Global distilleries and breweries are fighting climate change, reinventing their processes to be more sustainable and less wasteful. Producing a single bottle of vodka emits an average of 13 pounds of carbon, according to carbon-neutral spirit startup Air Company. To combat the immense waste that major productions produce, they and other distilleries are promising to do better by the planet in the coming years.

WEB Air Company 9
Air Company

Air Company, who produces and sells carbon-negative vodka, won first place in the NASA CO2 Conversion Challenge in August. The company manufactures their alcohol from recaptured CO2 and takes an extra pound of carbon from the air in the process. Previously featured as one of our top five creative carbon capturing brands, the startup also won one of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards.

A Bruichladdich distillery in Scotland aims to make their distillation process carbon neutral by 2025. The company plans to follow suit with their production of malted barley and wort as well. Net zero whiskey, made from pure Scott barley and fresh Hebridean water? Sounds like a Friday night special.

WEB Diageo cambus cooperage
Diageo: Cooperage campus

Spirits-giant Diageo announced plans last year to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. As part of their larger goal, Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, Diageo will use 100% renewable energy, will reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50%, and will use 100% recycled packaging by 2030. Some of their distilleries, such as Oban and Royal Lochnagar, are already operating with carbon neutrality.

WEB Bespoken Spirits
Bespoken Spirits

New brands focused on environmentally conscious alcoholic production are emerging as the practice gains traction in the industry, including Bespoken Spirits: a company reinventing the traditional spirits industry with new and sustainable maturation processes. Wunderman Thompson Intelligence spoke to founders Stu Aaron and Martin Janousek about their work in March of this year. “We’re taking an industry that is steeped in a lot of tradition and we’re bringing science and sustainability to it,” Aaron says.

These businesses and spirit distilleries are joining the fight against climate change, despite the fact that the food and beverage industries have been slow to address their production waste and carbon emissions. Brands will need to reevaluate their processes and general sustainability in order to reduce and combat pollution and emissions and appeal to the environmentally conscious consumer.

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