The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Kiwi drinks consultant in finals of global sustainability competition

Jason Clark, Director of the recently-launched Drinks Geek Consultancy in Auckland has reached the global finale of Altos Tequila’s sustainability-focused competition, The Tahona Society Competition.

The first of its kind in the bartending industry, The Tahona Society Competition is a global programme that is pioneering change in the way brands support their communities.

Since October 2022, local finals have taken place across the globe, with more than 65 attendees pitching projects aimed at benefiting staff, customers, the bartending community and/or the environment.

The finale will take place in Mexico from June 29 – July, where Clark will compete against 11 other bartenders for the chance to win a $50,000 USD grant to bring his initiative – Glass into Gold – to life.

Glass into Gold centres around the Ponsonby Central Hospitality Market and making use of the many tonnes of glass disposed of by the more than 20 F&B outlets onsite.

Having recently been brought on board as an owner operator of Ponsonby’s Bedford Soda & Liquor, Clark’s plan is to invest in a large-scale glass-crushing unit that converts glass bottles into a fine sand that has many uses and even has commercial resale value.

The machine reduces the size of the glass by 90%, which hugely minimises the amount of loads required to transport it to be recycled or go to landfill.

The sand created from the waste bottles will be transferred a short distance to a local glass blower, who will use it to produce a signature recycled drinking glass.

The resulting glasses will then be purchased by Bedford and other venues to be used in-house to create awareness of the programme.

They will also be sold in retail stores and a portion of profits from every glass sold will be put back into local community causes, such as disaster relief, Auckland City Mission and more.

Following this local win, Clark is set to undergo a three-month coaching process with Agenda28 – an impact design firm originally created at the Harvard Innovation Labs.

Clark will be required to complete a series of online tasks and digital interviews in which he will receive tailored critiques and advice from Agenda28 Founder, Valerie Kramis and Strategic Communication Consultant, Luis Espino.

He will also be assisted in developing a clear business plan and communication/ presentation strategy, before heading to the global finale to put Glass to Gold to the test.

Did you know?

There are six ways you can catch up with The Shout NZ?

Our print magazine – new issue out now! Subscribe here.
Online, updated daily with its own unique content and breaking news.
Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
Our digital magazines – the latest issues are online now.
We are also on Facebook and Instagram!