First Distillery in New Zealand to be Carbon Neutral

New Zealand company, Sandymount Distillery, has received notification from EKOS that it has achieved carbon-neutral status. 

The distillery, located on Sandymount Road on the Otago Peninsula, has been in commercial operation since May 2021, and owner and distiller Richard Wilson is particularly pleased to have reached this milestone before the business’s second birthday. Wilson said that this is something he has been working for since the start, and that it is something he wants to celebrate.

“It’s great to be pushing the boundaries in this space. New Zealand’s distilled spirits sector is very collaborative and future-focused so I’m definitely not the only one working with our environmental footprint front of mind, but I’m still pretty happy to be the first to get this tick,” said Wilson.

Wilson is aiming to create some of New Zealand’s best craft spirits, using the property to provide the resources, and replenishing the property by replanting and encouraging the growth of native forests and habitats.

The EKOS certification, which needs to be renewed annually, assesses every aspect of the business, considering the carbon outputs against the carbon mitigation measures. Wilson’s prior experience in facility management meant that he could factor in carbon mitigations as he was developing the distillery site.

The largest contributor to Sandymount Distillery’s carbon footprint is travel and freight, although Wilson delivers local Dunedin orders himself, meaning he can combine trips and reduce both fuel consumption and packaging.

“Becoming carbon neutral is the first step. What we have to do next is work out how to reduce our footprint entirely so we can get to carbon zero, there’s a way to go for that yet,” acknowledged Wilson.

Wilson added that Sandymount Distillery has plans to plant over 2000 native trees over the next 36 months.