Sustainable Spotlight: Cooper King Distillery

Located in the heart of Yorkshire, Cooper King Distillery is a self-built, family-owned gin and whisky distillery built on the site of a stable, producing award-winning sustainable spirits underpinned by craftsmanship, honesty and adventure. Formed in 2016, by Dr Abbie Neilson, a former scientist and Chris Jaume, a chartered architect, Cooper King Distillery is independent, self-built and powered by 100% green energy. They are passionate about flavour and are committed to producing great-tasting spirits, alongside caring for the environment.

Cooper King Distillery was built on the basis that it was environmentally, financially and socially sustainable. Abbie and Chris vowed to protect and promote the local environment by leading the industry in sustainability. By using a closed-loop cooling system they have already saved 13 tonnes of fresh water this year. Their award-winning dry gin is hand-distilled using honey from the distillery’s own beehives, lemongrass and a touch of locally-grown lavender, all produced in micro-batches using innovative vacuum distillation. They compost all spent botanicals too – reducing landfill to feed the newly-planted on-site orchard and to help grow next year’s botanicals.

The company is the first distillery in Europe to join the international environment initiative, 1% For The Planet, which sees at least 1% of sales of both Cooper King Dry and Herb Gin contributed towards environmental non-profits. This contribution plants one square metre of native woodland for every bottle sold through a partnership with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. After going beyond the minimum commitment and donating 2.5% of gin sales to this charity, (600 trees or 6000 square metres) hundreds of trees have been planted in the Yorkshire Dales in the last 15 months

Thanks to use of locally-made recycled cardboard cases, all deliveries are plastic-free, eliminating the need for packing materials such as bubble wrap. Any packing material they do use is either shredded cardboard made from the off-cuts of their boxes, or 100% biodegradable potato starch pellets.

In a bid to further protect the environment, Cooper King Distillery bottle their gin in a lightweight alternative to the heavy glass bottles favoured by premium spirit brands. Each bottle weighs 300 grams less on average, uses fewer raw materials and is lighter to transport, thus cutting down on toxic emissions and ensuring customers pay for the gin inside, not the bottle.

Cooper King Distillery hope to inspire bars and restaurants to review how their current way of working is contributing to the climate emergency and to consider sourcing a more sustainable supply of spirits.

Take a look at their award-winning dry gin here and their brand new herb gin here.

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