Sustainability

When The Borders Distillery was built, our founders chose to design it with sustainability as a priority

From the beginning, TBD has been focussed on maximising its good impacts and minimising the bad. 

Through the big details- such as our status as a Zero Waste distillery, to the small- such as how we save electricity by using the natural lighting our glass roof provides, our team has thought carefully and creatively about how we can be as green as possible. 

FROM SEED TO SPIRIT

At The Borders Distillery we only use locally-grown Scottish Borders barley, all harvested from 12 farms lying within 35 miles of Hawick. This helps to keep the delivery of our barley as eco-friendly as possible, whilst also supporting the local economy! 

Once at the distillery, the barley begins the journey of its transformation into a spirit- the whole process of which happens in the building. Our distillery was designed to create an environment that would allow for sustainable distilling, and we are able to keep a watchful eye on the entire production process of the barley, from seed to spirit.

Zero Waste

We’re proud to be a Zero Waste distillery, with all the organic by-product from distillation going to two local farms where it is used to grow plants (including some delicious tomatoes!).

The organic by-product from those two farms goes back in turn to the barley fields – making for a circular economy within Borders farming, with the distillery at its centre.

GROWERS & DISTILLERS

Our Growers & Distillers programme is a long-term partnership between The Borders Distillery, Simpsons Malt LTD and 12 local farming businesses in the Scottish Borders. 

All of our farmers are verified to the world-renowned Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) to Gold performance level, meaning that they are able to demonstrate they use first class sustainable farming practices. 

Essentially, the Growers & Distillers programme guarantees us access to high quality and sustainably produced crops, helping The Borders Distillery to be a sustainable distillery from the very beginning. 

You can see on our Growers and Distillers map exactly where our barley comes from!

Today's rain

Tomorrow's Whisky

Making whisky involves using a lot of water. Having sustainable supplies of water as both an ingredient and for production were key considerations in choosing a location for the distillery.

For the water which goes into the spirit, we draw from an underground lake deep beneath the site. The lake’s water takes between 50
and 70 years to filter down from the hills through the rock. Even if it never rained again (unlikely in the Borders!) the lake contains enough pure water to last the distillery for thousands of years.
And right outside our front door, the River Teviot offers a sustainable source of fast-flowing water - perfect for cooling the spirit as it comes from the stills.

THE PROOF IS IN THE BUILDING

Our award-winning distillery had an exciting life before it became ours. Built in the 19th Century, this iconic landmark of Hawick was a former electrical board, which then transformed into a sweetie factory (the home of Hawick Balls – if you know, you know), and finally in the 1930s, an engineering firm.

It was rediscovered by our founders in 2014, and finding a new purpose for such an iconic building was vital for its survival. Old buildings such as TBD need to be cared for and used in order to preserve them- and we feel privileged to look after this building so it may survive for the next generation! 

A SUSTAINABLE DISTILLERY

A lot of love was needed to renovate the old Edwardian electrical works into a manual distillery. During the renovation, sustainability was built in as a key feature of the buildings character and function. From wild-garden roofs to self-ventilating Victorian windows, the distillery building has been preserved and reinvented to house sustainable production methods.

This was officially recognised when The Borders Distillery won both the RIAS Conservation and Climate Change Award 2019 and the EAA Architectural Awards 2019- Regeneration/ Conservation Award. 

In part, this was due to the emphasis we placed on reuse and preservation during the renovation of the former building. Keeping the Victorian glass ceilings lets our distillers work in natural light, and the salvaging of old teak school desks were used to create furniture and windowsills.

Our Bottles

The recent release of The Borders Distillery’s ‘Kerr’s Navy Strength Gin’ was the first time the distillery experimented with 100% paperless packaging. The result? Beautiful bottles that are easy to recycle and help to save our trees!

Additionally, our bottles can live more than one life. A perfect water decanter once empty, our high standards for premium bottles mean that they are long lasting, resilient and can be upcycled by the customer if they wish to do so. 

RACE TO ZERO

Our Commitment

The Borders Distillery has joined the Scotch Whisky Association's RACE TO ZERO programme, which commits us to a goal of achieving net zero as soon as possible.
The Scotch Whisky industry is leading the way on sustainability. With a commitment to reach Net 0 by 2040, the Scotch Whisky Association has become Scotland’s first trade association, and the UK’s first food and drink trade association to become a Race to Zero Partner.

Connect

Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll keep you up to date

Get our Newsletter

Follow

Keep up to date with what's going on at the Distillery

Find

The Borders Distillery
Hawick
TD9 7AQ

View on map

The Borders Distillery

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your first order

We would love to send you updates and offers from the Borders Distillery Company. We will always treat your personal details with care and never pass them to 3rd parties.