The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Sandymount Distillery first in Aotearoa to be certified carbon neutral

Sandymount Distillery has received notification from EKOS that it has achieved carbon neutral status.

The distillery, located in Sandymount Road on the Otago Peninsula, has been in commercial operation since May 2021, and owner and distiller Richard Wilson is particularly pleased to have reached this milestone before the business’s second birthday.

“This is what I’ve been working towards since I built my first still. It’s really something to celebrate,” he says.

Wilson is aiming to create some of Aotearoa’s best craft spirits, using the property to provide the resources, and replenishing the property by replanting and encouraging the growth of native forest and habitat.

The EKOS certification, which needs to be renewed annually, assesses every aspect of the business, considering the carbon outputs against the carbon mitigation measures.

Wilson’s prior experience in facility management meant that he could factor in carbon mitigations as he was developing the distillery site.

“It’s great to be pushing the boundaries in this space,” he says. “New Zealand’s distilled spirits sector is very collaborative and future-focused so I’m definitely not the only one working with our environmental footprint front of mind – but I’m still pretty happy to be the first to get this tick.”

The largest contributor to Sandymount Distillery’s carbon footprint is travel and freight, although Wilson delivers Dunedin orders himself, meaning he can combine trips and reduce both fuel consumption and packaging.

“To offset our biggest carbon uses, we’re investing in planting native forests, both on site at Sandymount, with a planting plan of 2000 native trees over 36 months, and through the EKOS carbon zero certification plan at Kanuka hill in Uruwhenua, Mōhua (Golden Bay),” he says.

“Becoming carbon neutral is the first step. What we have to do next is work out how to reduce our footprint entirely so we can get to carbon zero – there’s a way to go for that yet.”

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!