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Community Windpower Wardlaw Wood Windfarm

Edrington's road to Net Zero (From the cutting room floor)

By Talk Power Team | Posted November 24, 2021

Businesses are telling us that sustainability is important to their company’s success and it’s never been more apparent as it is now with the world leaders discussing climate change and driving action . As a result, sustainability strategies are now influencing everything from a company’s vision to their everyday business decisions – including how they power their business. 

That’s what led Adam Clarke, Head of PPA and Sustainability Solutions at EDF, to arrange a very special meeting: between Graham MacWilliam, Head of Carbon Reduction at Scottish distillery group, Edrington, and Rod Wood, Managing Director of Community Windpower (CWP)

What made this meeting special? It was the first time that these two Scottish organisations met face-to-face after signing a new renewable energy supply agreement through EDF. 

Thanks to this innovative energy supply option – called Select Renewable – EDF have been able to match the electricity output of CWP’s Wardlaw Wood Windfarm with the electricity demands of Edrington for the next four years.

This is because EDF’s Select Renewable supply option enables a business to be matched with a single, named renewable asset – in a specific region.

We captured the meeting on film – you can watch it here.

But as always happens with any film, not all the good stuff makes it in. So, we’re bringing you some of the questions you might have asked, if you had been there – saved from the cutting room floor.

Here are some of the questions Adam had for Graham and Rod:


First, Graham, tell us how your search for a new energy solution started?

Edrington made the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 and reduce overall emissions by 70% against our 2016 baseline. 

Distilling whisky is very energy intensive. Today, about 10% of that overall power comes from electricity. So that was where we thought we could make an immediate difference. Our aim was to source that 10% from 100% renewable energy. And while we looked at other renewable contracts, none of them were aligned with what we wanted to do. 


One of the main things on Edrington’s wish list was having a wind asset in Scotland. Tell me about that, Graham.

Edrington was formed to be a community-based business here in Scotland, right from the outset. So it makes sense to be matched with a Scottish company like Community Windpower, with their renewable assets here in Scotland. But you know, there’s a more surprising similarity between Edrington and CWP. Rod was talking about his company’s origin in poultry farming, then diversifying into renewable energy. The story of Scotch starts in farming too – only barley farming. Then when farmers had excess barley, they diversified into making whisky. That’s where it all started!


Rod What does it mean to Community Windpower to be matched to such an iconic Scottish company?

It’s a win-win for us. We’re really happy to be partnering with Edrington. Scotland is our base. We operate exclusively in Scotland. We have a Buy Scottish policy, which means we use local developers, civil contractors and operators from planning through to operating the wind farms. And we invest in the communities in which we’re based, supporting local projects and initiatives. That’s really important to us. 


So, a renewable energy supply option, like Select Renewables, can really help companies contribute to something even bigger than their own businesses? Can you explain more about that Rod?

Yes. It’s about helping businesses in Scotland use Scottish electricity, rather than importing it from abroad. It’s about promoting and increasing a homegrown electricity market, which then creates jobs here. It’s about ensuring investment, and reinvestment, in the Scottish economy.


This is a big year for Scotland, and the UK, hosting COP26. As a Scottish-based renewable energy company, do you have any thoughts on that Rod?

Scotch is super-critical for Scotland’s economy – exports, in particular. It’s a crucial time to be spreading the word that industry in Scotland, as in the UK, should be looking for sources of renewable energy from Britain. We haven’t got long to hit the Governments Net Zero  targets, and it’s great to see companies like Edrington leading the way.

So there you have it. Wind and whisky – two of Scotland’s greatest assets perfectly matched! Thanks to EDF’s Select Renewable supply option.

It’s a real milestone for Edrington, for Community Windpower and for EDF. 

And it’s a great example for other UK manufacturers and businesses of how to use renewable energy to accelerate their own progress on the road to Net Zero. 

Watch the interview 


Contact us

If you’d like to find out more about EDF’s innovative Select Renewable supply option, email: