1,600 employees, 14 Scotch Whisky distilleries, two bottling facilities and more than 300 warehouses across its 26 sites including Orkney, Scotland and London.

The Dalmunach Distillery in Aberlour, Moray, makes malt whisky for use in the company’s blended Scotch Whisky brands. Malted barley and yeast are brought in to produce alcohol by combining it with water in a mashing process to extract sugars, fermentation to produce a beer, and two distillations to drive off the alcohol or “new-make” spirit.  Effluent and by-products are treated onsite.

 

VIBES credentials

Chivas Brothers (Allied Distillers) was a 2002 VIBES winner for its work on resource recovery and waste segregation at the Dumbarton bottling plant. The company has also been a VIBES sponsor since 2003.

Ronald Daalmans, Environmental Sustainability Manager for Chivas Brothers, said:

“The VIBES Awards have been a wonderful vehicle to both gain internal recognition for our achievements and support for ongoing resource to continue this work. It has also been an excellent means of encouraging members of our supply chain, which is generally Scottish and relatively short, to seek similar recognition for their projects. 

“Finally, the awards help us to demonstrate that we have an informal licence to operate in a local context, as we are a responsible producer that is taking steps to ensure our environmental footprint is managed and does not have an impacted. Our philosophy on this is set out in our Sustainability & Responsibility strategy, entitled: Good Times from a Good Place, which explains we shall be passionate hosts and respectful guests in everything that we do.”

 

Environmental and business benefits

  • Dalmunach is Chivas Brothers’ most energy efficient distillery, using only 5.3kWh per litre of alcohol, 38% less than the industry average for sites of a similar size.
  • All electricity for the distillery comes from renewable energy (hydro and wind) sources in Scotland.
  • It is also used to power an evaporation plant to convert liquid residues to a carbon neutral livestock feed (Pot Ale Syrup).
  • All remaining effluents are treated on-site and returned to the River Spey. The site returns 98% of the all the water it borrows from the environment.
  • The company’s circularity approach continues with solid residue (Draff), which is either sold to local farmers as a feed or used as a renewable fuel in a local pot ale syrup plant.
  • Distillery water consumption is 15% below the industry average.
  • More importantly, being situated along the River Spey, protected for its Freshwater Pearl Mussel and Atlantic Salmon, the distillery was built with a simple cooling water system that returns the water upstream of the abstraction point, resulting in a net zero abstraction.

 

Wider benefits

  • To help protect future water sources, Chivas Brothers operates a water temperature network across Speyside, to understand where this might limit production during warm weather.
  • The company also has a PhD research project with Aberdeen University looking at nature based techniques for managing water flows and temperatures in the Spey catchment during periods of warm / dry weather.
  • Chivas Brothers is working in partnership with UK universities to further improve the circularity of its processes.
  • Two projects are looking at low-energy techniques for copper removal from the company’s effluents and by-products to expand their potential use and innovative uses for the clean CO2 produced by the fermentation process, which is already carbon neutral.
  • Between 2009 and 2018, the company’s commitments under the Scotch Whisky Association’s first sector-wide Environmental Strategy have delivered per litre savings of: 20% in energy, 37% in greenhouse gases, and 15% in water consumption across distilling and achieved 98% recycling or reuse.

 

Website: www.chivasbrothers.com

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