“It is not easy being green. Everyone leaves a carbon footprint.
Identify it and start reducing it, through smart initiatives. ”
Our vision is to be a leader in sustainable business. Since our beginning in 2019, Downton Distillery has benchmarked ethical and sustainable pioneers within our industry setting a target of where we believe the distillery should be. The commitments we have made to our community and how our customers have shaped the way we do business.
Climate action grows more important by the day. Small businesses make up 90% of businesses worldwide. Together we have a huge role to play in tackling the climate crisis. We’re proud to be a member of the @SMEClimateHub community, and are delighted to receive our badge as official recognition of our business’ commitment to reduce our impact on the environment through authentic action. This is something that you too can sign up to.
Our environmental action plan and policy is validated annually by Green Small Business. In 2022 we got a special mention from 'The Gin Guide' for the work that we have been undertaking.
Together with your help we have taken huge strides and been recognised for the work completed to date.
(2023.03.06) We became Accredited with The Good Shopping Guide. Achieving a score of 92 and reached the top of its Spirits ranking table.
(2023.03.10) The distillery won the Wiltshire Life 'Green Business Award'.
(2023.05.10) Winner in the Environmental Sustainability category of 'The Gin Guide Awards 2023'.
(2023.06.22) Presented the Gold Award by the Green Business Association Salisbury.
We have been working with some fantastic partners and continue to do so. Through them our education continues to grow, which in turn we can share with you.
Downton Distillery is now Green Small Business Certified. The distillery was looking towards becoming a certified 'B Corporation' but due to the company structure and current conditions it is was decided that it was not the right fit for the organisation. B Corp businesses meet the highest standards of verified social, environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. This is something that the Distillery aspires to and will continue to bench mark against.
Our sustainability objectives are the following:
- Create bottle for life programme.
- Create wilding environment around the distillery.
- Educate through events and courses.
- Improve the amount of recycled glass that is used within our bottles.
- Use green energy within the distillery.
- Measure and start reducing our carbon footprint to zero.
- Measure and reduce our plastic footprint.
- Reduce our waste (bottles, materials, bi-products, packaging).
- Reduce water wastage.
- Replant juniper on the Wiltshire Downs, on the vineyard.
- Responsible consumption and production.
- Source responsibly & ethically.
- Use of environmentally friendly materials.
- Use recyclable packaging.
- Waste - accounted for through PRNs (package recycling notes).
In order to prevent the worst climate damages, global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050. Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere.
The term net zero is important because – for CO2 at least – this is the state at which global warming stops. This aligns with the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5C. The greatest challenge is to get everyone pulling the same direction.
Do you know your CO2 footprint? Would you know how to measure it?
Many of us are unaware of what our Carbon footprint is, nor how to measure it. Over the last couple of years I have tried to calculate it, using spreadsheets trying to avoid expensive consultant fees. As companies align to become Net Zero this task has now become easier, with many now offering you free toolsets to use (within their subscription models).
Working with Normative and their SME Climate Hub we have been able to map our Carbon Footprint. We have also made our SME Climate Commitment, where we will be reporting our progress over the next 18 months. This will also be validated through Green Small Business.
Our CO2 footprint for 2022 was 12.6mT. Our supply chain accounted for 75% of this footprint.
The plastic bag project quote that 'In Western Europe, approximately 92 kilograms of plastic per capita are consumed annually, and this quantity is increasing. Worldwide use per capita stands at about 35 kilograms. The largest amount of plastic waste comes from the packaging industry: two-thirds generated by households and one-third by industry and commerce.'
This is a staggering number and working in a distillery plastic appears wrapped around all the bottles delivered to the distillery. We have taken great strides to reduce the amount that we are using and through our partnership with rePurpose are mapping our plastic footprint.
Did you know that your foam cleaning pad contains polyurethane? Did you also know But did you know that many aluminum cans are lined with plastic? This thin lining is added to keep the metal from breaking down and protect the drink’s freshness?
By understanding our plastic footprint, we want to become plastic neutral within 2023.
Everyone wants to be ethical but how we spend our money can have an impact.
Every time you shop you are supporting a brand with your own money. When you buy from brands that have a positive impact it’s like voting for a better world. By carefully choosing what you buy, researching the brand and interacting with them, you can choose products that have a positive impact on the brands community, environment and welfare of staff.
We do our own research of brands using the Ethical consumer index and by discussing suppliers within the industry, who we trust and why. What actions are they taking to reduce their own footprints?
But we also need to be held accountable for our own actions, as these speak louder than words and filled in forms.The distillery is currently under review for its own ethical practices and will be scored out of 100 by mid March. The findings will allow us set new targets and again move closer to our net neutral targets.