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Springbank Ditches New Packaging in Favor of Sustainability Initiative

Springbank

Springbank Distillery is making an effort to be more environmentally friendly. (Photo: Springbank Distillery)

Springbank distillery became the latest beverage company to make an effort to make its process more environment-friendly with its announcement Friday that it plans to change its packaging and review some of its processes to minimize its effect on the environment.

Beginning this week, Springbank’s core malts, Springbank 10, 12, 15, Longrow Peated and Hazelburn 10-year, as well as Kilkerran Single Malts from Springbank’s other distillery, Glengyle, will be shipped and appear on shelves without any unnecessary external packaging such as a cardboard box or tube, the distillery said.

Springbank previously had plans to repackage its entire range in cardboard tubes, but said that after discussions around climate change, the environment and the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the company has changed its mind.

“Springbank distillery has been a fixture in Campbeltown for almost 200 years and if it is to be here for 200 more and beyond, there has to be an environment and a planet to host it,” said Ranald Watson, director of sales and marketing of Springbank’s parent company, J&A Mitchell & Co. Ltd. “We are confident that the changes will not have a negative effect amongst Springbank drinkers – I’m sure they’ll agree that it’s what’s inside the bottle that counts rather than what the bottle comes in.”

Watson added that he believes Springbank will become among the first, if not the first, distilleries to present its products “naked” (with no packaging).

Watson also said that it will review its higher-end, exclusive whiskeys that will continue to be packaged to ensure that any packaging is “sourced as locally as possible and is either from sustainable, reused, recycled or reusable materials.”

Along with changing its packaging, Springbank is reviewing its distillation operations.

Director of Production Findlay Ross said that while there are some aspects of production Springbank considers “sacrosanct,” the company recognizes that much has changed since 1828, when the distillery was built.

“We are looking at tackling areas that will have no direct impact on the spirit itself, the most prominent of these being our impending switch from using red diesel as our primary fuel source to the more efficient and less polluting [liquefied petroleum gas],” Ross said. “We have also recently undertaken a water mapping study, and are in the process of looking at where we can reduce our water consumption for areas that aren’t directly involved in our final product.”

Springbank isn’t the first beverage company to announce eco-friendly changes this year. In April, Beam Suntory announced plans to get to net-zero carbon emissions.

Also in April, Diageo announced new glass whiskey bottles with the lowest carbon footprint ever. In recent days, Diageo also opened an entirely carbon-neutral distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.