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Four Pillars to open AU$7m green distillery

Australian producer Four Pillars will complete its AU$7 million (US$5.2m) distillery expansion this month, making it the country’s first carbon-neutral gin site.

Four Pillars Healesville 2.0 distillery
The Healesville 2.0 distillery will be enclosed with 1,650m of raw copper tubing

The new Healesville 2.0 distillery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley has been built adjacent to the brand’s current production site and and will open to the public by the end of April.

Four Pillars began work on the expansion project in February 2021. The development involved more than a 1,000sqm expansion of the original site in Lilydale Road, Healesville.

The gin maker secured the carbon-neutral certification from Climate Active, an Australian government initiative. The distiller had worked with Climate Active and consultant Ndver Environmental for more than a year to achieve this accreditation. All Four Pillars gins bottled on the new site will be certified carbon neutral.

The company’s business operations have also gained carbon-neutral status by being included in the boundary of Lion Australia’s organisation certification last year. Lion, a subsidiary of Japanese drinks giant Kirin, acquired a 50% stake in Four Pillars Gin in March 2019.

“This is a landmark day for Four Pillars and our commitment to sustainability,” said Four Pillars co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie.

“From the very first day we distilled gin we have tried to recycle, reuse and replenish our environment and give back to the community. We cannot give more to the community than assure it that our gins tread carefully on our planet especially in this time of climate crisis.

“Our journey to carbon neutral began with the simple idea of reusing oranges for marmalade, giving spent botanicals to pigs for feed, putting solar panels on our roof and of course offsetting what can be an energy intensive production process by carefully purchasing mainly domestic carbon credits.”

The construction of the new site included the use of recycled and upcycled concrete and bricks, pineapple ‘leather’ upholstery and the repurpose of building waste.

Furniture was locally sourced and the site includes solar power panels on the roof. The internal and external landscaping includes the cultivation of local native plants and botanicals, many of which will be used in future gin production.

The entire facility, incorporating the old and new buildings, will be enclosed with 1,650m of raw copper tubing, which will be used as a natural heat exchange to cut energy consumption.

Gin will also be channelled directly into the main bar through copper pipes to reduce glass waste, while tonic water will be sourced via kegs instead of bottles. These two initiatives will see the site save 29 tonnes of glass annually, the brand said.

Four Pillars will continue to reuse one tonne of its spent botanicals produced each week through its Made from Gin food range or as mulch for local gardens.

In June 2020, Four Pillars opened a new bar, lab and retail space in Surry Hills, Sydney.

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