Our sustainability journey
From using leftover botanicals, to becoming certified carbon neutral
Very early on in the Four Pillars journey we became aware of just how energy-intensive making gin is. So we’ve always done our best to recycle, re-use and reduce our impact on the environment.
It started with turning the spent oranges left over from our Rare Dry Gin distillations into our (now) much-loved Made From Gin Orange Marmalade, and continued with using spent botanicals as mulch and installing solar panels on the roof of our distillery.
When it came to expanding our home in Healesville in 2021, we knew it was an opportunity to bring in even more sustainability initiatives to both our hospitality spaces but also our production.
So we enlisted the help of our friends at Breathe Architecture and Never Stop Group to design and build ‘Healesville 2.0’, keeping sustainability at the forefront. The build used materials like recycled and upcycled concrete and bricks, pineapple ‘leather’ upholstery and even building ‘waste,’ which was carefully used and given a second life.
The new space now features a stunning copper bar, which has been equipped with copper gin pipes to cut back on glass bottle waste and our bottled tonic has also been switched out for kegs. Both of these things mean we’ll save around 29 tonnes of glass per year!
Our distillery, including both the old and new spaces, is surrounded by a copper ‘veil’ made from 1650m of raw copper tubing which works as a natural heat exchange to reduce energy consumption (plus it looks pretty epic).
With the help of these initiatives we were able to become the first EVER gin distillery in Australia to achieve carbon neutral status for our gins bottled on site at the distillery, as well as organisation certification for the entire Four Pillars business organisation. So that’s pretty awesome.
Awarded by Climate Active, an Australian government initiative, our being carbon neutral status essentially means we have achieved zero emissions thanks to proactive measures and offsets.
And it hasn’t stopped there. In September 2022, we were awarded the inaugural Global Green Spirits Initiative trophy by the International Wine & Spirits Competition (kind of like our version of the Oscars). An award designed to recognise sustainability initiatives in distilling worldwide.
It’s been one heck of a journey, and we aren’t done yet! We’re always looking for ways to be more sustainable, including trialling our first ever refilling service at our Healesville Distillery and takeback service at our Sydney Laboratory.
So watch this space while we continue to tread evermore lightly on this place we call home, right here in the Yarra Valley.