Do You Know How Eco-Friendly Your Vodka Is?
Have you ever thought about how eco-friendly the spirits are that you drink? We know that as conscious consumers, we vote with our dollars with every purchase we make. Which means, for every drinking occasion there comes a choice to opt for environmentally conscious brands that actively work to make the world a better place. Which raises the question: is there such a thing as ethical alcohol? And I’m not just talking about saying no to the plastic straw duo that tries to sneak its way into your vodka soda.
I was educated on the many eco conscious brand efforts via my first social distanced event (!!!) and WOW was it amazing. Aside from the incredible gratitude and excitement we all shared to celebrate this gorgeous occasion, this intimate group I was included in was there to learn, experience, and celebrate the work that Belvedere vodka is doing as a sustainable spirits brand.
Making new friends: @moorehisstyle @theconscious_connoisseur @danascruggs @happyhealthylatina @cvazzana @thisgirlcaneat
And what better way to immerse with a sustainable spirits brand than on an urban rooftop farm in Brooklyn? If you haven’t been to Brooklyn Grange yet, I highly advise you book yourself a visit! So here are a few lessons I learned while soaking up some urban farm rays sipping on some bespoke Belvedere sustainable cocktails!
Below, I break down some key areas of focus as Belvedere leads the Spirits industry in conscious business:
The Importance of Heritage
Belvedere’s 110-year-old distillery has a long history in supporting the Polish community with sustainability initiatives. It co-founded the Foundation for Local Environmental Protection, and only sources its Polska Rye grains locally, working to nurture long-term relationships with just eight Polish agricultural sources. The distillery also started the Raw Spirit Program, launched in partnership with the Technical University of Lodz to promote the sustainable growth of Polska Rye.
Community has been a huge focus for Belvedere in supporting sustainability efforts within their community. Only sourcing Polska rye locally, they have worked to nurture long-term relationships with Polish agricultural sources and much more. In this era of highly globalized business, where drop-shipping and #AmazonPrime is the norm, knowing that you are making a conscious choice when it comes to sustainable spirits brands = major sustainability points!
The lesson? Know your source. Embrace environmentally conscious brands that value tradition, culture & heritage. It shows.
Sourcing Pure Ingredients & Working With Nature
Belvedere is all about simple ingredients, zero additives, mastery in crafting rye to impart distinct taste, and a dedication to nourishing the earth from which its precious Polska rye comes. Purity & safe ingredients should be at the top of the list for environmentally conscious brands. So if you’re on the hunt for zero-waste cocktail recipes, I encourage you to start here!
During the brand immersion one of Belvedere’s Ambassadors & Mixologists walked us through the steps on how to make the “Superfood Cocktail with Tumeric” including natural ingredients such as anti-inflammatory & immunity boosting turmeric, agave, and fresh herbs. Keep reading for the recipe at the end of this post!
“The new status is what you stand for and we are committed to living up to that brand promise to our consumer,” says Rodney Williams, President and CEO of Belvedere Vodka.
The lesson? Make sure you know what you are consuming! Products can be full of harmful chemicals, additives & other gross stuff. When it comes to zero waste cocktails, you start with a base that’s pure it’s easy to add on mindful ingredients that are #MadeWithNature
Eco-friendly Packaging & Innovation
Sustainable packaging is a critical priority for any environmentally conscious brand, including Belvedere. The company has begun reducing plastic from its shippers and eliminating plastic straws from its events. It is actively auditing supply chain vendors to abide by a 100% green code of conduct, with the goal of reducing plastic by 50% by 2025.
As COVID-19 continues to upend all aspects of the shopping & retail environment, and the economic toll on consumers weighs on, it’s a challenge for brands to continue to be mindful of their waste. With all the at home deliveries, this is crucial even more now.
Shopkick, a leading shopping rewards app, and Fashwire, an AI driven two-sided B2B and B2C global fashion marketplace, even announced the 10.10 Shopping Festival this year, a new shopping holiday to engage American consumers and revitalize retail. As if we needed another reason to shop, sooner then ever! While increases in revenue for merchants can be positive, considering how the products are arriving & the waste we create is key.
The lesson? No matter what you are selling, frequent home deliveries will only become more frequent. Brands need to think about the entire lifecycle of materials used in their product packaging & aim to find the most sustainable solution. Flexible packaging alternatives do exist, so conscious brands need to take note, & action.
Enforcing Sustainability Goals
Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) environmentally conscious brands are working to meet the SDGs and Belvedere is no exception! They have their own set of goals. This includes key initiatives under three umbrellas: green energy, organic product, and sustainable packaging.
They have reduced CO2 emissions by 42% since 2012 and now, are going further. By 2022, their goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% with a zero-waste energy project. Developed in collaboration with three Polish universities and backed by the European Commission, their environmentally conscious brand plan is to capture biomass from distillery waste to create their own green fuel. By 2025, if successful, this will allow Belvedere to be self-sufficient, generating 100% renewable energy for the distillery and surrounding businesses. They have also started the Raw Spirit Program, launched in partnership with the Technical University of Lodz to promote the sustainable growth of Polska rye.
The lesson? Look for inspiration when you need it and keep pushing for the innovation to create the world you seek. For a business with a footprint & operation like Belvedere, think about the eco pain-point holding you back & address it head on.
In addition to previous CSR efforts, Belvedere donated 28,000 liters of alcohol used to produce 40,000 liters of hand sanitizer during the pandemic, which was distributed to Polish hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, night shelters and police stations. Plus, the immersion event at the Brooklyn Grange Farm was the perfect venue to support local business, and inspire education on important environmental topics. Throughout the #madeWithNature experience we learned all about urban farming, how to mulch & why it matters, the significance bees have on our ecosystem, and so much more.
Environmentally conscious brands – take note! There’s a myriad of ways you can improve your business & operations to be greener. I hope you found this to be enlightening as to how spirits can be sustainable! Brands have so much power to create good in the world based on their business models and unique character. What does that look like for you? Time to fill up your cup! See the recipe below for the zero waste cocktail I love:
“Superfood Cocktail with Tumeric”
1.5 oz Belvedere Vodka
1 ox Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Honey Syrup
2 oz Moroccan Mint Tea
2 oz Ginger Beer
1 dash of Tumeric
Spritz of Orange Blossom water
Spring of Mint
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