Sustainability and Responsibility

Kindness to people and planet are at the heart of York Gin. Sustainability and responsibilty are key principles that guide us.

For example, from day one, we have run on 100% renewable electricity generated from sun, wind and sea. More expensive - but the right thing to do.

Our aim is that the environment, local people and charities benefit from our existence - to be a 'net positive' business.
We are not there yet - but incremental steps are carrying us closer to our ambition.

Sustainability: Aiming for Carbon Neutrality

As a responsible business, we try to minimise our environmental impact. As a manufacturer, this will never be zero: we use energy to make gin and on transport, for example.

But we can choose the best option for the planet.

We are working with eco-consultancy Sustainable Business Services - with a view to achieving carbon neutrality. The baseline to help measure improvements is our initial report

Waste & Recycling

We have an agreement with local experts Forge Recycling who take all our waste from the distillery with zero going to landfill. Their report details the CO2 emissions produced by converting this waste to energy - and offset this with a tree-planting scheme.

From the shops, cardboard waste goes to Friends of St Nicholas' Field - a York environmental charity. Non-recyclable waste goes to Forge Recycling.

We also run a refill station in our shop with a £5 discount to encourage customers to re-use their bottles.

Green Electricity & Electric Vehicles

Our distillery and shops both run on 100% renewable power with SSE Energy's green tariff. This significantly reduces our environmental impact.

Our copper still runs on this renewable electricity - rather than gas power used in many other distilleries. This reduces our energy consumption as it takes less time to warm up!

York Gin's vehicles are electric or hybrid. Any extra financial cost of these vehicles is outweighed by our desire to minimise our environmental impact.

Water-Saving System

During the cooler months, we use a water management system. Water cools the gin vapours back down to liquid - previously we had to let this water drain away afterwards. We re-use this water in a closed system. We use this system when temperatures allow - and we are developing this to work during the summer months, too.

Sustainable and Plastic Free

Our bottles, labels and packaging are 100% plastic free and made sustainably in Yorkshire.

The bottles we launched in 2021 are made by sustainable glass-makers Verallia in Leeds - with 20% less glass than the previous bottles. The 20-mile journey compares very favourably to the previous 600-mile trip from France.

Sustainable companies The Label Makers and Packaging Answers are both based in Yorkshire. Just Paper Bags are based in our home city of York.

Local first

Our neutral grain spirit is produced in Yorkshire from grain grown on Yorkshire farms. Alcohol and bottles are the heaviest materials we use, so buying local has a massive effect on our carbon footprint.
Other local suppliers include:

  • York upcyclers PurePallets who reuse old pallets and railway sleepers to fit our shops and for several York Gin products
  • York's The Star Inn The City makes the sugar syrup in our Old Tom gin using Yorkshire ingredients
  • We sell locally-made alcohol-free 'gin', rum from Leeds and Yorkshire whisky from Filey
  • York's Bessie's Yorkshire Preserves make a delicious York Gin & grapefruit marmalade

The local community

We raise thousands of pounds for local charities each year. Our two official causes are:

St Leonard's Hospice
We support our local hospice with financial support and promotion on our social media channels. In 2020, we supported their fund-raising efforts to celebrate their 35th birthday by creating a limited edition of 350 special edition bottles. These sold out very quickly and raised a four-figure sum for the hospice.
York Cats Protection
We support York Cats Protection by providing an annual financial contribution, promoting the adoption of difficult-to-home cats on our social media channels and by offering a York Gin mini bottle to all adopters, to toast their new feline family member.

Living Wage & Ethical Sourcing

We treat everyone in a courteous and respectful manner. Kindness is one of our core principles.

We are a Living Wage employer – paying all our staff at least the Living Wage.

Our botanical suppliers Beacon Commodities deal directly with growers, collectors and processors - removing the middleman.
Regular trips to meet suppliers mean they can ensure an ethical supply - they see with their own eyes the farming and employment practices being used. Their close relationships and expertise in farming methods also help to solve harvest problems - becoming more regular with climate change.

Responsible drinking

As the manufacturer of strong alcoholic drinks, we have a responsibility to discourage the abuse of alcohol. So, we ensure that we do not in any way, shape or form glorify excessive drinking of alcohol. All our gins are ultra-premium in quality - our consistent message is to choose quality over quantity:

'Don’t drink more – drink better.'

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