The Drinks Business Green Awards 2016: the winners

The Amorim Sustainability Award for Spirits

Winner: Destillerie Farthofer


Destillerie Farthofer: “A family business that is in touch with the soil”

Scooping our Spirits award this year was Austrian company Destillerie Farthofer, described by our judges as: “A family business that is in touch with the soil, that is community centric, and has real personality.” While operating on a small scale, the firm has left no stone unturned when it comes to sustainability and only uses organic raw materials for the production of its spirits. The distillery has achieved energy self-sufficiency through its cultivation of miscanthus – elephant grass – and the exhaust given off by the distillation process is routed into the community energy net, providing warmth for schools, the fire brigade and the kindergarten.

The distillery also boasts a bird life project with the WWF that protects birds like the Wachtelkönig in their own forest where spring water is sourced for the distillery that has no need for filtration. The distillery also grows its own organic grain from old varieties of corn like emmer, naked oat and “Schlägler” rye. Last year 60 new trees were planted on the estate in a meadow scattered with fruit trees. Owner Josef Farthofer drives an electric car to lower emissions and works with a local bakery to make a spirit out of leftover bread.

Commendation: Glengoyne Distillery

glengoyne-logoScotch distillery Glengoyne was awarded a special commendation this year for its sustainable efforts. “From the introduction of bees to the use of 100% renewably-sourced electricity and reed beds for waste water, Glengoyne deserves a commendation for its environmental awareness,” said one judge. It was the first distillery in Scotland to trial a wetlands facility; a £170,000 project that opened in 2011 and contains around 14,000 plants of 20 different varieties.

Some 35 species have colonised at the facility recently, including plants like Skullcap and Water Figwort. The wetlands increase biodiversity and attract an array of species to the site; including moorhens, songbirds and dragonflies. Its pair of bee hives is contributing to the recovery of the local honeybee population.


  • Arbikie Distillery
  • Destillerie Farthofer
  • Glengoyne Distillery
  • Ogilvy Spirits

The Amorim Sustainability Award for Wine

Winner: Jordan Vineyard & Winery


Jordan has installed wetlands among its vineyards in California’s Alexander Valley

Having notched up four decades in the wine industry, Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg, California, has adapted and evolved its commitment to sustainability and the environment over the years. With three-quarters of its land dedicated to natural habitat, sustainability is the foundation of its green business practices. The company makes the most of the latest technology to effectively reduce, reuse and recycle via energy-efficient “cool roof” warehouse doors, LED lighting, solar panels and waste water reclamation systems.

These collective measures helped decrease Jordan’s carbon footprint by 24% from 2007 to 2011, the equivalent to planting 74 acres of pine trees. By 2014, Jordan’s electrical use was fully carbon neutral. Each year, the energy generated from its solar panels is equivalent to saving nearly 62,000 gallons of gasoline or planting nearly 14,000 trees. Meanwhile, a pair of lakes provide habitat for beneficial insects and an array of bird species, including raptors that prey on harmful vineyard pests. Judges praised Jordan as: “A really good example of how innovation is being used to dramatically reduce a winery’s impact on the environment – it was effective, measurable and appealed to our geeky side.”

Unfortunately Jordan’s team could not attend the ceremony but sent the drinks business an acceptance speech, which can be watched below:


Runner up: Pernod Ricard Winemakers

pernod-ricard-logoOur runner up was drinks giant Pernod Ricard, which was praised for its efforts to reduce its environmental impact at its wineries in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, California, Argentina and China including renowned brands like Campo Viejo and Jacob’s Creek. While it has an action plan for 2020, the company is on-track to achieving its objectives. The plan incorporates all aspects of wine production from vine to bottle and beyond and broader aspects like internal governance, ensuring ethical and sustainable sourcing and well as leveraging its leadership position to educate consumers and peers. At the heart of the plan is a desire to reduce the company’s environmental foot print. Today, its landfill emissions are down by 70% and CO2 emissions by 20%.

The Amorim Sustainability Award for a Generic Organisation

Winner: California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA)


Since the California Wine Community Sustainability Report launched in 2002, over 2,000 California vineyard and winery organisations have participated in the self assessment programme

Building on nearly 15 years of accomplishments, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) continues to make great strides in promoting sustainable winegrape growing and winemaking practices throughout California. Its recent achievements include the release of the 2015 California Wine Community Sustainability Report; a dramatic increase in participation in Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing; and the launch of the California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards.

Since the California Wine Community Sustainability Report launched in 2002, over 2,000 California vineyard and winery organisations have participated in the self assessment programme. The 2015 report shows a vast majority of the state’s vintners and growers are taking action to protect wildlife, contributing to their communities, encouraging employees to engage in enhancing sustainability, and adopting sustainable practices for water and energy efficiency, soil health, and waste management. To date, the number of Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing entities has grown to 665 vineyards, representing 45,566 certified winegrape hectares and 106 wineries responsible for 64% of the total cases of wine produced in California.


  • California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA)
  • Jordan Vineyard & Winery
  • La Motte
  • Pernod Ricard Winemakers
  • Vilarnau Cava
  • Yalumba

One Response to “The Drinks Business Green Awards 2016: the winners”

  1. Sarah Avery says:

    This is such wonderful news, thoroughly deserved as we were able to witness on our visit to you earlier this year, following in John’s footsteps 50 years ago. Mimi and I were very, very grateful you were able to take yourself away from whatever work you were doing at the time to come over and greet us in your exceptionally wonderful winery and vineyard, … thank you again for that!

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