Maverick mentality: In an industry first, Glenfiddich is fuelling its delivery fleet with Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel made from its own whisky residues

William Grant & Sons-owned single malt Scotch brand Glenfiddich has launched a closed loop sustainable transport initiative that fuels its delivery fleet with green biogas made from its own whisky distilling residues.

Glenfiddich is the first global spirits brand to process 100% of its own whisky residues on-site and the first to use whisky residues as fuel, said the company. The ‘Fuelled by Glenfiddich’ project leverages a unique technology, developed by William Grant & Sons, that converts production wastes into Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel (ULCF) gas. The green biogas produces minimal carbon dioxide and harmful emissions.

Fuelling stations have been installed at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown in north-eastern Scotland. The biogas is now powering specially-converted delivery trucks that handle the transportation of Glenfiddich products at all stages of production.

The journey covers four William Grant & Sons sites in central and west Scotland and covers distilling, bottling and packaging processes. The trucks feature the statement ‘Fuelled by Glenfiddich – turning whisky waste into Ultra Low Carbon Fuel’, spreading awareness about the initiative.

The Fuelled by Glenfiddich biofleet transports Glenfiddich products from its distillery in Dufftown to four William Grant & Sons sites in central and West Scotland

Commenting on the pioneering sustainability project, William Grant & Sons Distilleries Director Stuart Watts said, “It has taken more than a decade for Glenfiddich to become the first distillery to process 100% of its waste residues on its own site, then to be the first to process those residues into biogas fuel to power its trucks, and finally to be the first to install a biogas truck fuelling station supplied by our on-site renewable energy facility.

The Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel reduces carbon dioxide by over -95% across the production lifecycle. It also minimises harmful particulates and greenhouse gas emissions by up to -99% compared to traditional diesel and fossil fuels. Each biogas-fuelled truck will displace up to 250 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of planting up to 4,000 trees annually and displacing natural gases from 112 households.

“William Grant & Sons has been a pioneering distiller for more than 130 years, always exploring new processes and techniques to create sustainable benefits for our business and communities,” Watts added. “We are proud of these renewable energy breakthroughs in our industry as we scale up the de-carbonising benefits of this closed-loop process across our entire transport fleet.”

 The Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel reduces carbon emissions by -95% and has -99% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional fossil fuel counterparts

Glenfiddich Global Brand Director Claudia Falcone added, “Our consumers have a maverick mindset that encourages us to push boundaries. As a family-owned business we think in the long term whether our focus is on the sustainable measures we employ at the distillery or on producing the world’s most awarded single malt.

“Our green biogas transport fleet is absolutely in line with our brand ethos of ‘Where Next’ — always challenging ourselves not to rest on our past achievements but to always look for what is coming next.”

The Fuelled by Glenfiddich initiative reinforces the brand’s commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain. It is one of many initiatives in William Grant & Son’s sustainability roadmap, which was designed in line with the Scotch Whisky Association’s (SWA goals. Both William Grant & Sons and the SWA have committed to achieving set targets under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Closing the loop: Parent company William Grant & Sons has plans to scale up the Fuelled by Glenfiddich project across its entire transport fleet. The company is making the Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel technology available to the Scottish whisky industry.

The SWA’s four main areas for industry action are: tackling climate change by having net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, promoting circular economy practices by transitioning to reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025, hitting responsible water use targets by 2025 and promoting the active conservation and restoration of Scotland’s peatland by 2035.

Following the ‘Fuelled by Glenfiddich’ project, William Grant & Sons has plans to scale up the decarbonising benefits of the Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel closed loop process across its entire transport fleet and supply chain. The company is also making the biogas technology available for the Scottish whisky industry to support wider transport decarbonisation in the in the UK and Scotland.

(Left) Dufftown Site Leader Kirsty Dagnan (right) William Grant & Sons Distilleries Director Stuart Watts