CarbonBetter, a minority-owned sustainability strategy and energy logistics firm, announced the certification of the world’s first carbon-negative bourbon distilled by Fierce Whiskers Distillery in Austin, Texas. Five O’Clock Shadow, a single-barrel bourbon release dropping exclusively at the company’s first-anniversary event on September 24, 2022, also represents the first bourbon release for this grain-to-grass distillery.
The Fierce Whiskers founding team integrated sustainability strategy into the business well before breaking ground on their distillery and five-story rickhouse, reviewing materials, equipment, suppliers, and distilling decisions relative to environmental impact.
“At Fierce Whiskers, we are singularly focused on making the best possible whiskey in Austin, Texas. We found it impossible to stay true to this mission without considering environmental impacts throughout our processes. How could the best whiskey be bad for the Earth? Our processes use energy and water to make a delicious product, and we have to consider that,” said Tri Vo, co-founder of Fierce Whiskers. “While we know that a few bottles of bourbon will not save the world, we must be part of the shift necessary to address the climate emergency.”
In alignment with this approach, in 2021 Fierce Whiskers retained CarbonBetter to develop and issue its first sustainability report, released before completing its first full year of operations. The work to measure, reduce, and report on Fierce Whiskers’ impacts set the stage to release a carbon-negative bourbon by leveraging carbon intensity calculations.
“Quantifying and reporting on carbon impacts, even before full-scale operations, makes it easier for companies to efficiently take action, whether decarbonizing a single product line or tackling their entire carbon footprint,” said Nicole Sullivan, Director of Climate Services for CarbonBetter. “And there’s no need to stop at carbon neutral—it’s encouraging to see Fierce Whiskers take the contents of Barrel 47 to carbon negative by expanding their carbon offset purchase to include additional carbon offset projects that are making such a positive impact.”
Fierce Whiskers achieved carbon negative for the Five O’Clock Shadow release through the purchase of carbon offsets in a quantity that equals ten times the carbon emissions generated from grain to glass, resulting in a 1000% carbon negative bourbon. Each selected carbon offset project aligns with Fierce Whiskers’ goal to support high-impact projects with proven additionality that also relate to its business and operations. For example, CarbonBetter sourced carbon offset projects with water co-benefits because making whiskey is water intensive.
In the coming weeks, Carbon Better will release Fierce Whiskers’ 2022 sustainability report, which includes updated Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions calculations, with the new addition of Scope 3 emissions calculations, inclusive of ingredient emissions.
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