These 40 Sustainable Frontrunners redefine the Future of Spirits

Frontrunner 40 2020 - Liquor

The liquor industry has brought forward some of the most iconic brands in history. These 40 Frontrunners challenge the status quo. They redefine the environmental impact that spirits can have. This list features both, newcomers and established brands.
Any one of these brands have the potential to shape the future of spirits.

Vodka

Vodka is traditionally made from grains. Washing, soaking, and processing the grains takes a lot of energy – but these frontrunners have found ways to make vodka planet friendly.

Good Vodka

Vodka | USA

Good Vodka uses the sugar-containing waste water from harvested fruit such as coffee to produce their vodka.

Absolut Vodka

Vodka | Sweden

Carbon Neutral Distillation process. Aims to be zero-emissions and zero-waste in 2040

Solar Spirits

Vodka | USA

Solar Spirits relies fully on renewable energy, and the stills are heated through Solar Evacuated Cylinders – as well as the water they use for production and cleaning

Black Cow vodka

Vodka | England

The England-made vodka is completely zero-waste, made using leftover whey from grass-fed cow’s milk. They only source local products for their seasonal editions.

Koskenkorva

Vodka | Finland

The Koskenkorva plant is a circular, zero-waste vodka distillery from Finland.

MisAdventure

Vodka | USA

MisAdventure Vodka is made from surplus baked goods – it’s fully carbon negative.

Marble Distilling

Vodka | USA

A zero-waste distillery from Colorado. Marble Distilling recaptures 100% of their process water and reuses the energy from the distillation process to heat the facilities.

I think the liquor industry is late to the sustainability party. Everybody is engaged with sustainability, but drinks are not really differentiating itself on sustainability. They are all obsessed with scale. They don’t want to change a recipe, or source.

Mark Byrne, Good Vodka

Square one Organic Spirits

Vodka | USA

A female-led, organic and eco-friendly Vodka brand, where every step of the value chain, including paper stock and inks, is checked for environmental impact.

Dairy distillery

Vodka | Canada

Using unused milk sugar to produce vodka. Using lighter bottles, and minimizing waste and energy.

Ironworks Distillery

Vodka | Canada

Ironworks reuses all the hot water from the still for heating and cleaning and saves up to 500.000 liters of water a year. They source sustainable glass from France, and the entire portfolio is produced from local produce.

Gin

G&T’s are the cocktail of the hour, but Gin has a long, tasty history. From packaging to raw ingredients – these frontrunners turn the trendy long drink into a sustainable solution.

Prairie Organic Spirits

Gin | USA

Producing organically with earth in mind, donating 1% of sales to planet-positive causes.

The Stillery

Gin | Netherlands

The only carbon-neutral distillery in the Netherlands. Only using organically and locally sourced ingredients.

Isle of Wight Distillery

Gin | UK

Entirely plastic free and biodegradable materials, only local ingredients

Daisy Gin

Gin | Germany

Daisy Gin is an organic, locally distilled Gin. It’s CO₂ neutral and distilled according to old craftmanship.

Bakers Best Genever

Genever | Netherlands

Oude Jenever made from bread left unsold.

NÀDAR GIN

Gin | Scotland

Nadar’s field-to-bottle approach and a Gin based on the starch of peas shows measurable results: They have a footprint of -1.54 kg CO2e per 700ml bottle.

The Sustainable Spirit CO.

Gin | UK

The Sustainable Spirit Co.’s eco-pouch is a bag-in-a-box solution to reduce the shipping impact of their spirits products.

Journeyman Distillery

Gin | USA

One of the few certified organic distilleries in the US.

The raw materials in the production of liquor can have quite a lot of impact. Grains can be organically grown, meaning a lower environmental impact on water and toxicity. But land use might be higher. These impacts are part of the total impact of your beverage.

Dr Lex Roes, Environmental Specialist at Ecochain

Cooper King Herb Gin

Gin | UK

Independent, self-built distillery powered by 100% renewable energy. Replanting 1m2 of woodland per sold bottle of Gin.

Greensand Ridge Distillery

Gin | UK

UK’s first carbon neutral distillery.

Whisky

Scottish culture and Whisky are intertwined – no wonder that all these frontrunners come from the land in the North of the United Kingdom. 

GlenWyvis

Whisky | Scotland

First community-owned distillery which is 100% power by green energy.

It's easy to connect grapes to wine. But you don't immediately connect barley to whisky.

Annabel Thomas, CEO of Nc'Nean