Bunnahabhain Distillery takes home top Sustainability Award

Bunnahabhain Distillery takes home top Sustainability Award

We are delighted to announce that we have won the Sustainable Development of the Year Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2022 for our Biomass Energy Centre.

Funded and owned by AMP Clean Energy and developed, built and operated by Dallol Energy, our energy centre will result in the first Net Zero distillation process on Islay. Completed in 2022, it is fuelled with a mix of spent process malt (draff) and local woody biomass.

The clean burn biomass boiler is one of the cleanest systems in Europe and whisky’s first example of three zoned biomass combustion coupled with NOx reduction technology. It saves 5500 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, representing a reduction of 95% over oil.

It creates a new forest economy and employment on the island. The need for woody biomass fuel provides a local market for low value biomass that helps finance the export of premium sawlogs, a largely uneconomic prospect up to now. During construction, Islay contractors supplied the groundworks, civil engineering and most of the electrics. The plant manager is also an Islay resident. 

The project has improved biodiversity and wildlife habitats through replanting unmanaged conifer forest with hard and soft wood and peat bog is restored to its natural state. Wood ash will be used as forest fertiliser creating circular sustainability. New planting is planned near the distillery helping achieve Scotland’s ambitious afforestation targets.  



Angus Colquhoun, the Technical & Compliance Manager for Distell said “Bunnahabhain Distillery are very proud to have been awarded the Sustainable Development of the Year award. As an off-grid, island location, decarbonising our energy supply has been a very challenging ambition. With the support of AMP Clean Energy and the technical knowledge of Dallol, we have taken a huge leap towards our net-zero ambition and are delighted to be Islay’s first distillery to use renewably generated thermal energy.”


Mark Tarry, Chief Executive of AMP Clean Energy, said: “We are honoured to have supported Bunnahabhain in their trailblazing approach to sustainable whisky production. The flagship biomass energy centre at the Bunnahabhain distillery showcases how whisky producers can take control of their energy and meet ambitious net zero targets."


The energy centre is a trail blazer for the whisky sector, on track to achieve net zero distillation 15 years ahead of the Scotch Whisky Association’s 2040 target. The project puts Islay firmly on the Scottish renewable energy sector’s carbon reduction map.