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From whisky to sustainable electricity: how John Dewar & Sons builds circular economy

Known for the world’s best malt whisky and beautiful nature, the Scottish Speyside is a home to around 50 distilleries, either independent or owned by global companies. The Bacardi group, the biggest industry player in the region, has created an innovative local partnership to make the area even greener and cleaner, while whisky production more sustainable.

On behalf of John Dewar & Sons, its daughter company, Bacardi will collaborate with the local manufacturer The Combination of Rothes Distillers to recycle whisky by-products and produce sustainable electricity to power up to 20,000 homes in Scotland. Continuing on the “Good Spirited” initiative, the company will also turn other post-production natural materials such as pot ale into organic feedstock for the local farms.

“By recovering by-products from our distilleries, we turn them into material of purpose and value,” comments  Frank Burns, Managing Director, Rothes CoRDe, the facility the burned whisky by-products to generate 8.3 megawatts of electricity per hour. “Ultimately, everything we make, whether it’s animal feed—or even the ash from our boiler process—goes back to the land or to the farm.”

The Bacardi group started its global environmental program “Good Spirited” in 2006. It set specific goals in three directions: responsible sourcing, eco-friendly packaging and operational efficiency. The Rothes CoRDe project is part of that long-term strategy.

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