Sitting at the gateway to Northumberland National Park the team at Ad Gefrin understand how privileged we are to enjoy such a stunning environment and are committed to our responsibility for protecting it in whatever way we can.
Here is our A to Z of the things we do in our day-to-day operations to try to be as sustainable as we can be.
We do not have air-conditioning relying on natural air flow to regulate internal temperatures.
The real flavour of whisky comes from the wood it is stored from, that is why most of our barrels have been used before in spirit making – for Bourbon, sherry or wine – in fact, we will re-scrape, re-char and re-use our barrels several times in the course of our whisky making journey in our distillery.
Even the under-side of our main stairs is made from old whisky barrels.
All of our cleaning materials are eco-products.
Northumberland National Park (NNPA) was named as England’s first International Dark Sky Park in 2013, and all of our lighting inside and out of our building, is respectful of this with low light emissions to avoid any light pollution. The 270 globe fibre-optic lights in the Bistro even celebrates the accolade positioned to represent the star constellations visible above on a clear night. All of our lighting has low energy draw controlled by a state-of-the-art system to optimize light levels.
We have a high end building management system that monitors and controls all of our energy usage allowing for real time flexibility to respond to environmental changes. All of our emissions are tightly regulated against European measures.
We have a number of sources of power at our fingertips.
Solar - Our roofs are covered in solar panels with surplus energy recirculated to the Grid.
Heat Recovery System, - All of the heat produced during the distillation process is re-used across the whole the building.
Our Gas Boiler is convertible to hydrogen as soon as the technology becomes viable.
Wherever we can we use locally sourced ingredients. For example, our potatoes come from Particularly Good Potatoes on the edge of Wooler, our cheese comes from Doddington Dairy 2 miles away, and our honey comes from Chainbridge Honey Farm less than 20 miles away.
We also offer 6 charging points for Electric Vehicles and 19 cycle racks within our car park.
Our Distillery doesn’t produce any chemical waste. The two by-products are (a) draf – the porridge-like waste from the Mash Tun – is gifted to a local farmer as cattle-feed; and (b) effluent – from the Wash Still – is removed by another local farmer to be bio-digested and spread as fertilizer.
We also pay a fee to ensure that all of our bin waste is recycled to maximum efficiencies.
As a matter of policy we do not use secondary packaging on any of our products.
Our water comes from the Cheviot Hills, pumped from the aquifer beneath the building by a borehole. We have a really strict abstraction license, meaning we are only able to draw the level of water that the water-table can provide naturally.
Our water supplies both our domestic and industrial needs; and is recirculated around the building from ‘tap to toilet’.
Most important of all, the barley for our whisky comes from four partner farms within a 10 mile radius and only travels as far as Berwick-upon-Tweed (less than 20 miles away) and back for malting. Our Tácnbora Whisky Blend bottles are made from recycled glass, and we don’t use secondary packaging on any of our products.
Our grounds and garden are planted with wild flowers to encourage and support insects, and our grass cuttings are used as mulch. As well as supporting wild bees, we are also about to home our own hive at the back of the site, so that our very own honey will eventually feature in our bistro menus. In the trees above, we have added hand-cast ceramic bat boxes.
We aren’t quite there yet in terms of zero emissions – but that is where our heart lies, and we will continue to do our best to achieve what we can, to nudge closer to the ultimate target.
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