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Environmental Sustainability

Responsibly Growing Our Brands

Our sustainability vision is to responsibly grow our brands and company, while protecting and enriching the natural environment on which we depend.

We recognize that environmental sustainability contributes to value creation, our reputation, and our success. Along with other elements of corporate responsibility, sustainability is integrated into Brown-Forman’s overall business strategy.

The Jack Daniel’s distillery is passionate about sustainability initiatives. As part of our overall Zero Waste to Landfill goal, the distillery sends 99% of materials from the distillery to be reused or recycled. We have also extended the life of our charcoal mellowing vats, resulting in a significant cost savings as well as decreasing the amount of sugar maple needed for the vats throughout the year. In addition, warehouse improvements have allowed for reducing temperature and thus, the angel’s share, or amount of whiskey lost to evaporation during aging. Learn more about our environmental sustainability efforts at Jack Daniel’s in our video.

The exterior of the Jack Daniel's distillery

A bottle of Herradura tequila

Casa Herradura is one of Mexico’s most historic and renowned tequila producers. Its premium products, ranked among the world’s finest, are attracting attention among the next generation of consumers. So is the work we’re doing in Amatitán, Mexico, to ensure the sustainability of our tequila production. Less than 1% of the solid waste we generate goes to landfill, creating a greener process and product. The distillery utilizes a state-of-the-art steam boiler that can use both biogas from our wastewater treatment plant and biomass for fuel, turning waste into energy and enabling us to create a closed-loop energy source. It also enables us to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 40% since 2012 (45-ton CO2 eq / year). Learn more about our environmental sustainability efforts at Casa Herradura in our video.

Slane Distillery, one of our more recent additions to the Brown-Forman portfolio of brands, has integrated multiple sustainability initiatives. We installed a catchment system to collect and store rainwater off the distillery buildings, which is then treated and used for process water or landscape irrigation. This reduces the amount of water drawn from the Boyne River. The distillery also restored a section of Harlinstown Stream, a tributary to the Boyne River, and built a salmon ladder allowing fish to travel upstream during spawning season. Future plans include building an anaerobic digester to convert distillation wastewater into biogas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Discussion among Brown-Forman employees and other members of DendriFund members

The DendriFund, an independent foundation created in 2012 by Brown-Forman and the Brown family has evolved to focus on inspiring joint actions to solve challenges related to wood, water, and grains. The Fund brings together diverse but collaborative stakeholders inspired to drive systemic change on a larger level than individual actions can achieve alone. Signature projects include the White Oak Initiative focusing on a 17-state region where white oak grows to assess woodland conditions and produce conservation and management plans. The Salt River Collaborative targets similar outcomes networking close to 30 groups in the Louisville area. The rye project aspires to accelerate the adoption of cover crops with research and partnerships that bring commercial value to growing rye in Kentucky. DendriFund believes that companies, conversation groups, and individuals, through partnership, can leverage the expertise of many to achieve a thriving natural, social, and economic environment for future generations.

At Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards in California, sustainability is more than just a practice, it’s a culture. A dedicated team of winery employees focuses on its mission of spreading awareness and education on sustainability, and generating action to address sustainability opportunities. The site has received certification by the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance for its owned vineyards. In fiscal 2017 it completed an on-site solar facility that produces an average of 150,000 kWh of energy each year. Sonoma-Cutrer also uses 100% of treated process wastewater for on-site vineyard irrigation.

Cover of the 2020 Annual Report2020 Annual and CR Report

2020 Annual and CR Report
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