Media Release: Scotch Whisky raises a glass to Earth Hour

SCOTLAND is really set to get into the ‘spirit’ of WWF’s Earth Hour this year, said WWF Scotland, with the makers of the nation’s national drink announcing their support for the charity’s annual global event to highlight people and wildlife threatened by climate change

The Scotch Whisky Association, whose members account for more than 90 per cent of Scotch Whisky production, is encouraging whisky drinkers and distillers to join the global switching off – set for 8.30pm on Saturday 26 March. [1]

One distillery already supporting the initiative is Deanston at Doune. [2] This hydro-powered distillery uses traditional methods and only Scottish barley to produce its distinctive whisky.

Last year, millions of people in 128 countries worldwide took part in WWF’s Earth Hour.

Some of world’s most recognisable landmarks went dark including Edinburgh Castle, the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids of Giza.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland said:

“It is great to see a product so identifiable with Scotland getting into the ‘spirit’ of WWF’s Earth Hour.

“Receiving the backing of our national drink will help put Scotland on the global Earth Hour map. We are working hard to make this year’s switch off the biggest and best yet and we are encouraging everyone, from large businesses to individuals to take part.

“WWF’s Earth Hour is one simple way for people to show their support for strong action on climate change.

“However, we also hope it will inspire people to think what they can do beyond the Hour to tackle climate change at home, in their work place and in their community.”

Callum Fraser, of Deanston Distillery, said:

“We are delighted to show our support for Earth Hour and work in association with WWF Scotland to raise awareness of such a worthwhile cause.

“As a global industry, it is important that we do our bit all year round, not just for one day a year.

“Deanston has been generating its own hydro electric power source since 1966.

“The excess is sold back to the National Grid – enough to power a small village with around 400 homes – so you could say we know a thing or two about being eco-friendly.”

Morag Garden, Environmental Affairs manager at the Scotch Whisky Association, said:

“We are delighted to support Earth Hour for the second year in a row. Whisky distillers continue to invest and work hard to improve energy efficiency, move to non-fossil fuel energy sources, and implement an ambitious environment strategy.”


Editor’s notes

[1] WWF’s Earth Hour – 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March 2011 For more information about WWF’s Earth Hour

WWF’s Earth Hour lights-out initiative started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

A year later, and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

In March 2010, WWF’s Earth Hour became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Here in Scotland, 29 local authorities, 300 schools and over 100 businesses and organisations joined in.

Some of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks went dark including Edinburgh Castle, The Falkirk Wheel, Inverness Castle, the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood House and Kelvingrove Museum.

WWF’s Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

[2] Deanston was originally founded as a cotton mill in the 18th century and, after 180 years in operation, was transformed into a distillery in 1966. At one time, the mill was powered by four massive waterwheels which were driven by the fast-flowing River Teith.

The waterwheels were eventually replaced by efficient turbines and today they provide the distillery with its own unique hydro electric power source. These turbines create over four times the distillery energy requirements and the excess is sold back to the National Grid to power local homes and businesses – it seems the idea of being eco-friendly is not a new phenomenon at Deanston distillery.

All elements of Deanston packaging are recyclable and the labels and tubes are made from recycled paper stock.

Despite using modern technology for power, Deanston remains a very traditional distillery relying on a team of 14 craftsmen rather than technology to ensure perfection in every drop.

[3] Scotch Whisky Association

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Contact: Mandy Carter
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