Well, here we are. Our first blog of 2023. We know it’s taken a while to get this going again, but we hope you understand that we’ve had a fair bit to be getting on with. As well as creating the world’s best sustainable vodka and gin, we’ve been focused on growing our team, spreading the word and doing everything we can to increase our business’s positive impact on the environment. Not to mention planting saplings, which we’re delighted to say we do quite a lot of! Anyway, our new, regular blog is here, and here to stay. We hope you enjoy it.
If it matters to you, it matters to us.
As well as keeping you up to date with what we’re up to on our mission to make the best British artisan vodka and gin on (and for) the planet, we want this blog to cover topics you care about. Creating a truly sustainable vodka and gin brand is a labour of love; we’re personally and professionally committed to our climate positive promise. We know that our ability to make a difference depends on our customers’ support, so if there’s a cause you’d like us to promote or a story you think we should be telling, we’d love to hear from you. Simply drop us a line here with any comments, feedback or suggestions and we promise to reply.
A potted history.
There’ll be plenty of time to tell you the whole story, but for those of you who are new to Sapling Spirits, we thought it might be nice to give you a brief lowdown on how we got here and what we’re all about. Ed and Ivo, our founders, were putting on a festival that was inspired by a tree planting project. The idea was to set up the event so that every part of it was sustainable. Which, for the most part, was fairly simple: until it came to stocking the bar. They started looking for a quality, UK-made vodka with a message of sustainability at its core. Then they realised there wasn’t one.
What happened next?
Ivo and Ed set out to create a sustainable vodka brand that was produced in the UK. It had to be good for the planet and taste better than Russian and European vodkas. There were quite a few independent companies making gin in Britain, but for some reason the idea of creating British artisanal vodka hadn’t really taken hold. It was also true that no-one had created a vodka brand that really did something good for the planet. The roots of Sapling had taken hold and the journey had begun.
What makes Sapling gin and vodka sustainable?
Three words are at the heart of our sustainability mission: ‘Avoid. Reduce. Offset.’
- We avoid emissions by producing fewer glass bottles and introducing innovations such as our trade and consumer refill scheme (which you can read more about below).
- We reduce our footprint by continuously looking to decarbonise our production, farming methods, and packaging. This year, for instance, we introduced regenerative wheat into our gin to lower its impact.
- Finally, whatever is left of our carbon impact we then offset using nature-based solutions.
As well as all this, we made a promise right at the beginning to plant a sapling—a two-year-old tree—for every bottle of vodka and gin that we sell. This is a commitment to our customers and planet that we’re really proud of. It also makes a massive difference. Producing a bottle of vodka uses about 2.5kg of carbon, while one tree can absorb up to 1.5 tonnes of CO2 in its lifetime. This means that the tree that we plant on behalf of you, our customers, pays the planet back for the initial carbon more than five hundred times over.
We pay very close attention to the environmental impact of our grain and our packaging, which, along with our tree-planting endeavours, makes us carbon negative or, as we prefer to say, climate positive. You’ll be hearing plenty about that, we’re sure…
A look to the future.
We’re not resting on our laurels, though. We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and there’s work to be done. Anything we can do to get better we will do. Which leads us nicely to our latest innovation: meet the refill pouch. We’ve been using refills for our on-trade customers for a while, as research carried out for us by ClimatePartner showed it reduced our carbon output by 25%. While we had slight reservations about rolling out the pouches to consumers—we know everyone loves a beautiful glass bottle—we felt that it was the right thing to do. It’s still the same, silky smooth British artisanal vodka, and you can enjoy it from the reusable glass bottle in the way you always have. You can also save a few quid, which should be welcome news.
Until next time.
We have some incredibly exciting plans for Sapling and we really hope you’ll come along for the ride. Keep an eye out for our next blog, which will be all about the goings on in our latest recent tree-planting party.
See you then.
The Sapling Team