Hold the carbon as £10m funding to make distilleries greener launched


£10 million fund has been announced to help UK distilleries go green and cut emissions by switching to low carbon fuels such as hydrogen.

Today Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, revealed the opening of the £10 million fund, which is being made available to kick-start green innovation across Scotland’s distillery industry.

Mr Kwarteng commented on the announcement: “Our plan to deliver a carbon-neutral future doesn’t just mean new jobs in new industries but helping some of our oldest industries to play their part as well.

“We want to harness the tremendous innovation of our distilleries so customers can enjoy their favourite tipple in the knowledge they are helping us to tackle climate change.”

The move gives backing to distilleries across the UK to harness energy sources such as low-carbon hydrogen, biomass and repurposed waste to power their operations.

The funding will help prevent pollution equivalent to emissions from 100,000 cars from entering the atmosphere, contributing towards the UK’s net zero ambition.

Dagmar Droogsma, Director of Industry at the Scotch Whisky Association, commented: “The Scotch Whisky industry welcomed the new Green Distilling Fund announced in the March Budget as an important step on our sustainability journey.

“The use of innovative technology is among several approaches that the industry could adopt as it works towards net zero by 2045, as outlined in our recent net zero report.

“This Fund will provide us with the opportunity to put forward bids for demonstration projects for so-far untested technologies, helping the Scotch Whisky industry play its part in reaching Scotland’s emissions targets.”

In 2019, the UK distilleries industry grew by 20%, demonstrating the opportunity for the sector to be at the heart of a clean and resilient recovery.

The funding has been welcomed by trade bodies in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are home to the vast majority of the UK’s distilleries.

Michael Bell, Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, added: “Greening is essential to our industry’s future and this is to be welcomed.

“Interestingly, in the last five years I’ve seen more distilleries in Northern Ireland than in the last 50.

“It’s good to see the Government investing in food and drink businesses.”

More details, including information on how distilleries can express interest in the funding, can be found on the Green Distilleries Competition page