Sustainably minded consumers have greatly influenced the transformation of business practices and production in recent years. In the drink industry, a lot of bars have been on a mission to reduce waste beyond just simply getting rid of plastic straws, and big spirit brands are shifting their businesses to support this cause. One of the largest spirits and wine companies in the world, Pernod Ricard, is following this cause by championing eco-friendly production and educational initiatives to reduce their brand’s environmental impact.
The company initially launched the Bar World of Tomorrow initiative, a sustainability education platform for the spirits industry that supports and trains bars on sustainable and responsible bartending practices. In Hong Kong, Bar World of Tomorrow, in partnership with Food Made Good Hong Kong, has launched a series of programmes dedicated to helping food service businesses operate sustainably, engaging almost 100 bartenders in the training programme. Following the company’s sustainable programme, Pernod Ricard recently announced its new partnership with ecoSpirits, an innovative closed-loop distribution system that eliminates bottle packaging in the bar industry. This move pilots a circular spirits programme with the company’s iconic brands Absolut Vodka, Beefeater Gin, and Havana Club Rum.
Starting in Hong Kong and Singapore, bars will be able to serve the three spirits in the ecoSpirits’ award-winning ecoTote containers, a reusable vessel that carries 4.5 litres of spirit that meets the safety and quality standards for storing beverages. This process alleviates single-use glass for spirits, one of the main culprits of the bar industry’s waste production and carbon emissions.
This pilot programme is the first of its kind for a global spirits brand which marks a huge shift in the industry’s transition to circular spirits. The development of more sustainable packaging solutions is just one of the steps that Pernod Ricard is implementing to reach their goal of reducing carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2030 and Net Zero trajectory by 2050.
“The global bar scene has suffered greatly during the pandemic, and this is all the more true now especially in Hong Kong. We believe in the fortitude and resilience of the industry, and we aim to help alleviate any burden that we can, including helping to introduce sustainable practices to their business in an effective way,” states Pernod Ricard Asia’s vice president for Corporate Affairs and Sustainability & Responsibility, Hermance De La Bastide. “True to our vision, we strongly believe in working with others across the industry to strengthen what we do collectively. EcoSPIRITS is a wonderful partner to help our industry minimise waste and its carbon footprint, while also protecting our natural resources,” she adds.
Customers will first see Havana Club Rum in an ecoTote format in 2021 Time Out Hong Kong’s Best New Bar, Argo, while Beefeater Gin in ecoTote will be offered in one of Asia's best bars 28 HongKong Street in Singapore. More bars in both cities will follow and Pernod Ricard plans to expand the programme to other key markets and brands across Asia and beyond.
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