Shed 1 Distillery was launched in October 2016 by Zoe and Andy. Creating, distilling, bottling and marketing gin and running gin experiences whilst researching and implementing sustainability initiatives. The business is based in a small rented building making it hard to implement some energy saving measures such as solar panels or even switching to a greener energy supplier.
That hasn't stopped us from putting other sustainability initiatives in place. These have ranged from installing a closed loop cooling system and investing in a cardboard shredder, to making gin jelly marmalade from surplus fresh citrus fruit.
We also offset the journeys made by our botanicals, bottles, deliveries and waste through the climate action platform Ecologi. It's a monthly subscription. You decide how much travel your employees do and then you can offset their footprint. We worked out how far our ingredients and waste were travelling and then tripled it. We chose the subscription based on that. Each month, trees are planted, plus we are supporting carbon and humanitarian projects.
We also buy more trees for every order placed online. This way, we could start making a difference at once rather than pay money for an audit. The Ecologi website is incredibly visual and informative, so you can see exactly what your money is doing. We, and our customers, can regularly check to see how our forest is growing.
Net zero and all the other terms associated with net zero can be confusing for a micro or small business. Many businesses are put off by the confusing nature of these terms and the perception that they are expensive and time consuming.
In November 2019 we contacted Tim Maiden of Green Small Business. As a small business, money and time are always an issue and many of the ISO standards related to sustainability can be expensive and lengthy to implement.
Tim has set up Green Small Business with small businesses in mind. He talks you through your business, advises where needed and will research ideas that are specific to your business. He then draws up an Environmental Plan, which we can then add to. Each year we have a chat about what we've done, changed and implemented, and he updates our Green Small Business Certificate for further implementation. All this for an initial cost of £300, and our local council paid half of the fee.
We renew each year and that costs under £200. We can contact him when needed and we keep in touch through social media. It’s the only financial help we’ve managed to unlock, as many sustainability-related grants also seem more big business friendly and take a substantial amount of time to navigate. Look at the smaller steps that you can take first to begin making changes!
Carbon emissions reduction.
Water saved through the closed loop cooling system.