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A perfect fit : How Sipsmith aligns emissions offsetting with their core values

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In sustainability, definitions often change, making it hard to keep up. That's why it's reassuring to collaborate with experts who stay updated on these changes. Partnership is the most important thing. We achieve more if we work in partnership.’ 

Fiona Humphries is the Quality and Sustainability Compliance Lead at Sipsmith Gin, a beloved London-based gin distillery with roots dating back to 2008. At Sipsmith, they are dedicated to crafting the best gin in the world, for the world. The experts from GoodZero emerged as the perfect allies on their sustainability journey, offering tailored solutions to offset their carbon footprint. Ready to learn more? Let's dive in. 




The journey begins

Decarbonisation is central to Sipsmith's sustainability ethos. It’s ingrained in every aspect of their business. With a global reach spanning over 90 countries, the company acknowledges the carbon impact of both operations and distribution. To jumpstart their sustainability efforts, they formed a special team, called the Kaizen team (Kaizen means continuous improvement in Japanese). This cross-functional team conducted the B Corp business impact assessment, as well as a materiality assessment that informed the future sustainability strategy "Crafting a Better Future". Voilà, a roadmap for Sipsmith's sustainability program. 


Sustainability is an ongoing journey. We aim to cut emissions by 46% by 2030. We've made progress in scopes 1 and 2, using 100% renewable energy and improving distillery efficiency.” 


But… what about Scope 3, the hard-to-reach last frontier of decarbonisation? Like many businesses striving to minimise their carbon footprint, Sipsmith found those hard to control emissions to be a challenge. Introducing their new bottle, now 20% lighter, is a sip in the right direction. This change will remove 400 tonnes of carbon from their supply chain. However, in the quest of becoming the best gin in the world and for the world, there’s always more to be done. 


Overcoming obstacles

Also, where to start? When Sipsmith embarked on their sustainability journey, one of the initial hurdles they encountered, as Fiona explains, was a lack of specialist knowledge and specific scientific skillsets.  


We addressed this by engaging with others. In today's rapidly changing world, businesses can't operate in isolation. With a warming climate, many are embracing sustainability, and there's a wealth of specialists willing to share knowledge. This collaboration makes a massive difference. 


They conducted a B Corp assessment to figure out what Sipsmith needed to do to become certified. They also did a materiality assessment to understand the value chain impacts. In 2020, they assessed their carbon footprint and later, their target to cut their absolute carbon emissions by 46% by 2030 was verified by SBTi. 


We were really interested in understanding our carbon and our value chain footprints. We knew that if we had a baseline, we'd be able to set targets for ourselves around the different emissions scopes.” 


Offsetting emerged as a potential sustainability tool. This method enables businesses to effectively reduce their unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions by investing in carbon credit projects close to their company values. This can be done in various ways, like carbon capture and storage or carbon avoidance projects reducing emissions before the occur. 


Initially cautious due to misinformation that previous offsetting schemes had missold, Sipsmith sought a partner aligned with its commitment to genuinely delivering the best quality product and service. Eventually, Sipsmith crossed paths with the GoodZero experts. GoodZero offers end-to-end services, like emission calculations for scope 1, 2 and 3, as well as net zero reduction strategies. 


The solution

Sipsmith appreciated GoodZero's thorough due diligence process, Fiona says. Their experts personally visit and verify the projects they support. This provided Sipsmith with confidence that offsetting through GoodZero was exactly what they needed. And there was more. 


GoodZero really helped us to find a project that aligns with our business priorities.” 


Gin distillation requires significant water usage, making water conservation a priority for Sipsmith. Through GoodZero, they discovered Running Tide, a project in Iceland and Maine, USA. This innovative carbon technology removes ‘fast’ carbon from the atmosphere and deposits it into the ocean, effectively slowing emissions. Talking about a perfect fit. [For more information on this innovative carbon removal project, see here.] 


Through GoodZero, Sipsmith implemented a progressive model for offsetting their emissions, starting with Scope 1. From 2020 to 2022, they offset 25% of their emissions. This percentage increases to 50% in 2023, 75% in 2024, and by 2025, they aim to offset 100% of their emissions. 


“Offsetting through Running Tide is great because it not only reduces our emissions. We feel confident that our funding will be utilised effectively, ensuring that 100% of it directly supports this project.” 

Sharing progress

Offsetting their unavoidable emissions through Running Tide has been a rewarding journey for Sipsmith, one that they take pride in and are eager to share with others. They've observed an increased interest from individuals who recognise their sustainability efforts, drawn to Sipsmith as a brand committed to environmental responsibility. 


“We want to be seen as a credible brand, as a brand that is transparent. We want to be able to say: we have done this. And we want to push that experience out into the world, so that maybe other businesses can learn from it.”
Tips & tricks

When it comes to offering advice, Fiona has a wealth of tips for both beginners dipping their toes into sustainability and seasoned sustainability managers alike. 


My main learning is that knowledge and partnerships are key. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who knows more than you do, because there will always be someone who knows more than you do. 


She also advises not to feel pressured to tackle everything at once, emphasising that progress in decarbonisation is made through each small step taken along the journey. 


“Maybe you'll have days where you think: we've gone backwards. But that's natural because you're learning all the time. Sometimes you fail, and sometimes you make progress. So be patient with yourself.” 

A good solution

Starting a decarbonisation journey can be exciting and scary at the same time. Definitions can frequently shift, making it challenging to stay abreast of developments. Having partners who possess a broader understanding of these shifts can be incredibly reassuring. Sipsmith has found a perfect solution for their truly unavoidable emissions in GoodZero.  


Sipsmith is a B Corp, so it’s important to our reputation to be seen as an environmentally responsible business. The experts of GoodZero have been so supportive and instructive, connecting us with an offsetting project that fitted with our ethos in a really nice way. And it's so much easier to tell our story around this, because it helps pieces of the puzzle fit together.” 

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