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GIB invests in Royal Brackla whisky distillery sustainability upgrade



The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced plans to finance a biomass conversion project that will help a historic Scottish whisky distillery to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. 

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The new biomass boiler will allow the Royal Brackla Distillery in Nairn, a 200-year old facility operated by John Dewar & Sons Ltd, to cut its energy bills and reduce its environmental impact.

Unlike the conventional oil-fuelled boilers currently used at Royal Brackla, efficient biomass boilers use low carbon fuel such as wood pellets or logs. The GIB say the new installation will be fed locally and sustainably sourced materials.

“The installation of the biomass boiler will mark a significant change in the environmental performance of the distillery as we are expecting an annual target reduction of some 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions,” said Iain Lochhead, the distillery’s operations director.

The GIB’s investment, which will be made by the Equitix-managed fund Energy Saving Investments, in which the bank is the cornerstone investor, is only the latest effort to mordernise one of Scotland’s most iconic industries. 

The government-owned bank has made £5 million available to similar projects, with investments in distilleries in Perthshire, Speyside and Inverness already announced.

“Scotch whisky is a critically important part of the Scottish economy. That’s why I am delighted that we are able to help another distillery to save money and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of the GIB. 

“These projects have been structured so that the distilleries can start saving money from day one and don’t need to find the capital up-front. This is an investment to help one of our most iconic industries to modernise, become more efficient and reduce its carbon footprint.”

Further reading:

Green Investment Bank to fund biomass project at Scottish whisky distillery

Scottish whisky given £5m from Green Investment Bank to go green

Green Investment Bank to launch £1bn offshore wind fund

Green Investment Bank could move into private capital

Green Investment Bank becomes Principles for Responsible Investment signatory