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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 17/09/2020

The COVID-19 crisis has brought extremely challenging times for all but has created a moment in time for businesses to reflect on what comes next and how the future we pursue could be a better one. This year during Climate Week (14 - 20 September) we're sharing case studies from businesses already taking steps to protect the natural environment through responsible tourism initiatives.

Glengoyne Distillery | case study  

Glengoyne Distillery offers a range of tour and whisky tasting experiences, in the beautiful setting of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The distillery is committed to contributing positively to the natural environment, through establishing their own wetlands, installing beehives and using 100% renewable power.  

As a pioneer in the industry, Glengoyne was the first distillery in Scotland to adopt a wetlands facility of its own. Rather than sending liquid waste to an industrial treatment plant, reed beds filter and cleanse waste, which is then disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner on-site. The wetlands have helped reduce waste by 25% whilst fostering biodiversity and encouraging wildlife in the local area.  

The solid waste from the production process does not go unused either. A local anaerobic digester is used, which allows the two biproducts of mashing and distillation – draff and pot ale – to be converted into electricity for the local houses. The waste draff and pot ale from one mash creates 150 days of heat or 225 days of electricity for a house. This year Glengoyne has had 576 mashes, equating to 24/7 heat for 236 houses or electricity for 354 houses per year.  

In further development of their ecological credentials, Glengoyne has created a meaningful partnership with Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. It's the charity’s official whisky partner, supporting many of its campaigns and projects. Glengoyne is also working with Plan Bee who rent beehives to businesses across Scotland to help the honeybee population recover. There are two hives in the distillery grounds, contributing to healthier, more varied plant and animal life.

Beehives at Glengoyne Distillery

The distillery has been using renewable electricity since 2013, and as of autumn 2019, 100% of Glengoyne Distillery’s electricity is from a wind backed source. 

Most recently in September 2020, Glengoyne has launched brand new, sustainability-focused packaging across its whole range. Two years in the development, the packaging has been sourced nearly all from Scottish suppliers, with a local sourcing commitment spanning Glengoyne’s full sourcing strategy. The new whisky packaging achieves a sustainability mission of being recyclable and maximising the use of recycled content (around 86% on cardboard) as well as avoiding use of any plastic, metal or magnets.  

Share your responsible tourism story using #ScotClimateWeek and tagging @visitscotnews.