In an age where Climate Change is on the agenda of every world leader, it is only natural for industries to follow suit. While a lot of initiatives have fallen short of their goals, there are a handful of companies that are placing Sustainability at the centre of their business practices. For these companies, the term is not mere lip-service.
Earlier this month, one of the world’s top whisky brands, Johnnie Walker launched The Next Steps initiative – its most ambitious sustainability drive to date with a wide-ranging action plan that will see the whisky maker becoming more sustainable by design from ‘grain to glass’.
The initiative is part of the brand’s ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, restore natural landscapes and reinvent how its whisky is made, distributed and enjoyed in every corner of the world. Thank you, Mr Walker!
Included in the programme is a series of environmental commitments which, by 2030, will ensure:
- 100% of Johnnie Walker whisky production is net-zero carbon.
- 100% of Johnnie Walker distilleries harness renewable energy.
- All packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable.
- Investment in projects to restore peatland and plant and protect trees in Scotland.
- A reinvention of the drinking experience to be more sustainable, and engagement with people around the world on the importance of ‘sustainable socialising’.
The new programme will be spearheaded by the creation of a revolutionary new bar experience which will showcase the future of ‘sustainable socialising’. Created in partnership with multi-award-winning drinks pioneer Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr Lyan Studio); CEO of Package Free and zero-waste champion Lauren Singer; and The World’s Most Rubbish (a global community dedicated to making single-use a thing of the past), the inventive bar experience will premiere later this year before rolling out globally across multiple markets.
Julie Bramham, Johnnie Walker Global Brand Director said, “We want everything we do to be more sustainable across every aspect of our brand and the new drinks experience is where we bring that all together. It’s a space where the set-up, the furniture, the operations, processes, and drinks will all be as sustainable as can be. But it will also be – simply and importantly – a brilliant bar experience, something we’ve all been missing in recent times. It’s the way things should be now and we’re proud to be pushing boundaries so that people can have a better choice. What if, by going out for the night, you could help make the world just a little bit better? This is one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done.”
Johnnie Walker will also be partnering with the RSPB Scotland (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) to restore 88 hectares of heavily degraded peatland. This important work will allow plant life to regenerate, support wildlife and reduce carbon emissions. Despite covering only 3% of the world’s surface, peatlands store 30% of the world’s carbon and are vital to the health and wellbeing of the whole planet.
The whisky brand announced last year that its scotch whisky will be leaving the traditional glass bottles behind in favour of paper bottles by 2021.
So the next time you reach for that glass of Johnnie Walker, remember what they are doing to keep your favourite whisky sustainable.