New campaign highlights the sustainability credentials of the Irish whiskey industry

January 18, 2022

The Irish Whiskey Association has today (18.01.22) launched a new campaign to profile the sustainability credentials of the Irish whiskey industry. Reducing water usage, supporting barley growth, and using renewable forms of energy are just some of the measures Irish whiskey distilleries are introducing to promote sustainability across the industry.

The campaign will highlight how Irish whiskey distilleries and bottlers are leading the way in promoting sustainability. Each week the campaign will focus on a different company and one of their key sustainability achievements.

The first seven companies to be profiled in January and February are:

  • Rademon Estate Distillery - All power used by Rademon Estate Distillery is sustainably supplied by their on-site wind and hydro turbines. Rademon Estate Distillery is located in Co. Down and is the home of Shortcross Irish whiskey and gin.
  • Irish Distillers – Their unique and accredited ‘Sustainable Green Spring Barley Scheme’ aims to support the long-term viability of the spring barley sector in Ireland by incentivising farmers to continually improve their sustainable practice. Irish Distillers are the largest producer of Irish whiskey with a distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork, a bottling facility at Fox and Geese in Dublin 22 and brands including Jameson, Powers and Redbreast.
  • Teeling – Teeling Small Batch is sold in bottles made using 75 per cent recycled glass. Teeling Distillery is based in Dublin’s Liberties and recently won the award for Most Sustainable Irish Whiskey Distillery at the Icons of Whiskey Awards.
  • Terra Spirits & Liqueurs - They have achieved a 30 per cent net energy reduction since 2018 through switching to biogas and solar PV. Terra is located in Baileborough, Co. Cavan and provides bottling services to a range of Irish whiskey and cream liqueur brands. Terra were winner of the Sustainability Authority of Ireland (SEAI) 2020 Award for Small & Medium Enterprises.
  • Slane Distillery – Slane Distillery is committed to water stewardship. The distillery collects rainwater for treatment and use in processing; and has restored a section of Harlinstown Stream, including construction of a salmon ladder. Slane Distillery is located on the historic Slane Castle estate adjoining the river Boyne in Co. Meath.
  • Boann Distillery – Boann Distillery planted 2,000 oak trees in recent months at Swainstown Estate in Co Meath as part of their barrel sustainability programme. Boann Distillery is located in Co. Meath, close to Drogheda and is the home of the Whistler Irish whiskey.
  • Great Northern Distillery – They have reduced their Biological Oxygen Demand discharge to the wastewater system by 80 per cent per LPA since 2016. Great Northern Distillery is located in Dundalk, Co. Louth and is the largest contract producer of Irish whiskey.

Commenting today, John Quinn, Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association said: “Building on centuries of heritage, the Irish whiskey industry is now looking to the future and leading the way when it comes to sustainability. Our new campaign will paint a vibrant picture of Ireland as home to some of the world’s most sustainable distilleries. Irish whiskey producers are employing a range of innovative and cutting-edge technologies to reduce energy usage, reduce water use and reduce waste, while increasing the use of renewable energy, increasing the use of Irish barley and malt, and supporting biodiversity.

“It’s not just about the environment. As the number of Irish whiskey distilleries has grown from four to 40 over the past decade, new distilleries have supported urban regeneration and rural development, reusing vacant buildings and sites, employing and buying locally and attracting visitors to communities across the island of Ireland.”

The campaign will continue with more companies to be profiled in March, April, and May. In addition to this new campaign, the Irish Whiskey Association is establishing a series of Expert Groups who will work to develop a new sustainability strategy for the Irish whiskey industry built around a series of industry-level targets, aligned with Sustainable Development Goals and with the targets set-out in Irish and Northern Irish Climate Action Plans.