Slane distillery's holistic approach towards sustainability

Slane distillery's holistic approach towards sustainability
2017 > Ongoing
#C02Emissions #EnergyEfficiency #SustainableAgriculture #WaterUse


The objectives of the Slane distillery are: 

  • Source 75% of raw materials from supporters with sustainability certifications by 2021.
  • Reduce the volume of outgoing packaging by 2021.
  • Reduce total energy use from mains by 10% by 2021. Stretch target as site is newly built and still to complete a year at full production levels.
  • Obtain 10% of process heat from renewable energy by 2021.
  • Total Waste Reduction of 10% and Zero Waste to Landfill by 2020.
  • Meet Brown-Forman Best Distillery Water Use Efficiency Ratio of 11.5L / OLA by 2021.


Water use: Slane distillery installed a cathment system to collect and store rainwater off the roof of the distillery buildings which is then treated and used for process water or landscape irrigation. This reduces the amount of water that is drawn from the Boyne River.

Waste management: Grain and yeast by-product from the distillation process is provided to local farmers for animal feed. 

Energy efficiency: Slane is aiming for 100% of the energy needed to make Slane whiskey to be generated by the distillery itself. Slane is building an anaerobic digester to convert distillation wastewater into biogas. The biogas produced will be used as boiler fuel to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A heat recovery system has been included throughout production, allowing cooling process lines to simultaneously preheat lines that need temperature increases. Excess heat is used to preheat boiler feed water (reducing energy consumption) and as a source of building heat for the visitors’ center. 

Biodiversity: Slane Distillery restored a section of Harlinstown stream and included the construction of a salmon ladder. The design of this salmon ladder was done in consultation with the National Fisheries, who provided some grant funding. The salmon ladder allows salmon and other fish to bypass the mill pond (used for fire suppression water) and travel upstream during spawning season. The salmon ladder was designed and constructed to mimic a natural stream environment and improve the biodiversity of this section of the water on site. In addition, Slane Distillery installed nesting boxes for bats and barn owls within the attic spaces of some of the historic Courtyard Farm buildings. 

Further commitments towards sustainability

  • In 2017, Slane Distiller was certified by Origin Green, Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme. The overall ambition of the Origin Green programme is that farms and food manufacturing businesses throughout Ireland sign up to the sustainability agenda, making measurable commitments to producing in a sustainable manner, with progress independently assessed and verified. 
  • Slane installed bike racks for both staff and visitors to encourage them to use carbon friendly transport to get to and from us. In addition, the visitors’ parking area incorporates permeable pavers that allow rainwater to infiltrate into the soil, reducing runoff and potential pollution from reaching the Boyne River. 


The Slane distillery




Sustainability with Slane Irish Whiskey’s Alex Conyngham
Origin Green programme

Photo gallery


2019_SL_Sustainability Sell Sheet_FINAL.pdf (pdf - 0.79 Mo)