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Responsible Packaging

E600CA23-A5CF-4F30-BC0F-7E8B830451E0@2x Jun 03 · 4 min read

At the Macallan, we believe in craftsmanship and have the greatest respect for the materials that we use.  In everything that we do, we fuse the techniques and traditions of the past with present day innovations.  We have applied these principles not only to the production of our single malt whisky but also to the sustainable reproduction and evolution of our iconic and distinctive packaging. 

But it’s not just about the quality and volume of the materials that we use, it’s also about taking responsibility for the environmental impact that our decisions will have.  We have worked hard over the past five years to reduce our impact on the environment, by maximising the use of only recyclable and sustainable materials in our packaging.  As of today, 98% of our product packaging meets this standard.

 

Sustainable packaging by The Macallan

Our Sourcing Principles 

The Macallan has for many years made conscious and considered decisions around packaging. These challenging decisions are now integral because they are guided by a set of internally developed sourcing principles. 

Our packaging and product development teams pioneered the implementation of our Sustainable Sourcing Principles, a framework which guides the choices we make and focuses on minimising the physical and carbon-based impact that our packaging and transit materials have had and will have.  These principles are built on three priorities: sustainable materials sourcing, local sourcing prioritisation and dematerialising our core packaging. 

 

Sustainable Materials Sourcing 

As of today, following years of work by our packaging team, we are proud that virtually all of our transit packaging and 98% of our product packaging uses only recyclable and sustainable materials.  Often, those final few percentage points are the hardest to convert to success. Nevertheless, we have fully embraced this remaining challenge to achieve our packaging goal of 100% curb side recyclable packaging by 2025. 

All wood and wood fibre materials in our packaging supply chain are sustainably sourced and the wood that is crafted into our Fine and Rare, 25yo and 30yo and more recently our Red Collection boxes is 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.  This is a goal we set in 2019 which has now been echoed by the Scotch Whisky Association for our entire industry.

Sustainable casks by The Macallan

Sourcing Sustainably

As of today, following years of work by our packaging team, we are immensely proud of the fact that almost all of our transit packaging and 98% of our product packaging uses only recyclable and sustainable materials. It is our goal to achieve 100% kerb side recyclable packaging by 2025.

All wood and wood fibre materials in our packaging supply chain are sustainably sourced and the wood that is crafted into our Fine & Rare, 25 Years Old and 30 Years Old and more recently our Red Collection boxes is 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. This is a goal we set in 2019 which has now been echoed by the Scotch Whisky Association for our entire industry.

Local Sourcing Prioritisation

After we’ve interrogated the credentials of a material available to us, we appraise its provenance.  And the closer to home the better.  Our Local Sourcing supply policy determines that if a required skill or material can be found locally, then it will be sourced locally.  If sourcing in Scotland is not possible, the UK and then Europe should be considered before the rest of the world.   As an exception, in specific circumstances, materials may be sourced from a particular country or region where credentials and provenance are interdependent – areas which are renowned for being the best – such as the highest grade of cork from Portugal. 

 

The Macallan Sustainable packaging
The Macallan Red Collection 78 Years Old in box

Making Meaningful Progress

At present and across our entire portfolio, 85% of The Macallan’s packaging is sourced in the UK.  95% of our packaging for our core expressions is sourced in Scotland or the UK.

Our core range gift cartons are printed and converted by Scottish and UK suppliers using board which has been sourced in Sweden from a carbon negative mill.  85% of our prestige expressions packaging is also sourced in Scotland or the UK.  In 2021 we repatriated production of the distinctive wooden boxes for our Fine & Rare bottlings from China to the UK.

 

Dematerialising our core packaging 

Alongside our policies of sourcing sustainably and sourcing locally, we brought on line a third packaging principle in 2021, that of dematerialisation.  This focuses on reducing the amount of upstream and downstream packaging materials that we use across our core packaging.  Upstream relates to the raw materials we buy in from suppliers to create our packaging, and downstream relates to the overall material impact of getting our final product to our customers and consumers  

 

Over the course of 2022 we are trialling two live dematerialisation initiatives.  One project seeks to reduce our ‘upstream’ packaging materials used for products distributed to the On-Trade. The trial comprises production of The Macallan without gift cartons thereby eliminating avoidable wastage in the on-trade.  

 

The second project seeks to reduce our ‘downstream’ packaging materials by focusing on reducing the weight of our core range bottles without compromising our product experience.  Both trials will involve complex consultation across our product engineering, production engineering and logistics networks. We expect to report the outcome of these trials along with the weight and CO2/e reductions achieved. A positive outcome will lead to the scaling up for live production roll out from 2023 onwards.

The Macallan Distillery

Sustainable Supply Networks