The Scotch Whisky Association has announced that three bottles of the limited edition blended Scotch whisky, created especially for the COP26 conference in Glasgow, will go under the hammer later this month.
Whisky bosses are describing as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to own a piece of Scotch whisky history.
The SWA has partnered with Whisky Auctioneer to auction three bottles of the COP26 blend in aid of three Scottish charities which focus on caring for the environment – the RSPB, Scottish Wildlife Trust and John Muir Trust. The funds raised by the auction will be divided evenly between the charities at the end of the year.
The COP26 limited edition blended Scotch Whisky was created by the industry to mark November’s United Nations’ 26th Conference of the Parties in Glasgow.
Blended and bottled in the host city, it is a limited run of just 900 bottles, comprised of whiskies from 26 distilleries throughout Scotland’s five whisky regions. Its packaging is at the cutting edge of sustainable innovation, with the bottle itself made of 97% glass, the stopper made from recycled wood and cork dust, and a label created from biproducts of the whisky production process, including barley. The carton is made of 100% recycled cardboard.
The auction, which will run from November 26 – December 6 via the Whisky Auctioneer website comes after the SWA revealed new data showing the industry’s latest progress towards key sustainability targets since launching its first Environmental Strategy in 2009, including a 53% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, an increase in the use of non-fossil fuels from 3% to 39%, and a 13% improvement in energy efficiency.
During COP26, the limited edition blended whisky was served to delegates at events which included the conference’s opening gala at Kelvingrove Gallery, a UK Government Scotland Office reception, the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Castle event and a roundtable event run by the United Nation’s Climate Champions Race to Zero team. The bottle is also being presented to senior attendees at COP, including US Climate Envoy John Kerry, HRH Prince Charles, and UN Secretary General António Guterres.
Karen Betts, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association said: ‘COP26 in Glasgow has been a great opportunity for the Scotch Whisky industry to engage with governments and other partners on how we are working towards reaching net zero by 2040, as well as meeting our other environmental targets including on water efficiency, packaging and caring for the land. Our limited edition blended COP26 Whisky serves as an illustration of how distillers have come together to fulfil our responsibility to ensure that Scotch Whisky has a future as rich as its past.
‘Whisky Auctioneer’s once in a lifetime sale of three bottles of the COP26 Whisky will, I hope, attract a lot of interest – not only from whisky fans but also from people everywhere who have supported the goals of negotiators at COP26 as they have worked to preserve our planet for future generations. Their support in this auction will help the practical work that the RSPB, Scottish Wildlife Trust and John Muir Trust do every day to protect Scotland’s natural environment today and into the future.’
Joe Wilson, head of auction content at Whisky Auctioneer, said: ‘COP26 was a milestone event and these extremely unique bottles – a blend from 26 distilleries across all regions of Scotland with only 900 produced – will certainly be in demand from whisky collectors across the globe.
‘We are seeing increasing interest in transparency and sustainability in whisky, and with these values so inherent in the creation of this bottling by the industry and the SWA, coupled with the fact that these are the only ones to ever be made publicly available, we are sure that it will be a fantastic fundraising opportunity for the charities.
‘On top of the hammer price achieved for the three limited whiskies at auction, we will add our full buyer’s commission onto the donation to three of Scotland’s most important environmental charities the RSPB, Scottish Wildlife Trust and John Muir Trust.’
Catherine Markey, acting head of funding development for RSPB Scotland said: ‘We are so grateful for the SWA for considering how they can raise money to help tackle the twin climate and biodiversity crises by supporting RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust and John Muir Trust after COP26.
‘Many of us are seeing the impacts of climate change, not ‘out there’ but right here in the Scotland: we face hotter, drier summers, wetter winters and 1 in 10 Scottish species now face extinction. Climate change and the loss of wildlife represent a twin crises that must be tackled together. RSPB Scotland continues to fight for wildlife through protecting Scotland’s most special places; from the peatlands of the Flow Country to Scotland’s rainforest – which can be visited less than 50 miles from Glasgow.’
Jo Pike, chief executive, Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: ‘We’re delighted that Scotland’s wildlife is benefiting from the generous auction of this limited edition whisky.’
Adam Pinder, John Muir Trust Head of Fundraising, said: ‘Our thanks to the Scotch Whisky Association for auctioning this rare whisky to help us protect wild places.’
Registration for buyers is open now and can be accessed via https://whiskylink.co/Register-COP26