The Drinks Business Green Awards 2019 winners

Amorim Sustainability Award for Spirits – Greensand Ridge Distillery

Our spirits winner in this competitive category went to the UK’s first carbon neutral distillery – Greensand Ridge in Kent. Our judges were “blown away” by just how deeply the company cares about giving back to the environment and its “extraordinary” commitment to renewable energy and water conservation, believing it should serve as the blueprint for other drinks firms in terms of how to run a successful sustainable business.

Among the distillery’s green initiatives are using renewable power; being so close to zero waste it only produces one bin bag of rubbish every six weeks; and developing a natural filtered cooling pond that provides the distillery with cold water and a habitat for water-based fauna.

On top of this, Greensand Ridge makes its spirits from quality surplus food and food system biproducts, recovering around 50 tonnes of produce per year. Its whisky is made from bread and brandies from outgraded raspberries, apples and plums.

Amorim Sustainability Award for Cider – Aston Manor

We also awarded a winner in the cider category – Aston Manor in Birmingham – which impressed our judges with its well-rounded entry and dedication to sustainable practices, particularly with respect to packaging. This year the firm introduced 51% recycled content into its PET packaging, saving around 1,000 tonnes of raw material annually – the equivalent of 25 million bottles.

“This is what sustainability award is about,” said one judge. It is also committed to light-weighting both its PET and canned ciders and is working towards having no waste in landfill sites in 2020. With regards to the apples it uses in the production process, Aston Manor works with local growers and has recently planted an extra 400,000 apple trees.

The pulp left over after the apples are pressed is used both as bio-fertiliser and to generate renewable gas. The company is also committed to social responsibility and has replaced its three litre PET bottles with 2.5l bottles, so that 43m fewer units of alcohol are consumed per year.

Amorim Sustainability Award for Wine – VSPT Wine Group

Our winner in the wine category was Chile’s VSPT Wine Group, whose pitch impressed our judges. With over a decade of dedication to sustainable practices, the topic remains a top priority for VSPT, influencing every aspect of the company. Keen to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible, VSPT has set a goal to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2021, and has installed solar panels at nine of its estates.

In addition, in 2016 the wine giant built the world’s first biogas plant that uses harvest waste to create clean energy and is on track to recycle or reuse 100% of its waste by 2021. VSPT is also a champion of biodiversity, and has, to date, planted over 11,530 native plants and trees of 35 different species through its conservation work. Another of its big focuses has been working with the local community to plant a Mapuche vineyard in Chile’s unexplored Malleco Valley.

Commendation – Napa Valley Vintners

Trade association Napa Valley Vintners was commended for its “extremely strong” entry and admirable commitment to getting all 550 of the California wine region’s member vintners involved in sustainable initiatives via its Napa Green certification programme. Since its inception, over 70% of Napa’s vineyard land, equivalent to 32,000 acres, has achieved Napa Green certification, and as of this year, nearly 80% of eligible members are participating in the programme.

Having recently signed up to the Porto Protocol, Napa Valley Vintners has asked its member wineries to receive their power from 100% renewable energy sources in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Commendation – Symington Family Estates

Our judges also commended Symington Family Estates – the first winery in Portugal to achieve B Corporation status – an international accreditation that recognises the commitment to a more sustainable way of doing business. Since 2015 the firm has reduced its per bottle carbon emissions by 23% via the installation of solar panels and greater efficiencies in the production and transportation process.

The company has recently formed a 17-strong sustainability team focusing on specific areas, from biodiversity to water management, and has devised a ‘Mission 2025’ plan that takes in everything from electric cars and forest regeneration to low-impact packaging.

Commend – Glengoyne Distillery 

Last but not least, Highland single malt distillery Glengoyne received a commendation for its strong entry that tackled several aspects of sustainability, from wind power to waste management. From this autumn, 100% of the distillery’s energy needs have been provided by wind power. And, thanks to the installation of an anaerobic digester, which converts the biproducts of mashing and distillation into electricity, Glengoyne has been able to power homes close to the distillery.

The company also supports the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, and has campaigned to save the endangered Greenland white-fronted goose after which the distillery is named. It is the first distillery in Scotland to adopt a wetlands facility – boasting 14,500 plants of 20 species – to filter its waste liquid through. Most recently, Glengoyne has developed new recyclable packaging for its single malts that is set to launch early next year.

Shortlist

Glengoyne Distillery

Greensand Distillery

Flor de Caña

VSPT Wine Group

Sonoma-Cutrer

Symington Family Estates

Aston Manor Cider

Napa Valley Vintners

One Response to “The Drinks Business Green Awards 2019 winners”

  1. Soledad says:

    HII! Iwould like to know , how to apply for the green awards since we are the top organic producer in Argentina.
    We are Santa Julia Winery.

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