Sustainability

Starting With The End In Mind

Powerscourt Distillery

Sustainability – ``Starting with the end in mind``

From the outset, sustainability has been central to the ethos of Powerscourt Distillery. The company is fully committed and accountable for the delivery of the sustainability plan through the provision of leadership and resources.

It was a fundamental guiding factor in the design and construction of the Distillery and Visitor Centre.

Origin-Green-Logo

Origin Green Ireland

Powerscourt Distillery is proud to be a verified member of Origin Green Ireland, a ground-breaking sustainability programme which operates on a national scale, encompassing the full supply chain of the food and drink industry.

From farmers to food producers right through to food service and retail sectors, they assure sustainability at every stage, enabling the achievement of measurable targets that respect the environment and serve the local community. Our membership has facilitated us to establish measurable sustainability targets in line with our ESG policy.

Irish Whiskey Association

Irish Whiskey Association

We have also subscribed to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) Irish Whiskey Sustainable Together launched in May 2022, which monitors and measures many of the same targets as Origin Green.

The roadmap highlights the measures the industry will take to reduce its environmental and carbon impact, strengthen its role in the regenerative and circular economy, and deliver a positive impact for communities.

Powerscourt Distillery Front

The building incorporates the Estate’s original Mill House built in the 1760’s. Local granite and other materials were used in the construction, and a re-purposed bell from an estate church dating back to 1723 has been retained on the external wall.

Internally, the original flagstone flooring, water turbine and fly-wheel system, which once powered the milling operations in 1901, are also retained.

The state-of-the-art distillery was fabricated and installed by Forysth’s, the leading, international supplier of distillation equipment. The latest technologies for energy conservation and monitoring systems were installed at the time of construction in order to future-proof the distillery building’s sustainability and performance.

To this end heat from process water is harnessed via heat exchangers for use in the process, reducing heating costs and Co2 emissions. Powerscourt was one of the first distilleries in Ireland to do this!

Powerscourt Distillery

SUSTAINABILITY ACHIEVEMENTS

ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Powerscourt Distillery has partnered with Calor Gas, using their 100% renewable biogas to power the Distillery and Visitor Centre. The team has invested in a Building Management System to manage all energy consumption, which monitors and measures the facility’s daily energy consumption, including biogas, electricity, and water. The heat sink absorbs the heat via the underfloor heating during the day and releases this back into the building at night, thus reducing biogas and electricity consumption.

WATER MANAGEMENT

Water from the Estate’s aquafer, emanating from Ireland’s highest waterfall, is used in the distillery operations. Water usage is monitored against established targets. Wastewater is collected by a licenced contractor for biogas production by anaerobic digestion.

RAW MATERIAL MANAGEMENT

All barley is grown and malted in Ireland. Barley grown on the Powerscourt Estate is used in Pot Still production. All barley suppliers are Origin Green members, from the East coast of Ireland, having Bord Bia IGAS (Irish Grain Assurance Scheme) certification. We collaborate with suppliers, who have ethical and sustainable practices, maintaining the highest quality required for our process, and the premium finishes synonymous with the Fercullen brand.

BY-PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

By-products of the distillation process are reintroduced to the food supply chain. Spent grain (Draff) from the mashing process, and Pot Ale from the first distillation, are collected by a licenced contractor for use as animal feed. The distillery achieved FEMAS certification in 2018. The Feed Materials Assurance Scheme (FEMAS) aims to protect human and animal health by ensuring safe practices throughout the feed chain for food-producing animals.

WASTE MANAGEMENT

General and compostable waste (MSW, Municipal Solid Waste) and recyclable waste from the distillery and visitor centre is collected by a local, licenced waste contractor. We actively work to minimise the amount of waste generated on site.

SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY - CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

Powerscourt Distillery provides employment, at all levels in the organisation, to individuals from the local area. We have worked with University College Dublin to provide an internship to an Agricultural Science student, and each year we provide a work placement for an individual from the National Learning Network of Ireland. We support many local charities and we have recently funded a defibrillator for the First Responders in Enniskerry.

We are an active member of Wicklow Naturally, a local food and drinks network, the core aim of which is to support and foster sustainable food and drinks production in Co. Wicklow. In addition to providing administrative and marketing support for the group, the Visitor Centre now uses many of the other members products on their menu, and stocks members’ produce in our shop.

Our in-house Food & Drinks Specialist, Santina Kennedy, chairs the ‘Tell the Wicklow Story’ Committee for the network which aims to promote the best of Wicklow food and drink to a local, national, and international audience through media and events. Gerry Ginty, our COO, chairs the Sustainability Wicklow Naturally Committee.