Long-term sustainability is a primary concern for our members. The industry has undergone huge transformation and expansion in recent years on the back of the success of Scotch Whisky in markets globally. Production requirements have increased significantly and climate change means that the supply of raw materials (cereals) may be impacted in the near future due to failed harvests and damaged crops from flooding and other extreme weather events. Furthermore, like other energy intensive industries, it is important that the Scotch Whisky industry reduces its carbon footprint and continues to minimise its impact on the environment.

Sustainability issues include the supply of raw materials and casks, product quality and the environmental impact of the industry. The research we carry out is strategic in nature and involves developing a fundamental scientific understanding of various aspects of production. In order to achieve this, we collaborate with specialists at universities and other research organisations. 

The Research & Technology Organisation of the Scotch Whisky Industry

Maintaining Flavour Diversity

​​We conduct research to develop our fundamental understanding of maturation and apply this knowledge to help distillers to manage the supply of high quality casks to the industry and make best use of resources by prolonging the useful life of a cask.

Making Best Use of Casks for Maturation

Research: Sustainability

​​​​Maintaining and controlling flavour diversity of whisky is essential to drive the projected future growth in the industry and is an important aspect of sustainability. We carry out research to further our understanding of flavour and assess the impact of production parameters on the sensory character of spirit to enable greater control of flavour. 

Ensuring a Sustainable Supply of Cereals

​​​​​​In collaboration with academic scientists and plant breeding companies, we carry out fundamental research to understand distilling quality traits and address specific issues affecting the quality of cereals. We also work with the cereal supply chain to ensure that cereal varieties with distilling quality traits are developed by breeders and adopted by growers.