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Butterflies

sustainability

What are Griffiths Brothers Distillery doing to help you drink more sustainably now and in the future?

Here at Griffiths Brothers Distillery, we believe that sustainability should be an integral part of our day-to-day business.

Pledging our ongoing commitment to the environment we are transitioning to a more sustainable future in all areas of the business. It is our intention to reduce and minimise any negative impact arising from our operations and our obligation as a company to make a neutral, if not positive, impact on the environment.

We recognise that often small considerations can deliver the greatest impact.

It is an ongoing process, but we are continually working on ways we can take meaningful steps to progress in this crucially important area.

See where we are now and where we want to go!


 

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COLD DISTILLATION

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  • ​We use cold distillation, or vacuum distillation, to produce our gins and our vodkas, using the largest rotary evaporator in the UK. Running at around room temperature we use just 8-10% of the energy needed to run a traditional copper still. Cold distillation is currently one of the most energy efficient ways to produce gin and other spirits.

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  • ​Instead of relying on continuous fresh water to cool the condensers, we use a closed-loop system to recycle a coolant repeatedly. In doing so, we save a whopping 26 tonnes of water a year.

BOTTLES

  • We use fully recyclable, transparent glass bottles to enable our customers to recycle or reuse them.

  • In 2022 we moved away from a heavier bottle design produced in France to a lighter weight bottle produced in the UK. In turn we reduced our raw material consumption and our emissions by buying closer to home. By lightweighting, less material is used, and the overall emissions across the supply chain is reduced. A further advantage is the reduction in overall size, proving beneficial from delivery through to its storage. We fully support the campaign for lighter bottles and understand this is something both suppliers and consumers are becoming more concerned with regarding a more sustainable future.

  • Our bottle caps are recyclable and use a recycled paper tamper seal with a biodegradable adhesive.

  • We have stopped adding a tag to our bottles to save on the unnecessary use of paper, printing, and processing.

INGREDIENTS

Where we can we source local sustainable ingredients for use in our spirits:

  • Local honey made only a mile away from the distillery for our Nine Tails White Spiced Rum

  • Distilled spruce needles from Penn Woods, our local wood, for our Mosquito Gin

  • Local, handpicked, sloe berries for our Sloe Gin

  • Locally foraged rosehips, and honey made a mile away from the distillery for our Autumn Special Gin

  • Local rosemary and bay leaves

We recycle or reuse our spent botanicals:

  • Any leftover fresh fruit is juiced and composted

  • Certain botanicals go into making local chutneys

  • Our used vanilla goes to our local baker

 

PACKAGING

  • All packaging coming into the distillery is reused or recycled, wherever possible.

  • Deliveries going out from the distillery are packaged in cleverly designed bottle holders and cardboard boxes to avoid using plastics like bubble wrap.

  • We continually revise our packaging and suppliers. Our bottle air pack bags are 100% biodegradable and recyclable. The flat packed lightweight bags take up less space and significantly less vehicles are required to transport them, helping to reduce CO2 emissions and carbon footprint.

  • Additionally, inflatable packaging offers superior protection, lowering breakages considerably, resulting in less waste and less call for replacement deliveries.

  • In our distillery shop we have stopped using plastic bottles bags and now encourage customers to bring their own bags or use our 100% recyclable cotton tote bags, which can be reused by the customer or returned to us. Customers can also purchase the tote bag for themselves, or as a gift bag, in our distillery and online shop.

  • In both our distillery and online shop we offer customers the option to buy sustainable gift boxes and bottle holders to use for their gifting.

  • To customise our gift packaging whilst avoiding the further manufacturing process involved in printing, we use environmentally friendly custom-made stamps. Produced in solid oak and eco rubber, the London based company, with sustainability at their forefront, plant one tree for every custom stamp they produce.

  • In a mission to reduce the environmental footprint of the materials we use and stopping waste before it happens, we are incorporating several new initiatives to aid reusability. Our satin ribbon for our gifting range is not only made from 100% recycled polyester yarn but remains deliberately unbranded so that it can easily be repurposed.

 

DELIVERIES

  • Did you know that delivery companies and the logistics sector in general emit substantial amounts of greenhouse gases, with the whole transport sector emitting about 25% of all UK greenhouse gases (Ethical Consumer).

  • At Griffiths Brothers Distillery we offer a collection service, to enable our local customers to pick up their order when they are passing the distillery on another errand e.g. the weekly shop or dog walk.

  • We use a local delivery company wherever possible. Steve at Locally maps out the most efficient route to minimise his mileage and time on the road and in turn his emissions. Consequently, we use less to no packaging for these deliveries. Less packaging means less CO2 emissions from the manufacturing and transporting of it. The local company are currently in the process of switching (by mid 2023) to electric vehicles to deliver anything within a 30-mile radius of the distillery.

  • For our larger national deliveries we use APC Overnight service. Their ‘liquid’ service ensures our deliveries are sorted by hand – no automated machinery is used, resulting in less packaging needed to protect our bottled spirits and less breakages. Additionally, they are closer to our doorstep than any other carrier.

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GRIFFITHS BROTHERS DISTILLERY BAR

  • We use reusable metal pourers instead of plastic ones to minimise our wastage.

  • We are a member of the refill.org.uk organisation and offer free tap water refills at the distillery to help others cut down on their use of plastics. Perfect for our local walking community!

  • Where possible we avoid single use or disposable items to minimise our waste production.

  • We encourage drinking from the glass so no longer provide straws in our bar. 

WHERE NEXT?

What’s our long-term vision to shape the future for our distillery and spirits?


 

  • REFILL HERE

We are in the process of setting up our new, fandangle, refill station for our 3 most popular gins (Original, Export and St Lucia) and our GB Vodka, to enable our customers to reuse their existing bottles. In addition to its recyclability properties, glass can be reused and refilled without losing quality. We recognise that actively encouraging our customers to reuse their ‘parent’ bottle and keeping existing materials in use is far less impactful on the
environment. To acknowledge this, we will be offering a 15% discount on all refills to encourage our valued customers to visit us.

 

  • GRAIN TO GLASS

We aim is to do as many of the stages of our spirit production on site, including growing our own sustainable produce, and in doing so support our local area, reduce our carbon footprint, and ensure that our products are as ecologically friendly as possible. The ball is rolling so watch this space!
 

  • CONNECTING WITH OUR LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

Penn Wood lies in the heart of the Chilterns and at 176.3 hectares (435 acres) is one of the largest ancient woodlands in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The wood has a long and rich history ranging from permitted communal use to a chair-making cottage industry, a clay-digging site, a WW2 army training camp and finally, following a six-year community based campaign, being owned by the Woodland Trust in 1999, who now nurture and protect it for generations to come.

The Griffiths Brothers Distillery stands on the site of the old Dancer & Hearn furniture factory, which was used to make the de Havilland Mosquito bomber in WW2. The plane’s structure was unusual in that its frame was constructed mostly of wood - wood from Penn Wood - and so fittingly nicknamed the "Wooden Wonder". As a tribute to our distillery’s historic past, we have distilled spruce needles from Penn Woods to make a limited-edition gin - Griffiths Brothers Mosquito Gin. This gin has proved itself to be popular with our local and not-so-local customers, so we will be donating a % of the profits from this spirit to The Woodland Trust, as well as fundraising at the distillery, for our local branch.

 

Earth and Space

THE FUTURE

We intend to use less and reuse more, from production to packaging we want to reduce our impact and reduce our waste.

Our long-term plans will continue to do the following: look at reducing our carbon footprint and our raw material usage; a continuation of our green energy strategy for the short, mid, and long term; an assessment of who we choose to work with based on their environmental and social responsibility; keeping abreast of the industry advice and recommendations; and working towards achieving net zero/climate positive outputs (no mean feat!).

This document will be updated as and when our sustainability projects and aims grow and develop.

 

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