Bruichladdich Distillery was re-opened after seven years of closure. We would win Distillery of the Year for the first time, then again subsequently in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
We refurbished an old warehouse into an on-site bottling hall. From 2003, we’ve done all of our single malt bottlings on the island, with nothing exported to the Scottish Mainland. Today our bottling lines and supply chain functions employ 26 people full time.
Organic barley is first harvested and distilled. Barley would be traced from single farms at Mid Coull, Coulmore, Mains of Tullibardine and Pitgaveny Estate over the years. It is a staple in our production schedule to this day.
We ignited an Islay barley project with Raymond Stewart. He was the first of our farming partners to raise malting barley on Islay in living memory. He would pave the way for 20 others to join him by 2020.
Bruichladdich Distillery wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise
We first planted Bere barley on Islay in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands Agronomy Institute (Orkney). Collaboratively, our work with this six-row landrace would help to keep this ancient grain in commercial circulation, raising its profile and protecting its legacy.
We tested the viability of an anaerobic digestor to power production in our distillery. Undeterred by our failure, we will continue to pursue green energy sources.
Biodynamic barley first distilled from Yatesbury House Farm near Wiltshire.
Circulation system installed, using wastewater from the stills to heat distillery offices, bottling hall and visitor centre.
Winner of The Energy Institute Environment Award
Construction of Coultorsay warehouses started, future proofing all-Islay maturation for many years to come – a commitment we’ve made since 2001.
The Botanist Foundation
The Botanist Foundation is established by then-CEO Simon Coughlin, now-CEO Douglas Taylor, our late Head of Communications Carl Reavey and original botanists Richard and Mavis Gulliver. The Foundation would go on to support the RSPB on Islay, the Nature of Scotland awards, wildflower, biodiversity & pollinator initiatives and funding for a PHD student to explore conservation of Scottish juniper.
PURCHASE OF SHORE HOUSE CROFT
We purchased ‘Shore House Croft’. These 30 acres of unused croft land surround the distillery and will be used for research and development into sustainable agriculture.
From 2017 to 2018, we’d plant ~7,500 trees in partnership with The Woodland Trust.
Andrew Jones first grows winter rye on Islay at Coull Farm, introducing additional grain into his crop rotation that year. He would go on to trial spring rye and winter barley in the years following.
We would start to install LED lights, Passive Infrared Sensors (PIR) sensors in all new builds, phasing across our sites as ongoing maintenance takes place, and installing power inverters to reduce energy consumption across pumps and motors.
Between 2018 and 2019, we would divert 126 tonnes of landfill by recycling or reusing
Between 2018 and 2019, we completed 539 hours of volunteer work for our local community during work hours
We have also worked to preserve wildflower populations throughout the distillery grounds. Some of our farming partners have also introduced wildflower conservation strips in barley fields to promote biodiversity, including sunflower strips.
Through an ongoing collaboration with the James Hutton Institute and the UHI Agronomy Institute, we planted 6 varieties of barley (and 27 of wheat) into small plots on our croft. Many were heritage or hybrid varieties designed to test their suitability for growing on the wet, west coast. Hybrid varieties are designed to combine the benefits of conventional varieties such as disease resistance and yield, with characteristics of some heritage varieties such as flavour or long straw. These characteristics are not exclusive to modern or heritage varieties respectively, but hybrids that are bred and tested in local conditions is one of the exciting opportunities we have to develop more sustainable growing in the future. The expertise of these partners will be essential to us testing varieties not currently on the recommended growing list.
We replaced our traditional fossil-fuel powered staff car with two fully electric vehicles.
We have donated and supported the Islay Community Footpath project which will link the villages of Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte. We have also donated on an ongoing basis to local charitable organisations across art, music and sport.
Living Wage Employer
Certified as Living Wage Employer. Improved maternity pay and flexible working introduced. Cycle to work scheme introduced and +11% headcount recruited.
100% Green Electricity
From 1st May, 100% of the distillery’s electricity is sourced renewably in the UK.
In 2020, 80 people worked for our distillery on Islay with a further 23 are based at our Glasgow office. In this 103 strong team was a diverse age range from 19 – 75 years of age. A total of 43 were female, including eight of our then 18 senior management.
The Botanist partners with the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) to provide funding through The Botanist Foundation. The Global Botanic Garden Fund enables gardens to fund projects that further their work in the prevention of extinction of plants. So far we’ve supported projects in Italy, Uganda, Hawaii, Mexico and South Africa.
Certified B Corporation
In May 2020, we became the first whisky and gin distillery in Europe to become certified B Corporation. We join a number of companies around the globe that are adhering to the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and accountability. In other words, balancing profit and purpose.
We began a feasibility study to investigate the use of hydrogen as a source of green energy. We have the opportunity to be an industry leader in the use of hydrogen, as well as in the use of wind, solar, electric, biomass and alternative fuel (HVO) energy.
This year, 50% of our annual barley requirements were grown on Islay across 21 individual farms last year. Bruichladdich is able to trace and taste local barley, grown in close proximity to the distillery while our farming partners are able to share in our island’s booming industry and diversify their farming income.
This year, we are working with 30 individual growers across Islay and Mainland Scotland. 76% of our barley is traceable back to the farm. We work with our malting partner Bairds to source the other 24% from the Invernesshire region of Scotland.
ONE TIN LIGHTER
In February, we’ve made the outer tin optional across our entire single malts range, on our online shop and in our distillery visitor centre. You can now choose to make the world of whisky one tin lighter.
USE LESS & USE BETTER
Building on our ‘One Tin Lighter’ initiative, which has seen us save almost 5,000 tins through our online and distillery shop, we started on our journey of removing outer packaging across our core single malt brands, starting with our heavily peated Port Charlotte. Part of our long-term vision to be more sustainable across all processes, this decision eliminates unnecessary packaging - a move which will significantly reduce carbon emissions, weight and waste.
NEW BOTTLE DESIGN
The next step on our sustainable journey, we revealed our new Classic Laddie proprietary bottle. Made from an average of 60% recycled glass content, 32% lighter glass and with an optimised design to reduce packaging CO2 emissions by 65%, the Classic Laddie embodies our distillery values and our commitment to reconnect land, community and dram.
2003 BOTTLING HALL
2003 ORGANIC BARLEY
2004 ISLAY BARLEY
2005 QUEEN’S AWARD
2005 BERE BARLEY
2010 ANAEROBIC DIGESTOR
2011 Biodynamic Barley
2011 Wasterwater Heating
2011 ENERGY INSTITUTE
2015 Coultorsay Warehouses
2015 The Botanist Foundation
2017 PURCHASE OF SHORE HOUSE CROFT
2017 TREE PLANTING
2017 WINTER RYE
2018 Energy Reduction
2018 Landfill Reduction
2018 Volunteer work
2018 WILDFLOWER CONSERVATION
2019 Barley Trials
2019 Electric Vehicles
2019 Footpath project
2019 Living Wage Employer
2020 100% Green Electricity
2020 LADDIE PEOPLE
2020 Botanic Gardens
2020 Certified B Corporation
2020 Hydrogen Study
2020 Islay Barley
2021 ONE TIN LIGHTER
2022 USE LESS & USE BETTER
2023 NEW BOTTLE DESIGN