A tiny island distillery off the west coast of Scotland has won the title of Britain’s Greenest Company 2003.

Bowmore Distillery fought off stiff competition from global drinks giants Scottish & Newcastle and Schweppes in the Food and Drink category of the National Green Apple Environment Awards 2003. It was also the only distillery to win a Green Apple Award.

‘The award recognises the work and effort of the distillery in maintaining the local community and ensuring Bowmore is recognised as a brand where environmental issues are taken seriously at all levels,’ said Robert Wylie, Bowmore Distilleries Manager.

The distillery set out to improve the island’s environment, reusing heat from production to provide free energy for the local swimming pool. It reduced its own fuel needs by installing new energy-efficient boilers which save 100,000 litres of oil a year.

Bowmore, the oldest of seven distilleries on the island, was established in 1779. It is also a major employer on an island of just 3,500 and its whisky has won more awards than any other Islay single malt – including prizes for quality and environmental practice.

Written by Lalage Snow