Earth Day: celebrating sustainable spirits
To celebrate Earth Day (22 April), we explore how spirits brands from around the globe are working to create a greener planet.
The theme for Earth Day 2022 is ‘invest in our planet’, designed to spark discussions and action to mitigate climate change.
Sustainability has become the buzzword of the last few years, as conversations regarding climate change have been amplified.
From reducing carbon footprints to creating more inclusive workspaces and local communities, sustainability is a notion that is being woven into the fabric of long-term company strategies.
For The Lost Explorer Mezcal, for example, sustainability has been built into the brand’s DNA since its inception.
“The process of making The Lost Explorer is carefully thought through,” explained Tiffany Jay, global brand manager, The Lost Explorer Mezcal. “With every choice made in our production, we’re asking, ‘how can we best operate within the rhythm of nature? What is the most harmonious way to do this?’
“The Lost Explorer Mezcal was founded with a pledge to celebrate the earth, practicing and leading sustainable ways of working and giving back to nature and to the local community. The Lost Explorer Mezcal is on a mission to become the most sustainable mezcal brand in the world, and that journey will be educational, as we learn new ways of doing all we can.”
Continue scrolling to read about how brands are celebrating Earth Day today, and committing to being more sustainable all year round.
The Lost Explorer Mezcal
To celebrate Earth Day this year, The Lost Explorer Mezcal is expanding its partnership with the Voice for Nature Foundation. The charity works to support local projects in Oaxaca, Mexico. The partnership suits The Lost Explorer’s ethos to back local organisations that work to create a more sustainable future for the surrounding environment and indigenous communities in Oaxaca.
The Lost Explorer Mezcal’s partnership with Isla Urbana, an NGO dedicated to water sustainability in Mexico, will grow to develop further additional rainwater harvesting systems in the remote, marginalised areas of San Jose Tenango, Oaxaca.
Plus, the brand’s partnership with Sikanda, a non-profit that promotes gender equality, will extend support to its female empowerment programme by providing seed capital funding for essential supplies and equipment for up to 30 women-led local businesses in Oaxaca. Last year, 14 businesses benefitted from this support.
But the brand isn’t stopping there; April is Earth Month, and all purchases of The Lost Explorer Mezcal in the UK and the US made directly from the brand’s website – thelostexplorermezcal.com – from 18-30 April will go to the Voice for Nature Foundation.
Other ongoing sustainable efforts from The Lost Explorer Mezcal include the brand’s work to plant three new agaves for every one harvested. Agave waste from production is also turned into fertiliser, or upcycled into copitas, a traditional Mexican cup.
Made in Mexico City, the mezcal brand’s bottles are created from more than 55% recycled crystal scraps that are reclaimed from the producer’s onsite productions. The bottles are hand-labelled and finished with a natural wooden stopper, and sealed and stamped with biodegradable natural beeswax that has been sustainably harvested. Solar panels, also utilised by the brand’s bottle and beeswax suppliers, are also in use to further the brand’s environmental commitments.
Flor de Caña
As a Fair Trade and carbon-neutral-certified brand, Flor de Caña has been a long-term champion of sustainable endeavours. Part of the Nicaraguan rum brand’s work to create a greener planet includes a quest to plant one million trees by 2025.
To mark Earth Month, Flor de Caña has launched a new campaign in collaboration with retailers, bars, restaurants and consumers: Together for a Greener Future. The initiative aims to plant 70,000 trees this year – which will join the 800,000 already planted by the brand since 2005.
Mauricio Solórzano, global ambassador for Flor de Caña, added: “As a global leader of sustainability practices within the spirits industry, we are deeply committed to the protection and preservation of the environment.
“Through our partnership with One Tree Planted, we’re taking our commitment to the environment to the next level and working together to inspire people around the world to get involved in our effort to restore forests and ensure a greener future for generations to come.”
Served Hard Seltzer
Singer Ellie Goulding has been an environmental activist for years. The Love Me Like You Do singer, who also owns the Served hard seltzer brand, has teamed up with sustainable bar group Darwin & Wallace and Ecologi to plant trees for Earth Day.
The initiative will run from Earth Day until 31 May, and will see a tree planted for every Served hard seltzer sold in Darwin & Wallace. The trees will be planted across various planting sites in Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Uganda. Ecologi, Served’s partner for carbon offsetting, will match the number of trees planted by Darwin & Wallace during this time frame for ‘maximum impact’.
Dean Ginsvberg, co-founder of Served, said: “We are exciting to be joining forces with two great businesses that are build on the principles of sustainability and to help make an impact through reforestation and coastal wetland restoration. As a business, we have a responsibility to lead by example and we are extremely proud to have offset more than 50 tonnes of CO2e [carbon dioxide equivalent] and planted over 1,600 trees in the last 12 months.”
In July 2020, Highland Scotch whisky distillery Nc’nean became the first whisky distillery in the UK to achieve net zero emissions. Verified by Environmental Strategies, the status means emissions Nc’nean’s production were less than the amount of emissions removed from the atmosphere. To put it into context, the wider Scotch whisky industry is aiming to achieve this by 2040, meaning Nc’nean was 20 years ahead of the targets.
To celebrate Earth Day, B Corp-certified Nc’nean has unveiled its first spring seasonal release: Huntress 2022. The new release coincides with Earth Day to tie into the goal of founder, Annabel Thomas, to create a whisky that works in harmony with nature, by putting the planet first.
Huntress 2022 is the first whisky to feature one of Nc’nean’s yeast trials, which uses three different varieties. The spirit was distilled in August 2018 and has been aged for three years in a mix of STR-red wine and ex-Bourbon casks. Only 4,447 bottles are available, priced at £85 (US$109). Bottled at 48.5% ABV, the whisky is said to have rich minerality, tropical fruits and honeycomb notes.
Thomas said: “We’ve been talking a lot about sustainability recently, but now it is the turn of some of our spirit experiments to take the spotlight. Yeast is something I’ve been fascinated with since day one. We’ve been running yeast trials every year, and this is the first one to be let loose in the world – it was a favourite of mine when I tasted the new make in 2018. We’ve used the same ratio of casks as our normal Nc’nean Organic, so you can really tell the difference the yeast has made. I can’t want to hear what people think.”
In time for Earth Day, Bombay Sapphire has achieved its target to have all 10 botanicals used in its gin recipe certified as sustainable. Bacardi-owned Bombay Sapphire received sustainable certification for eight of its botanicals in March 2021.
Now, all 10 botanicals – including juniper from Tuscany, coriander from Morocco, lemon peel from Spain and cubeb berries from Java – have been certified sustainable with For Life certification by Ecocert.
Bombay Sapphire, which is crafted at Laverstoke Mill in the UK, said global environmental innovation is ‘part of its DNA’. The gin’s home at Laverstoke Mill works to limit its impact on the environment as much as possible. Measures include harvesting rainwater, flow-restricted water devices, a biomass boiler, solar powers, and a hydro-electric turbine in the River Test.