Appalachian Gap Distillery of Middlebury, Vermont, is proud to announce it has committed to become Climate Neutral Certified. The company will be working with Climate Neutral, an independent non-profit organization that helps companies measure their carbon footprint, offset it in its entirety by purchasing quality carbon credits, and reduce emissions moving forward.
Climate Neutral has set rigorous certification standards that all companies must meet before being granted the Climate Neutral Certified status.
“Consumers today are yearning for evidence that companies are aware of their contribution to climate change and committed to erasing it,” said Climate Neutral CEO Austin Whitman. “We’re thrilled to have Appalachian Gap Distillery commit to this journey. Soon they will join our growing list of certified companies that are proving that we’re living in a new era of leadership on climate by top brands.”
For Appalachian Gap Distillery, the decision to join this movement was a natural next step in the distillery’s journey to reduce the impact of making quality craft spirits. “Doing the right thing, whether making delicious spirits with integrity or distilling in a way that was easier on the planet, has always been part of our ethos as a brand,” says distillery co-founder Lars Hubbard. “The first thing people see when they visit our distillery are six solar arrays that provide all of our electricity and are symbolic of our commitment to sustainability.”
Other actions the distillery has taken to reduce its environmental impact are less visible but equally important. “We renovated the building with high-performance building standards in mind, by ensuring the distillery was highly insulated, installing efficient heating and cooling equipment, installing daylighting skylights and double-insulated windows, and equipping all lighting with motion sensors” co-founder Chuck Burkins explains. “Another thing we’re proud of is that all our spent grains, which are mostly sourced from local farmers, are sent to a biodigester to be turned into clean power.” The distillery has made its operations so clean that it is no longer required by the Town of Middlebury to have an industrial discharge permit; the distillery is adding less liquid waste to the system than a residence does over the course of a month.
The distillery still relies on natural gas to power a high-efficiency steam system for their processes, and this is an area the team has identified as an opportunity for further reducing its reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change and are switching over to renewable natural gas (RNG).
The environmental case for reducing carbon has been well understood for years and now the business case for committing to climate neutrality is more compelling than ever. “Customers care about how products are made and are supporting brands that commit to operating responsibly,” says Will Drucker, head of sales and marketing at Appalachian Gap Distillery. “I’m proud to work with a brand that has made sustainability a core value and am excited to offer our customers products that address the climate crisis in addition to being delicious to drink. Given the choice, more people want to do good by drinking well.”
Over the coming months, the distillery will be compiling information about its carbon footprint, including direct operations, upstream sourcing and downstream shipping in order to create a comprehensive accounting of emissions. Once this is complete, Appalachian Gap will offset its emissions as necessary and commit to actions to further reduce its climate impact in the future. “We will be certified Carbon Neutral this year, which is the last step in our journey towards having our operations reflect our values, one of which is responsibility to the planet and its inhabitants.” said Lars Hubbard. “It is the right thing to do.”