Environmental Sustainability

Build Forever

Our vision for the future comes from an understanding that our actions to address climate change and water scarcity today impact our opportunities for tomorrow.

Merging Innovation and Tradition

I’m so pleased and inspired to be making a real impact for the environment through the enthusiasm and creativity of my colleagues.


Eduardo Lopez oversees one of our factories in Amatitán, Mexico. Merging innovation and tradition, he and his co-workers found a way to save energy and water while retaining the tequila’s unique flavor. Their achievement embodies our spirit at Brown-Forman — connecting the past with the present, with consideration for future generations.

“I began in wastewater treatment at Casa Herradura, then our environmental department, and now production. What I learned about environmental conservation is applicable in my new role, which is to implement continuous improvement systems. That is why I was so pleased three years ago when my co-workers came to me with a new idea. They believed that their traditional oven — made from sand, bricks, and stones — could use much less steam and still retain enough heat to cook our agave. I loved the idea and its potential to save energy and water.

Our biggest challenge was to not affect Tequila Herradura’s flavor profile. Over three years of collaboration and ongoing testing, we finally got it right. We were able to reduce steam usage and the energy needed to cook the agave by 14%. We are also saving money, and my co-workers are excited to see continuous improvement.

We expect yearly savings of 700 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and 950,000 gallons of water a year from the tequila-making process changes.

The Production Team has already started to work on reducing energy use even further, with a goal of more than double the energy savings in the factory in the near future.”

Eduardo López and Jesús Araiza inspect agave cooked under new process conditions.
Through collaboration and testing, Eduardo and his team were able to reduce steam usage and the energy needed to cook the agave by 14%.

At our heart, we are an agriculture company, dependent on the natural world. Our environmental sustainability strategy aims to protect and conserve natural resources — for our business and for future generations.

The Jack Daniel’s distillery is passionate about finding new ways to reuse materials. In fact, 99% of materials from the distillery are either reused or recycled. Excess shrink wrap from packaging is converted to decking material, used grain is used as cattle feed, and barrels are re-sold to other beverage alcohol manufacturers. We also use wood waste from nearby mills to produce 73% of all energy across the distillery, reducing our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels. Learn more about our environmental sustainability efforts at Jack Daniel’s in our new video.

While we have long practiced sustainability at Jack Daniel’s, we are particularly excited about Slane, our newest addition to the Brown-Forman portfolio of brands. Brown-Forman and our partners, the Conyngham family, have a deep commitment to caring for the community and land. Plans are underway at the new distillery for heat recovery, energy efficiency and an anaerobic digester to convert distillation wastewater into biogas. The facility will also have rainwater capture and restoration of a section of the Harlinstown Stream, including a salmon ladder to allow travel upstream during the spawning season. These and other features will position the distillery for success for years to come.

Casa Herradura is one of the oldest and most respected premium tequila distilleries in the world. But the quality of our tequila is only half the story. The way that we craft our products in a responsible and sustainable manner is the other half. Casa Herradura uses a state of the art steam boiler that turns agave waste into energy, creating a closed loop energy source. Through this process, Casa Herradura reduced the GHG emissions of its tequila production by 52%. Casa Herradura received the Environmental Excellence Award from the Mexican Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), the highest honor for companies that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental improvement.

Through the DendriFund, an environmentally focused foundation created by Brown-Forman and the Brown family, we connect with farmers, timberland owners, and other stakeholders to solve challenges related to wood, water, and grains. In the last two years, DendriFund has focused on bringing people together to address sustainable farming issues and to find new ways to allocate resources. Brown-Forman and the DendriFund hosted a sustainable agriculture forum in FY2017, inviting corn farmers and agricultural experts to share their expertise with us. We learned about championing regenerative growing methods, supporting strong farming communities and economies, and how to help farmers succeed in implementing such practices.

In Fiscal 2017, we completed an on-site solar facility at our Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards in California that produces an average of 150,000 kWh of energy each year. The site has also received certification by the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance for its owned vineyards.