Chivas Brothers hosts over 130 industry peers at Glentauchers Distillery ‘Open House’, sharing its carbon-cutting success

Posted on 3 Nov 2023 by James Devonshire

Chivas Brothers, the Pernod Ricard business dedicated to Scotch whisky, has opened the doors of its Glentauchers distillery to the wider spirits industry to share its successful implementation of heat recovery technology at the company site.

The two-day Open House event (31 October – 1 November) took place after the Scotch distiller made the design and implementation findings of this technology open source in July, inviting other players in the industry to learn from its journey to net zero. In the pursuit of a collaborative effort, more than 130 industry peers spanning sustainability, manufacturing and engineering roles from distilleries large and small attended the event.

Participants learnt about the deployment of heat recovery technology at Glentauchers distillery to capture and recycle the heat generated in distillation that would otherwise go to waste, as well as its potential to reduce energy and save carbon emissions.

Glentauchers distillery, located near Keith in Speyside, recently reduced its total energy consumption within the distillation process by almost half (48%), and decreased the site’s total carbon emissions by 53%, following the successful implementation of Mechanical Vapour Recompression (MVR) and Thermo Vapour Recompression (TVR).

Chivas Brothers estimates that if applied by the wider industry’s malt distilleries alone, these technologies 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 Glentauchers Open House event, Brian MacAulay, Malt Distilling & Operations Director at Chivas Brothers, said: “Meeting so many people from across the industry facilitated discussions about the ways in which we can learn and evolve to benefit each other, the industry at large, and of course reduce our impact on the planet. Although not every distillery will be able to implement heat recovery technologies, they have huge potential to accelerate our collective journey to net zero. As a business, we’re committed to opening up to shape the future of whisky; industry collaboration will be vital in creating a sustainable home for Scotch in the years to come.”

Chivas Brothers is committed to achieving carbon neutral distillation by the end of 2026. The business most recently announced £60m in planned investment over the next three years to accelerate the roll-out of MVR technologies across its distilleries.

Read more of our Sustainability articles here