Craft Spirits July 2021

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distillery has also switched to using 100% recycled glass bottles, and with the new look Appalachian Gap will tout its carbon neutrality on the label. “Our plan is to make a neck tag to go on the bottle with [the Climate Neutral] label and a QR code so for people at the shelf making a decision about what to bring home, that will take them to the sustainability page on our website.” PLASTIC NEUTRAL In Crested Butte, Colorado, Montanya Distillers continues to add to an impressive cache of sustainable practices. To name a few, the distillery is 100% wind powered, offsets its carbon production with Terrapass, uses a biodigester to process organic waste into grey water, and its glass bottle supplier, Owens-Illinois, achieved Cradle to Cradle Certification for its bottles (you can read more about Cradle to Cradle Certification in the January 2021 issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine). One of its most recent initiatives was to become certified Plastic Neutral through rePurpose Global, a plastic credit platform dedicated to reducing waste, reviving lives and restoring nature’s balance. While the certification is relatively new, Montanya founder Karen Hoskin says she had been paying close attention to its growth. She liked that she had the power to pick where Montanya’s credits would go. Montanya chose to support vetted waste management social enterprise CarPe in India (where Hoskin once lived). The partnership will help fund the collection, processing and reuse of more than 1,000 pounds of plastic waste,

equivalent to Montanya’s plastic use. Hoskin liked that rePurpose Global enables its partners to hold them accountable. “If I decided tomorrow that I want to pick up and go and visit the specific project that we’ve chosen to participate in India, I can go and they have to prove and demonstrate to me what they’re doing,” she says.” That accountability factor is equally important to Hoskin when she is choosing where to spend her own personal money. “I don’t typically take [a] company’s words for things,” says Hoskin. “It’s too easy to say I am a sustainable company. It’s unverified. One of the big pet peeves I have in the world of sustainability is just doing a big [public relations] campaign around a goal you’ve set for 2025, or something like that, and then praying that nobody actually circles back to figure out whether you actually did it.” LEED CERTIFICATION When it comes to the actual buildings that house distilleries, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is another badge of honor, as a limited number of distilleries—like Bently Heritage Estate Distillery in Minden, Nevada; Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; and Mother Earth Spirits in Kinston, North Carolina—have earned the designation. Recognizing buildings worldwide, LEED was started by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council and its mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

“At this point it would almost be an expectation for existing customers that we’re just continuing to improve our performance and continue on our journey towards greater and greater sustainability.” —Will Drucker of Appalachian Gap Distillery

rePurpose Global is a plastic credit platform that allows participating companies to choose where their credits go.

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