Scots distillery uses peas in the world’s first ‘climate positive’ gin

A combine machine harvests peas in an agrarian field near the village of Grafskoye in Stavropol region, Russia, June 16, 2015. Picture taken June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko

LONDON – The world’s first ‘climate positive’ gin made from peas has been developed by a Scottish distillery, which also makes vodka from wonky potatoes to reduce food waste.

Arbikie Distillery said that its Nadar gin, meaning nature in Gaelic, avoids more carbon dioxide emissions than it creates because its peas do not need synthetic nitrogen fertilizers – a source of carbon emissions – unlike wheat, barley or maize.

“We’re continuously looking for ways to innovate and reinforce our sustainability focus,” Arbikie Distillery’s spokeswoman Rachel Thomson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 

“For each decision we make, we try and consider the environmental impact and how we can do things better.”

The Scottish gin-maker, founded in 2014, is the latest in a string of companies pledging to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change, like furniture company IKEA, and tech giants Microsoft Corp and Inc.

Some trailblazing firms have pledged to become carbon positive – cutting more emissions than they emit – to avoid the most catastrophic scenarios of rising seas, uncontrollable wildfires and erratic weather foreseen by climate scientists.

Arbikie Distillery’s director, John Stirling, said sustainability was “vital” to the business, which sees climate change and biodiversity loss as “the biggest challenge humankind has ever faced”.

The firm’s Tattie Bogle vodka – named after the Scots name for scarecrows that deter birds from eating potato crops – uses misshapen vegetables, which cannot be sold by large retailers, to reduce food waste.

“Our Nadar gin goes one step further and looks to make a positive, instead of neutral impact, in terms of long-term sustainability”, Stirling said. “It also tastes fantastic.”


By Amber Milne

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