Westland Distillery, as a knowing and active custodian of this world, is committed to being an industry leader in environmental impact. Westland has been committed to this since its founding and will continue to explore opportunities to minimize its environmental impact. At Westland we have identified four key areas for monitoring and improvement that will, among other things, help in our goal of reducing our CO2 footprint 10% year-on-year until we reach carbon neutral:
We are committed to providing a healthy, safe, and environmentally conscious workplace for our employees and those who visit. We continue to explore opportunities to utilize fewer, more recyclable materials in day-to-day operations and continue to promote opportunities for employees to develop healthy habits, a welcoming work environment, and a genuine regard for the region that makes our business possible.
Looking to the Future:
Westland will continue to reduce its impact on the environment by promoting team engagement in stewardship projects, by encouraging the use of environmentally responsible materials, and by creating a culture of sustainability within the walls of the distillery.
We will be committing to a minimum of 250 hours of community service per year as a distillery, and a company-wide matching program for employees donating to sustainable causes. With respect to materials used in the customer experience, all vendors solicited by the distillery will be subject to a supplier approval form that assesses their level of engagement in environmental and/or sustainability programs. Sustainability scores will play a key factor in how business is awarded to vendors.
Westland is committed to achieving Certified Organic and Salmon Safe status by 2025 on its 80-acre property in the Skagit Valley. We will then achieve a form of “regenerative organic” certification on the property by 2027.
Westland’s use of the farmable acreage on its Skagit site will be targeted to help drive best practices and learning opportunities for area farmers, so as to help them apply these techniques in their work while taking on less financial risk.
Westland will dedicate a minimum of five acres of its farmable land on the Skagit site to directly aiding the barley research conducted by the Bread Lab as part of our four-year commitment to the program.
Producing whiskey is an energy and resource intensive process, but we at Westland are actively researching and pursuing opportunities to minimize the impact of the whiskey-making process. In 2018, we installed a cooling tower for condenser water that resulted in a 70% reduction in water use. We also work closely with local farmers to keep any and all spent grain out of waste streams by donating it for use as cattle feed. We are committed to exploring opportunities for increasing sustainable energy production, implementing in-depth recycling programs, and maximizing efficiencies in water usage throughout the production process.
Looking to the Future:
As Westland continues to grow and expand, any new production facility construction will be subject to LEED certification. We are also committed to measurable water and electricity reductions, at a minimum of 1% per year for the next five years. Finally, we will be requiring all long-term suppliers of production supplies to respond to a supplier approval program factors in positive environmental impact during the bidding process. Finally, Westland has committed to purchasing 100% certified sustainable barley by 2025, beginning by increasing sustainable malt purchasing to 40% in 2021/22 with yearly increases.
Westland is committed to purchasing our barley from suppliers that are as passionate about minimizing their impact on the environment as we are, and over 40% of our barley is purchased from suppliers that have rules in place to monitor and reduce the impact of farming on the land. In the next five years, we will work to increase that percentage to 100% by working closely with our supplier to explore opportunities for sustainability. Our barreling program focuses on getting the most use out of every barrel: we engage with breweries, wineries, and other distilleries to foster a marketplace for used barrels outside of our distillery.
Looking to the Future:
Westland will formalize and distribute our supplier approval program with a goal to both gain a better understanding of the actions our grain suppliers are taking to promote sustainability and push our vendors to decrease their impact on the environment. As a distillery, we are committed increasing our use of certified sustainable barley by 10% each year, and we will work with barrel suppliers to ensure that any new barrels we purchase are made from wood harvested in a sustainable manner.
Westland is mindful that nearly all actions taken in the pursuit of selling its single malt whiskey has the potential to impact our environment. In recognition of this, our team is actively adjusting our current marketing and commercial strategy to minimize our environmental impact. This change is not only in the sales and marketing material that we produce, but also in the way we communicate and/or travel to engage with clients, the food we consume while traveling in market and entertaining guests, and finally the expectations we set forth for our distribution partners with respect to point of sale material and sales data.
Looking to the Future:
In regard to dry goods; Westland is committed to reducing the amount of waste its dry good packaging produces. To this end, Westland will eliminate all use of plastics in its primary and secondary packaging by 2025. In addition, starting in 2023, all of Westland’s secondary packaging will be 100% recyclable. Starting in 2020, Westland will initiate a top-down analysis of its bottle design and calculate the Environmental Performance Index of current packaging by the end of 2023. New bottle designs will consider this EPI factor as a baseline and attempt an improvement on this score in the next iteration.
In regard to sales and marketing material we produce; Westland is committed to reducing printed point of sale material by 50% by 2025. This includes all consumer and trade facing material.
In regard to communicating with trade and clients: Westland is committed to minimizing our carbon footprint through a variety of technology available to minimize travel requirements. Starting in 2021, Westland employees will conduct 25 consumer tastings via digital platform.
In regard to food/shelter/entertainment during travel: Each Westland employee is committed to one plant-based meal per market visit and providing the means for our trade partners to do the same, to start in FY 2021. In addition, Westland will require each Academy and/or VIP guest to comply with one plant-based meal for each visit to Seattle. Each year our goal is to increase the number of 100% plant-based meals per week by 1. (Assume three meals per day, five days per week). Westland employees will refuse the use of turndown/maid service at all hotels on stays shorter than three nights starting in FY21/22.
In regard to local travel in Washington State: Westland is committed to the use of public transportation while traveling. If a public transportation option is unavailable, distillery team personnel will mitigate car travel environmental impact with an expectation of three employees or more per car to each Washington State destination events.
In regard to domestic travel: Westland is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. Beginning in FY21/22, the distillery will implement a maximum budget for driven mileage using the total of 100,00 miles. Each year we will implement a 5% reduction in car-based mileage (as a driver) or until we reach a 50% reduction.
In regard to foreign travel: Westland is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. Beginning in FY21/22, the distillery will implement a maximum budget for flown mileage using the total of 360,000 miles (USING WEBFLYER to determine distance) as a starting benchmark. Each year we will implement a 5% reduction in flight-based mileage (as a driver) or until we reach a 25% reduction.
What We Have Done:
In an ongoing effort to improve upon our sustainable practices in the Westland Distillery Tasting Room, we’ve made a number of improvements to our materials & vendor sourcing, and compost practices. Westland prides itself in sourcing merchandise, food, and ingredients, as locally as possible. Approximately 40% of our current merchandise and/or food items are sourced from within WA State. In the last two years, we eliminated plastic service materials, switching entirely to: compostable cups, washable service and dishware, glass water bottles, and compostable to-go containers. Our in-house policy mandates that we fill each Hobart dish- rack to capacity before running through the sanitizer, as a means of minimizing water waste. Additionally, all food scraps are composted. An additional in-house policy mandates that we turn off all lights outside of operating hours as a means of reducing energy usage.
What We Plan To Improve:
In the next two years (by September 2022), the Westland Distillery Tasting Room will feature 70% locally sourced food, and merchandise. Additionally, our wearable merchandise will be comprised of 25% products made with recycled materials. We will transition all lighting sources in the tasting room, to 100% LED light bulbs. Over the course of the next two years, we will have our cleaning team transition to 100% eco-friendly cleaning products. Finally, by the year 2025, the Westland Tasting Room will feature an interactive display, intended for educating our guests on Westland’s, and our partners sustainable practices, emphasizing the importance of sustainable business practices.