Luxebook June 2023

The conversation about climate responsibility has pushed the concept of sustainability into almost every sector, including the spirits industry. And while it is one of the leaders to participate in the sustainable movement, the spirits industry is also still one of the top contributors to negatively affect climate change given the humongous amounts of water, energy and other resources involved. Greater Than Gin Co-founder, Anand Virmani believes the sustainability movement is a difficult process to adapt to, despite its global appeal. “Sustainability is a big word that gets thrown around quite casually. In reality, it is a very difficult thing to do even though there is a push for it currently. Both large- and small-scale industries are making an effort in their own way.” When it comes to gin production, the question of sustainability is at a standstill. The popular spirit is not immune to the global concept of environmental responsibility. In fact, as customers grow more aware of the environmental effect of their choices, distilleries and gin makers have begun stepping up to embrace sustainable practices throughout the whole gin manufacturing process. The gin industry’s participation in sustainability might vary based on the practises and efforts adopted by various producers. While some gin brands and distilleries are actively embracing sustainability and implementing eco-friendly practices, it might not be reasonable to assume the whole sector is actively participating. However, the growing conversation around sustainability has encouraged several gin manufacturers to implement environmentally friendly practices including sourcing locally cultivated, organic botanicals, preserving water and energy resources during the manufacturing process, decreasing waste through recycling and reuse, and using environmentally friendly packaging materials. These practises help to make the gin business more environmentally friendly. Negative Impacts Like any distillation process, gin has its negative impacts. The very first step in gin production, botanical sourcing, has one of the greatest consequences on the environment. Depending on the practices employed, the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers can contribute to soil and water pollution. Juniper is one of the common ingredients in the gin base, however, most gin brands use a combintion of other ingredients as well, many of which are difficult to source. This is where unsustainability comes into play. Distillation, an essential step in gin making and is pretty straightforward. Add yeast to sugar to turn it into alcohol, add water, heat the solution until the alcohol vaporises and separates, then cool it to a liquid somewhere else. As simple as this seems, there is a significant amount of water, power and raw materials employed. The water used in the production process, including for cleaning and cooling, can contribute to water scarcity and put pressure on local water resources. Sustainable gin producers implement water conservation measures such as recycling and reusing water, as well as investing in water-efficient technologies. Gin production BY SCHENELLE DSOUZA From sourcing ingredients to limiting waste, here’s how the gin industry is progressing towards more eco-friendly methods of production. Crafting a greener spirit Anand Virman, Greater Than Gin, Co-founder 20|LUXEBOOK|JUNE 2023 JUNE 2023 |LUXEBOOK|21 GREEN GIN