New Zealand's First Carbon Neutral Distillery

New Zealand's First Carbon Neutral Distillery

Sandymount Distillery in Otago has made history by being the first New Zealand distillery to attain carbon neutral certification. The distillery has been in operation since May 2021, situated on the Otago Peninsula, with its owner and distiller, Richard Wilson, expressing great satisfaction in achieving this milestone before their two-year anniversary.

The annual EKOS certification evaluated every facet of the operation, balancing carbon emissions against the implemented carbon reduction strategies.
Thanks to his previous experience in facility management, Wilson was able to incorporate carbon reduction strategies during the development of the distillery site.

Among the implemented mitigation measures are:

  • The 102sq m structure is constructed from timber and steel, and is both insulated and lined.
  • The distillery property is undergoing a reforestation process with indigenous species.
  • Technology is utilized to minimize power wastage and demand.
  • Ninety percent of the stills’ output is powered by the 7.8kW solar system supported by 20 roof-mounted panels.
  • Surplus power is sold back to the grid, compensating for times when grid use is necessary.
  • Remote-controlled LED lights and digital wireless security lessen dependence on energy-consuming older technologies.

Ingredients are procured as locally as possible:

  • Liqueurs are produced from fruit trees located on the property.
  • Tī Kōuka is made from native botanicals grown on the premises.
  • All products are made using spring water from the site.
  • Vermouth is produced using wormwood, planted four years ago when Wilson acquired the property.
  • Juniper, not commercially grown in the southern hemisphere, is imported from European markets.
  • The distillation process utilizes rainwater as a coolant, which circulates through the system, thereby eliminating the need for chemical coolants or refrigerants.
  • Product labels are made from recycled waste.
The main contributor to Sandymount Distillery's carbon footprint is transport and freight. However, Richard personally delivers orders within Dunedin, thereby consolidating trips and reducing both fuel use and packaging.
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