Johnnie Walker Princes Street awarded Global Sustainability Certification

Johnnie Walker Princes Street has been awarded one of the most prestigious international standards for the environmental sustainability of its design and construction.

The eight-storey attraction in the heart of Scotland’s historic capital city has become the first location in Scotland to be awarded the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Interior Design and Construction (ID&C) best-in-class Platinum certification.

LEED is a globally recognised symbol of excellence in green design and construction, carrying out rigorous assessment and ranking building projects on a number of criteria including energy use reductions, water efficiency, clean construction, and healthy material selection.

The achievement was celebrated with a visit to the building by Small Business, Innovation and Trade Minister, Richard Lochhead, and Chief Executive of VisitScotland, Malcolm Roughead, who unveiled a plaque to mark the award.

Mr Lochhead said, “Scotch whisky tourism has enormous potential for Scotland and we want to see it grow in a sustainable manner, that is why it is so positive to see the Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor attraction in Edinburgh achieve global recognition for its environmental standards.”

In its review process for the LEED award, Johnnie Walker Princes Street received over 80 points for adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality, earning the building the highest possible recognition.

The certification is all the more impressive for being achieved in the redevelopment of an existing historic building and the many of the challenges associated with restoring heritage and listed buildings.

Barbara Smith, Diageo’s Managing Director for Brand Homes, joined Mr Lochhead and Mr Roughead to unveil the LEED plaque. She said, “When we set out to create Johnnie Walker Princes Street, our ambition was not just to create the best whisky visitor experience in the world, but to also lead the way in environmental sustainability.

“We are delighted to have received the highest possible recognition in the global LEED programme, which is a testament to the investment we have made in restoring this famous heritage building and setting it up for a sustainable future.”

The LEED award adds to a growing trophy cabinet of accolades Johnnie Walker Princes Street has accumulated since opening in 2021, including Green Tourism Gold Award, World Visitor Attraction of the Year (Whisky Magazine Awards) and VisitScotland Five Star Attraction accreditation.

Sustainability was a key factor in the Diageo investment programme that created Johnnie Walker Princes Street, which saw the transformation of the former department store building into a flagship visitor attraction for the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky.

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