Peter Bignell from Belgrove Distillery in Kempton, Tasmania reflects on how "green" he really is. Is there a distillery anywhere else in the world that can match his boast.
I mean “green” in the context of the lowest amount of fossil fuel carbon dioxide released per litre of alcohol produced.
- 95 % of my energy comes from BIOFUEL made from WASTE fryer oil that I collect from a roadhouse next to my farm (renewable energy) and (minimal freight “food miles”)
- The other 5% energy is Hydro electricity (renewable)
- I grow and harvest the grain within half a km of my distillery (minimal freight)
- I grow ryecorn, which unlike most other grains, requires very little fertiliser or irrigation (avoiding contamination of waterways)
- No insecticides or fungicides are used on the rye (no chemical contamination)
- I use minimum tillage and trash retention (sustainable farming)(locking up carbon in soil)
- Tractor and truck fuel is biodiesel from fryer
- Spent mash is fed to my livestock (minimal freight) (nutrient recycling)
- I malt my own grain and use it “green”. This saves a lot of energy because of no kilning.(reduced carbon emissions)
- All cooling water is recycled or used for irrigation (don’t waste precious water)
- All distillery water is captured on my farm. No government infrastructure.(no chemical additives, minimal pumping energy)
- Waste heat capture and reuse is gradually being improved
- Except for my still and my tractor, most of my equipment is second hand. I believe it is generally accepted that most older second hand equipment has had its manufacturing carbon footprint already written off (small carbon footprint)
- My distillery is in an abandoned horse stable that needed very little modification (small carbon footprint for construction)