Scotch whisky suppliers have come together to draw up an environmental strategy for the sector alongside industry body the Scotch Whisky Association.

The agreement follows two years of discussions and sees Scotch distillers pledge to cut their use of fossil fuels by 80% before 2050 – which would represent an annual saving of 750,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Targets have been set in two phases, 2020 and 2050, while annual progress reports will also be issued.

“The launch of our first industry-wide environmental strategy is a bold move by distillers,” said SWA chief executive Gavin Hewitt. “We believe it demonstrates our commitment to securing Scotch whisky’s future, addressing issues of the environment and the economy."

He added: “Spirit production has increased by over 20% over the last decade, yet our energy efficiency has also improved by a similar amount – a great achievement.”