Dear Curious Reader,
A while ago as I reported on the takeaways of Destille Berlin 2019, I mentioned that I would come back to an intervention that seemed to me to need more time than a five-line paragraph. And the time has come, let’s follow the steps of Erwan Castain and Eleonore Tavernier from Pimlica to ask and answer one question: what does sustainability means in the world of fine liquors and spirits.
DO YOU KNOW?
What is the carbon print of one bottle of spirit (750 cl)?
3 kg de C02 (= 30 km in a car)
I had the chance to have a phone conversation with Erwan, not long after his talk at Destille. Here are some of my notes, which hopefully will contribute to a more mindful consumption of spirits.
Spirits are useless. I mean by useless that we do not need alcoholic drinks. It is part of many civilisations and has played a more or less important role into shaping our societies, and as far how the western world, even some political situations but we do not need it, the way we need water and sun. In that sense I’m writing that spirits are useless, and also for that reason I feel their producers should be even more environmentally conscious. In other words they have to be produced sustainably.
Sustainable production is possible and yet this is often rarely the case. Examples are rare -and mostly among the craft spirits producers. In that post, the idea is to look at some of the specific problems that industry is facing and some good practices.
Warning: this post does not aim at exhaustivity.
Some facts to have in mind when discussing sustainability:
Here are some good practices and variables that producers have been playing with lately, like
What I find interesting during that talk by Erwan Captain is that I had expected the bigger corporations being at the origin of most of the innovations. They have the mean to be environmentally conscious. They can invest in new plants, new supply chains. Sadly when you look at their policy in that field, they do invest into the health of the consumer (social sustainability), into prevention campaign to insist of drinking better instead of drinking more but…. not into the environment the way smaller producers do.
Most of the innovations come from small scale producers, for whom it is an element of the identity of their products to keep up with a sustainable way to produce.
What’s your take on this?