Belvedere opens groundbreaking new green energy facilityBy Sarah Neish
In a first for the spirits industry, Belvedere’s distillery in Warsaw has launched a unique biomass capture facility on-site, becoming a world leader in the green energy field.
Belvedere Vodka has reached a major sustainability goal as it finally completes its biomass capture facility, following a three-year journey.
As the first spirits distillery to receive a grant from the European Commission to pilot an ambitious capture facility on site, Belvedere will start producing 100% renewable energy by 2022.
It is also thought the opening will allow the distillery to reduce its energy related CO2 emissions by 95%, working to the same time scale.
The brand has been vocal about taking bold steps in protecting the Polish terroir in which the rye for its vodka is grown, tackling this commitment with a number of green initiatives, of which the impressive new facility is the largest.
Belvedere only sources its Polish rye grains locally, working with just five Polish agricultural sources. It also started the Raw Spirit Program, launched in partnership with the Technical University of Lodz to promote the sustainable growth of Polish Rye.
Rodney Williams, president and CEO of Belvedere Vodka, commented on the inaugural opening: “There is a Chinese proverb that says, ‘a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.’ We know we have a long way to go to realising our ambitions to nourish the lands we share and protect the ecosystems and biodiversity we depend upon. This new biomass facility marks a major step forward towards Belvedere making good on our belief that better business practices create a better world.”
Setting the bar higher still, the brand has announced eight sustainability commitments that it aims to achieve by 2025.
1.Convert to organic farming: From 2023, the brand will start its transition into being fully organic.
2.Restore landscapes: Belvedere is currently working on a regenerative soil program to be launched in Poland that aims to protect the natural character of the terroir.
3.Reduce water waste: The goal is to reduce wasted water disposal by 40%, which will contribute to an overall 27% reduction of water sourced from the brand’s wells by 2024.
4.Renewable energy solutions: In addition to the biomass capture facility, Belvedere is working to install a supplementary solar energy solution at its distillery by 2023.
5.Sustainable packaging solutions: Belvedere has eliminated 95% of single use plastic and has started implementing eco-design for all new products and POSM. By 2025, Belvedere will further reduce the use of plastic by 50%.
6.Recover heat waste byproduct: By 2022, Belvedere aims to convert the distillation by-product into fuel. The brand is also working on a plan to recover heat waste by reusing exhaust fumes, resulting in a reduction of the energy input for the boiler house by 20% by 2021.
7.Work with local communities to promote and supply green energy: The brand is working on a plan to supply Warsaw’s power network with the green energy produced in-house from 2025 on. At the same time, it will help its agricultural partners moving from 100% to 0% coal dependency.
8.Leverage NGOs and universities collaborations for greater water protection and efficiencies: Belvedere will continue funding The Foundation For Natural Environmental Protection and will protect the local Pisia-Gągolina river by designing a safeguard and restoration plan to be implemented from 2022.