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Laithwaites commits to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035

Published:  20 September, 2021

Laithwaites has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, with the shorter-term goal of halving its carbon footprint by 2030.

The news comes as the Scotch Whisky Association has received UN recognition for its sustainability commitments.

Laithwaites revealed it has already delivered significant sustainability wins in recent years, including eliminating landfill from its Gloucester distribution centre through a closed-loop recycling system, investing in forestry programmes to offset every customer home delivery and testing various alternative formats to glass.

Laithwaites sustainability strategy includes increasing UK bottling, overhauling bottle weights, encouraging customer uptake of alternative formats and converting to green energy then owned renewables, such as solar within four years.

Henry Laithwaite, co-chairman of the family-owned business said: “Few people watch the climate more closely than winemakers and we’re alarmed by what we’re seeing via our network of 427 mostly family wineries around the world.

“Climate change is impacting not just the quality of the wine we can make, but without urgent action it will threaten the viability of whole communities that rely on vineyards and cellars for their livelihoods.”

The Laithwaite family commissioned an audit by Eco Act, a specialist company advising on sustainability.

The findings showed that 95% of the emissions footprint, from grape to glass, was in the wine supply chain rather than directly under the online retailer’s control. Agricultural and winemaking practices, glass bottles, electricity usage, packaging and shipping were identified as key contributors.

“The easier path would be to offset the 5% for which we’re directly responsible and declare the job done, but we take climate change incredibly seriously so are determined to lead the industry by tackling the problem from grape to glass,” said Laithwaite.

“Longstanding relationships with our network of winemakers around the world give us the perfect platform to start this deeper work.”