Three of Scotland’s most iconic Scotch Whisky distilleries have been presented with the highest accolade for environmental quality from leading sustainability charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian, Oban Distillery in Argyll & Bute and Dalwhinnie Distillery in the Highlands were all awarded Gold accreditation - the highest available standard - in the charity’s National Award for Environmental Excellence scheme.
The distilleries, all owned by leading global drinks business Diageo, are the first in Scotland to receive Gold accreditation and were recognised for their exceptional efforts across a wide range of criteria, including environmental quality, waste management and community participation.
Praised by Keep Scotland Beautiful for continued commitment to the sustainability agenda, Diageo was presented with the Gold award at a ceremony at Glenkinchie yesterday (30 March).
Ramsay Borthwick, Glenkinchie Distillery manager, accepted the award on behalf of the three distilleries. He commented: “This Gold award recognises our ongoing commitment to environmental quality and celebrates the efforts of all our people in striving for excellence in this crucial area of our business.
“The quality of Scotland’s environment is vital for the Scotch Whisky industry and Diageo is committed to sustainability in every aspect of our business. The Keep Scotland Beautiful awards have recognised the efforts of both our staff and visitors at the three locations, and positioned our distilleries as top ‘green’ tourist attractions. I would like to thank everyone who has helped us to achieve this.”
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Keep Scotland Beautiful is working closely with companies across Scotland, helping them take direct action to address local environmental impact. The National Award for Environmental Excellence provides an exciting opportunity to assess and reward their efforts.
“We are delighted with the high standards demonstrated at the three Diageo sites. It is important that companies accept their environmental responsibilities and Diageo has set the bar high with its company-wide ambitious sustainability targets. It is, however, equally important that we recognise that this is a journey, and we look forward to seeing further action being taken by Diageo in the future.”
Over the last year, Diageo has witnessed a 13% increase in visitor numbers across its 12 distillery visitor centres in Scotland, attracting a total of 370,150 guests. A record 54,444 people (+15%) visited Oban Distillery, Dalwhinnie Distillery welcomed 44,288 people (+20%) and Glenkinchie Distillery attracted 38,162 people (+7%) in the year to June 2015.
Throughout Scotland, over 75 organisations, from shopping centres, leisure and cultural trusts to train stations and ports, have received a National Award for Environmental Excellence.
The award is open to companies and organisations throughout Scotland and provides an annual benchmark for corporate environmental performance. All entrants are assessed by the Keep Scotland Beautiful Local Environmental Quality Team and can be awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold level, based on a benchmarked score system.
Further information on the awards, and how to gain recognition, can be found at: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/environmentalexcellenceaward