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How drinks businesses are marking Earth Day

Earth Day (22 April) is a globally recognised event that encourages people and businesses to think about the impact that their actions have on the environment and how they can change their behaviours to help the planet.

This year, the day has been given extra weight with US president Joe Biden's decision to convene a virtual climate summit, uniting people in countries around the world to discuss the next big steps in tackling climate change. 

To coincide with the day - with this year has the theme 'Restore our Earth' - drinks businesses around the globe have announced initiatives and partnerships to address the impacts that their operations are having  on the planet, its flora, fauna and communities.

  • Drinks giants including Heineken, Johnnie Walker and Beam Suntory have unveiled revamped sustainability intiatives in the past week that set ambitious goals to reduce their environmental impact over the next 20 years. They include commitments to reduce water usage, increase energy efficiency, push towards carbon neutrality across their value chains and ensure their suppliers are operating sustainably.
  • Mermaid Gin, from the Isle of Wight Distillery, has pledged to support the restoration and protection of seagrass in the Solent straight - an internationally important site for the native British plant. The distiller announced a 'net zero' pledge in 2020.
  • Calvados producer Avallen has unveiled its own sustainability report to mark Earth Day, in a bid to set a benchmark for other drinks businesses. Its Bee More Report shows the progress the brand has made in its journey to become a more 'planet-positive' company since launching in 2019, while also detailing future commitments to help people and the planet.
  • Diplomático Rum has announced the launch of its Distilled Consciously platform, which aims to bring the brand in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and reinforces its existing commitments to responsible production, good environmental practices and social support for its workers and local communities.  
  • The team at Hawksbill Caribbean Spiced Rum, part of the Intercontinental Brands portfolio, has pledged 365 hours of community and beach clean-ups in the UK over the next year as part of a continuing mission to protect wildlife, which also includes its partnership with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.
  • Finlandia Vodka has announced a partnership with US-based charity Living Lands and Waters, committing to support its conservation initiatives across the US including river clean-ups, tree plantings and workshops.
  • Scottish field-to-bottle distiller Arbikie has announced that it is launching its carbon-negative gin, Nàdar, and its Highland Rye Whisky in Germany with new distributor Alba Import. Launched in February 2020, the Nàdar Gin uses a base spirit made from peas and has a carbon footprint of -1.54kg of CO2E (CO2 equivalent) per 700ml bottle.
  • Drinks businesses including canned cocktails company Sipful Drinks have committed to an Earth Day pledge from the Positive Impact Community, which sets out 12 'drivers of change' to improve sustainability in the food and beverage industry.
  • The Lost Explorer Mezcal has announced a new partnership with the Voice for Nature Foundation, which aims to highlight the damage that single use plastics are doing to the environment.
  • Budweiser has launched a campaign to tackle UK consumers' 'green guilt', as it marks the milestone of brewing all its beers in the UK with 100 per cent renewable energy. It will raise a toast to people and organisations doing their bit to help the planet.

22 April 2021 - Bethany Whymark