Staff members at a Co. Meath distillery are helping to plant 2,000 trees as part of a groundbreaking sustainability drive.
Family-run drinks firm Boann has announced that it is getting into the environmental spirit with a major green initiative to offset the use of wooden barrels to age its whiskey.
A total of 1,000 oak and 1,000 native broadleaf trees are being grown on Meath’s Preston Estate, which has historic family links to the world-famous Preston’s of Drogheda, Co. Louth – operators of a whiskey-bonding business for almost a century, since 1886 – and the planting is set to become an annual initiative, the company added.
Boann noted that only three to four barrels can be made from a suitable tree, and the distillery lays down 6,000 barrels annually, to allow its whiskey to mature.
“We choose to work only with coopers that source their wood from sustainable sources,” said Sally-Anne Cooney, co-founder and sustainability lead at Boann Distillery, based outside Drogheda.
“Cask maturation is an essential part of the whiskey-making process.”
Carbon Footprint Reduction
Cooney noted that Boann casks its new-make spirit into oak barrels from around the world, and this new planting of trees will contribute to close the loop on its barrel sustainability programme in the new circular economy, while also helping to reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint into the future.
“This is the start of ongoing plans to make a more sustainable distilling future for Irish whiskey,” she said.
“We are a family business and look to the long term in everything we do. Protecting the environment for the next generation is paramount.”
The Meath distillery highlighted that, in the coming years – annually – it aims to plant a further 2,000 trees, all of which will be protected and allowed to grow to maturity.
Boann has already been rewarded for its environmental activities, becoming the first distillery in Ireland to be awarded Bord Bia Origin Green Gold member status in 2020.
Reducing water usage, moving to exclusively renewable energy sources, rainwater harvesting, and supporting the local grain supply are some of the key measures that the distillery is adopting to promote sustainability within the industry.