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EcoSpirits makes circular economy possible

EcoSpirits makes circular economy possible Closed Loop Service Network refers to the reverse logistics distribution system of the EcoTotes, which leads to a 90% reduction in packaging costs.

Patent-pending innovative storage and dispensing system now in India, with huge promise of slashing operational costs and carbon footprint

A globally scalable solution to the single-use waste crisis has emerged offering a 60-90% reduction in the environmental footprint of spirits and wine packaging, distribution and consumption. EcoSpirits is an innovative closed-loop distribution system that nearly eliminates packaging waste in the premium spirits supply chain.

In 2015, sustainability was forecast as the next dominant force in the bar industry, and so the seed of EcoSpirits was sown. Proof & Company, the organisation that conceptualised the whole programme and claims to have mastered the world’s first low-carbon, low-waste spirits distribution technology, has come up with a ground-breaking solution to spirits packaging.

It is the first technology of its kind in the world, based on a simple principle: ending single-use glass, says its CEO, Paul Gabie.

Proof has always tried to look ahead and predict what will be shaping the bar industry over the next 5-10 years. Realising that spirits must travel tremendous distances to bring them to the bartenders and consumers who want them, and generate remarkably high carbon footprints and costs, the company started looking for solutions.

This prompted them to explore sustainable options – not just for the planet, but from a business perspective, too. Closed Loop Service Network refers to the reverse logistics distribution system of the EcoTotes, which leads to a 90% reduction in packaging costs.

The handsome green vessel, dubbed the EcoTote, is filled and delivered to a bar and, once empty, is picked up and taken back to the filling facility to be refilled, thereby eliminating all single-use glass and plastic.

Third Eye Distillery

By dramatically reducing packaging and transport costs, the company provides both a powerful cost advantage and a transformative carbon footprint reduction. By partnering with it, spirit producers, distributors and hospitality operators can save costs and reduce the environmental impact of their operations.

To complement the EcoSpirits licensed operator programme, it has launched an official climate partner programme, which has been developed to offer the industry access to the growing network of closed loop services.

This new programme seeks to build a broad industry coalition of spirits producers, importers, distributors, wholesalers and venues who are committed to sustainability and waste reduction.

In India, EcoSpirits has signed a licensed operator agreement with Goa-based Third Eye Distillery, known for its award-winning Stranger&Sons gin. The parties will launch closed loop service progressively across the country in 2022, starting in Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka in February.

The new partnership will bring low waste, low carbon spirits packaging technology to one of the world’s most populous countries and the third-largest emitter of green-house gases, after China and the United States.

Third Eye Distillery has pioneered sustainable practices right from its inception, with the distillation of the spirit to their most recent partnership with EcoSpirits to provide a revolutionary platform for the Indian spirits industry.

“We look forward to making it available to all spirits brands, imported and home-grown. We believe EcoSpirits will be a game-changer in moving the Indian spirits market towards a net-zero carbon trajectory,” says Rahul Mehra, Co-Founder, Third Eye Distillery.

Patented innovations

The world produces around 40 billion glass spirit bottles annually, generating 22 million tonnes of carbon emissions. With each bottle eliminated, EcoSpirits saves at least 550 gm of carbon emissions. This means each cocktail or spirits pour saves 30 gm of emissions.

On average, EcoSpirits eliminates up to 90% of the CO2 associated with the packaging and distribution of premium spirits when compared with single-use glass comparators. The proportional CO2 reduction is a function of supply chain length.

Through their use of the technology, its climate partners are eliminating single- use glass waste, dramatically reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, every time an EcoTote is delivered to a bar, the company plants a tree in designated forests around the globe. The forest programme adds another 120 gm of carbon savings per serve.

Some of the organisation’s patented or patent-pending equipment /innovations include: the EcoTote 3.0S, a fully reusable 4.5-litre glass closed-loop packaging solution that is stackable, ergonomic, shock-resistant and tamper-proof.

It is equipped with global cloud-based asset location and usage tracking to improve supply chain management and security.

The SmartPour 1.0S is a hygienic, accurate, and fast proprietary electronic dispense unit for transferring spirit from EcoTote direct to the serving vessel. It allows for the rapid refill of 700-ml glass bottles for efficient back-of-house operations, even at volume.

This system is in line with global best practices in spirits handling and requires no additional equipment or installation. Venues can showcase their collaboration with the company on menus, social media and marketing collateral.

Benefits for you

Brand partners (owners and alcobev manufacturers) can attain up to 90% reduction in packaging cost and associated labour; achieve up to 30% reduction in price to end outlet customers; and maintain higher gross margins, increased market share and improved profitability.

Channel partners (importers, distributors, wholesalers) can expect up to 50% reduction in global logistics costs due to bulk formats; increased sales volumes and improved profitability; and see a reduction in import and excise duties in value-based excise markets.

Outlet partners (bars, restaurants, hotels) can be assured of up to 25% reduction in the delivered price of the same spirit brand; a 50% reduction in back-of-house storage space; a 95% reduction in daily glass and cardboard waste; and higher gross margins, sustainable consumer offer and improved profitability.

Approximately 500 internationally recognised carbon offset projects are currently available in EcoSpirits’ portfolio or in cooperation with the global network. It has licensed operator agreements in Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Norway and other countries in Europe and the Americas.

These teams are not just talking sustainability – they are living and breathing it, incorporating sustainable thinking as a core element of their identity, operations, and outlook. Each ‘Champion of Sustainability’ documents best practices that can inspire others to improve the sustainability of their own bar, restaurant or hotel.