Four Pillars Co-founders, Cam Mackenzie, Matt Jones and Stu Gregor

Four Pillars has announced it is now carbon neutral certified, thanks to the results of a $7 million upgrade to its Healesville headquarters distillery in the Yarra Valley.

This means that all Four Pillars gins bottled on-site will be certified carbon neutral, with all business operations of Four Pillars also achieving carbon neutral status by being included in Lion Australia’s organisation certification last year.

Carbon neutral certification from Climate Active is only awarded to businesses that have reached a state of achieving zero net emissions. The Australian government initiative is said to be one of the most stringent carbon neutral programs worldwide. Four Pillars said it is the first gin distillery to meet these certification standards, and said it was a significantly complex and costly undertaking to make the production facility operate as carbon neutral alongside making actual products that can be certified as carbon neutral.

Four Pillars Co-founder and Distiller, Cameron Mackenzie, said it’s been a long journey, working with Climate Active and consultants Ndver Environmental for more than a year to achieve the accreditation.

“This is a landmark day for Four Pillars and our commitment to sustainability. From the very first day we distilled gin we have tried to recycle, re-use and replenish our environment and give back to the community. We cannot give more to the community than assure it that our gins tread carefully on our planet especially in this time of climate crisis,” said Mackenzie.

“Our journey to carbon neutral began with the simple idea of reusing oranges for marmalade, giving spent botanicals to pigs for feed, putting solar panels on our roof and of course off-setting what can be an energy intensive production process by carefully purchasing mainly domestic carbon credits.

“To be honest, we are doing no more, or less, than what should be expected of a business that is lucky enough to be based in the magnificent natural surrounds of the Yarra Valley.”

Inside the Four Pillars Healesville 2.0 bar

The soon-to-launch distillery upgrade, named Healesville 2.0, has been designed with sustainability in mind and is located directly adjacent and wholly connected to the original distillery. Achieving broader sustainability wins were key to the planning of this upgrade, in addition to the Four Pillars commitment to emissions reduction.

Such sustainability measures put in place during the upgrade include using recycled and upcycled concrete and bricks in construction, as well as the use of pineapple ‘leather’ and even building waste. Furniture is all locally sourced and housed under solar panel clad roofing within a landscape planted with local native plants and botanicals, many of which can be used in the distillery.

On the bar side of the distillery, sustainability will be boosted through less bottle use – gin will be piped directly to the bar from the distillery through featured copper pipes, while most tonic will come in kegs. Together, these two initiatives are predicted to save 29 tonnes of glass per year for the site.

The old and new buildings will truly stand out in the local scenery thanks to a copper veil made from raw copper tubing, which will also work as a natural heat exchange to reduce energy consumption.  

The whole site, incorporating the old and new buildings, will be enclosed by a copper ‘veil’ made from 1650m of raw copper tubing, giving Healesville a stunning new landmark as well as working as a natural heat exchange to reduce energy consumption. Sustainability programs will also be implemented in the production of gin, with ongoing programs including the re-use of spent botanicals as mulch for local gardens.

Healesville 2.0 is set to open to the public by the end of this month. Take a peek into the making of the distillery here.

Gin taps

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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