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WESTLAND DISTILLERY SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

Sustainability in whiskey is a complicated matter, certainly more so today than it was a decade ago. It can be elusive while at the same time becoming more pressing as each day passes. In many ways, sustainability is easy to prioritize in words, but harder to realize in action. Of us it requires both broad, holistic planning and smaller, more immediate choices in our daily work. For a distillery that touts its connection to the land and champions its whiskey as a reflection of provenance, it’s imperative that we be good stewards of that place. We do so in process, in sourcing, and in a commitment to restoration.

The following report outlines Westland's Sustainability Report, first drafted in Spring 2021. This is a living document. As we improve our practices and continually seek new ways to steward the region that gives us so much, we will update and renew our commitment here. We will also be diligent in the task of sharing all of our environmental performance information—both the good and the bad—and will always be transparent about identifying opportunities to improve.

2020 HIGHLIGHTS

2020 was highlighted by two large scale programs at Westland that had both immediate and long-term impacts on our community and environment.

First, we embraced the challenge of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by aiding our community and prioritizing the safety of our staff and customers. We closed our Tasting Room to the public, limited in-person meetings and events, restricted our community service, and converted our production for six months to make exclusively hand sanitizer to distribute free to frontline service providers.

Second, our team made a significant commitment to creating a comprehensive green and taking the first steps towards meaningful progress by completing the application and requirements for B-Corp status, achieving certification for EnviroStars, and commencing work on ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) certification.

In addition to these priority programs, Westland has integrated new sustainable practices across our business in several key areas including Whiskey Production, Community Support, and Personnel.

WHISKEY PRODUCTION

It is in whiskey-making that we can have the greatest impact on our community and our environment. Westland has worked to improve our impact at every stage of the process, from sourcing to facilities and operations to distribution. The following is a summary of key projects and initiatives:

Sustainable Barley Sourcing

Westland has made a significant commitment to sourcing barley that not only reduces the impact on our environment, but in many cases works to improve it.

New Barley Varieties Development

Our approach to whiskey making has always been to highlight the flavors of our raw ingredients. But when we began in 2010, the commodity system was the only option available to us for sourcing barley. Within that system, flavor wasn’t at all considered and environmental impact was barely considered. Commodity grain breeding programs are pressured to select for varieties that can adapt to a broad geographic range and produce high yields. This put pressure on farmers both financially and environmentally.

In partnership with WSU’s Bread Lab, Skagit Valley Malting, Linc Malting, Mainstem Malts, and a collection of growers across Washington, Westland is helping to bring new varieties that are designed to thrive in the Pacific Northwest ecosystem and also improve it. To-date, Westland has mashed and distilled over 20 varieties of barley bred outside the commodity system as in 2021 will dedicate over 40% of our annual production to these grains that have a positive impact on our region’s agricultural system.

Westland Barley Fellowship

In 2020 Westland committed to fully-funding a full-time PhD student at WSU’s Bread Lab in Skagit Valley to develop new varieties of barley specifically for the whiskey industry. The charter of the Westland Barley Fellowship is to research and breed barleys that fall outside the commodity system and achieve three primary objectives:

First, the barley must work for the farmer. For too long, growers in this country have been left behind, squeezed by the cruel machinations of industrialization and commodification. We don’t view ourselves as simply end users for barley. We see Westland as an integral part of a community and an agricultural system that betters the land and its people. Our role in that community is not to drive people down, as is the capitalistic norm, but to help build everyone up. We must create value for each and every person in the system, starting with the farmer. This means that the varieties we develop must be grown in an economically viable way that provides meaningful income for the grower. That means both yield and value (read: novelty and flavor). Equally as as important, the varieties must be suitable to a role in farming, not just whiskey. Each new variety must help sustain complete crop rotations so growers can improve their soil and perpetuate a healthy agricultural system.

Second, the barley must work for the changing environment. In just the past decade the rate of change in our climate and ecosystems has accelerated to the point of outright unpredictability. We are not spared from these forces, even in the relatively isolated and idyllic Pacific Northwest. The preservation of healthy farmland requires both economic and ecological alacrity. In addition to aiding in rotational farming, the varieties we develop in the fellowship program must be suited to certified organic, regenerative-organic, Salmon-safe, or other low-impact cultivation methods. But beyond stewardship of the land as it exists, we must also be prepared for what it might become. We breed with the unknown in mind, bringing back genetic diversity to barley, and judging the success of a variety partly on its ability to withstand (or tolerate) changes wrought by global climate change.

Finally, the barley must work for the end consumer. This should be obvious. Even if it checks each and every other box, if it isn’t good, it’s not worth pursuing. In fact, we take it one step further. It isn’t good and isn’t unique, it’s not worth pursuing. Uniqueness and novelty are not things to be feared, but rather embraced. We breed varieties for these qualities because, in the end, if it tastes like everything else, what’s the point?

EnviroStars Certification

Westland has been certified as an official EnviroStars Partner. EnviroStars is a Washington State program that recognizes Washington-based green businesses by demonstrating a commitment to energy and water use reduction, waste reduction, and pollution prevention.

Current Energy Metrics:

Explanation of “Per Proof Gallon” Metric

In addition to reporting our total consumption numbers, we opted to include consumption “per proof gallon”. Consumption numbers can fluctuate based on a variety of factors – number of days in a month, days of production, and daily production output. Our consumption amounts for this year independently look great. In context, our production was shut down for an extended period of time. We do not deserve the atta boy for our low consumption numbers this year, just as next year’s (hopefully) increased consumption will not necessarily mean we have dropped the ball for our environmental goals. By looking at our consumption per proof gallon produced, we can identify specifically how many resources we use in order to make each proof gallon of our incredible whiskey. This will help us look at true usage and performance as we strive to continuously improve our environmental performance.

Waste Reduction Projects

Westland has established an Operations Sanitation and Cleanliness Advocate and Representative (OSCAR) position. The role of OSCAR is to provide educational material and promote positive behavioral changes related to waste management and recycling among staff. Key accomplishments have included the introduction of additional waste, recycling, and compost bins throughout the facility, providing visual postings of best practices, and creating an all-staff channel on our internal messaging platform regarding environmental and sustainability practices. Westland has made progress by composting all paper material, taking our bulk plastic wrap to a specialty recycler in the city, transitioning to compostable cups for our Tasting Room, and purchasing LED lights for the Cask Room & Tasting Room. Westland has also implemented a regular waste audit to better track our waste and recycling impact as a company. In addition, Westland has begun recycling super sacks, plastic films/bags, and shipment packaging. Over 125 supersacks (720lbs) were diverted from landfill and recycled in the past year. This is the equivalent of preventing 3,300 water bottles from going to landfill! Finally, Westland has instituted a waste stream monitoring program.

Skagit Valley Farm

In 2020, Westland purchased an 80-acre property in the Skagit Valley which maintains 12 acres of farmable land. This acreage zoned for agricultural is certified Salmon Safe and we are in the process of an organic certification as well. In May 2021 Westland planted its first crop of barley on five acres that will serve as a testing and proving growers in the valley interested in planting sustainable varieties of barley on a larger scale in the year to come. In addition to the farming grains, Westland will implement rotational farming in the years to come, cycling in other crops and maintaining pasture land for an organic dairy operation.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

It is in whiskey-making that we can have the greatest impact on our community and our environment. Westland has worked to improve our impact at every stage of the process, from sourcing to facilities and operations to distribution. The following is a summary of key projects and initiatives:

Hand Sanitizer Project

In 2020, Westland converted its entire production facility to the manufacture of Hand Sanitizer to help frontline workers combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of partners at Country Malt (Sani Malt) and Market Actives (Bitrex), over 2,000 gallons of sanitizer was delivered (from a total production of 3,500 gallons) to more than 175 of hospitals, clinics, government agencies and businesses Helped. Country Malt Group.

Garry Oak Restoration

For our Garryana single malt whiskey we use casks made from a species of oak (Quercus garryana) that is native to the Pacific Northwest. We only source oak that is blown down by storm or designated hazard wood. That said, today Quercus garryana stands at less than 5% of its former habitat across the Pacific Northwest. Westland is helping to restore these oaks and the ecosystems they support by planting new Quercus garryana trees in partnership with local preservation organization Forterra. To-date, the team at Westland has planted over 600 saplings at the Shibig Nature Preserve outside Tacoma, WA and has committed to a stewardship program for these oaks that has our team on the preserve several times each year.

Local Business Support

Westland seeks to support the businesses that drive our local economy though events, whiskey collaborations partnerships, and Tasting Room product development.

Events:

Westland has partnered with local brands to host collaborative events that reach expand the reach and improve the fortunes of valuable locally-based businesses. Most recently, Westland partnered with Theo Chocolate in Seattle to host a virtual Thoughtfully Paired tasting event. Traditionally, each winter we host our Winter Market, where we host local companies in our facility to present pop-up tables for their work. Special collaborative bottling releases have included local partnerships such as Filson, as well as our local breweries. Our Garryana bottle release day also features local businesses and partnerships such as Hard Mill, Forterra, and the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society. For events such as bottle release days, and our annual Peat Week Symposium, we strive to work with local catering business such as Fare Start—a company that is working to fight poverty, hunger, and homeless in Seattle. For our annual Peat Week release, we connect with local bartenders to compete in our cocktail competition to help support the struggling hospitality industry in Washington State. This year we featured our in-house cocktail kits with recipes created by bartenders within the city to help promote their work and the bar and/or restaurant they were representing. In April 2021 we hosted an online auction of rare whiskeys from which 100% of the proceeds were donated to the Seattle chapter of Big Table which aids hospitality workers in need.

Whiskey Collaborations:

A number of our whiskeys support local businesses through collaborations in whiskey-making. While leading to great single malt whiskeys, these programs also help bring increased visibility to our partners and also benefit their bottom line. Our Cask Exchange program works with local producers of other beverages to create 3-4 unique bottlings per year. Currently we are working with 30 breweries, two cider makers, five Washington wineries as part of the program. Our wood program also regularly leverages an increasing stock of ex-Washington wine casks which are used for a varietal of bottlings, including single cask releases. Our Cask 5410 release won Best American Single Cask at the 2021 World Whiskey Awards. We purchase each of these casks directly from the winery without using brokers so all of the money goes to the winery.

Purchasing casks from local breweries and wineries also helps extend the life of the casks and gain more use from them in the stream of production.

Tasting Room Product Development:

In designing ancillary products for our Tasting Room we seek to support local business in any way possible. In 2020, the passing of Bill 5549 by the Washington State legislature allowed Westland to feature locally-based spirits and sparkling wines in our full-strength cocktails. This has been further expanded into selling a variety of cocktail kits and virtual cocktail classes which bring more visibility to our local partners. The development of the cocktails and the cocktail kits also has worked to support local businesses by making sure that over 51% of the cocktail (at times up to 100%) is a locally based product, including garnishes. We have also made a commitment to using increasingly more local vendors to produce merchandise for our Tasting Room. In our collaboration with our Filson partnership bottling, Filson created shirts, beanies, and shot glasses to stick on our shelves. For our Cask Exchange Program, we have featured pint glasses, hats, shirts, and stickers to show our support for our Seattle-based breweries. The food in our Tasting Room has also become more focused in highlighting not just Pacific Northwest companies, but Washington State-based food and beverage companies.

PERSONNEL

Westland has made a commitment to prioritizing and cultivating a culture of sustainability through two primary company initiatives.

WEST Program

Westland has acknowledged that environmental and sustainability is not one person’s responsibility—nor should it be. We recognized that if we want to be serious about meeting our environmental goals, it requires a dedicated team that is responsible for assessing our environmental risks and performance, identifying opportunities for improvement, setting meaningful goals, and establishing a vision for achieving those goals. In 2020, we created WEST (Westland Environmental & Sustainability Team), a volunteer cross-functional committee tasked with leading our environmental program. During its inaugural year, WEST has conducted an extensive environmental risk assessment, implemented sustainability practices, earned the distillery’s first environmental certification, and dedicated specific resources for meeting environmental objectives. WEST has also been integral in the development and publication of this sustainability report.

Westland Warriors Moveathon

The health and wellbeing of our team and their immediate community is a critical, but often overlooked, aspect of a sustainable workplace. Including charitable donations (local and otherwise). The Westland Warriors Moveathon was conceived to encourage physical wellbeing and support charitable causes important to our staff. By challenging and incentivizing our employees to be physically active, our team tallied 8,684 miles resulting in $2,170 donated by Westland to charities including Pike Place Foundation, James Beard Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans, Washington Trails Association, Emergency Feeding Program, Seattle Humane Society, Center for Biological Diversity, Grow Cycling Foundation, Evergreen MTB, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Black Girls RUN.

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