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Bombay Sapphire Turns Derelict Mill into Sustainable Distillery

The Bombay Sapphire gin distillery in Hampshire, England has become the first to achieve an “Outstanding” design-stage Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) accreditation, according to a recent announcement.

The distillery, set to open this fall, was built in a renovated paper mill near Laverstoke Park, which for 200 years produced paper for the bank notes of India and the British Empire. Bombay Sapphire says the site will see a 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions over its other distilleries by incorporating several technologies into its design, including photovoltaics, a biofuel boiler and a 6kW hydro-electric water wheel. As a result, the distillery received a score of over 86.81 percent, the second highest score ever awarded to an industrial building by BREEAM.

BREEAM is an environmental assessment method for sustainable building design that assesses buildings’ management, health, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, ecology, pollution and innovation — it is the leading methodology in the UK, roughly equivalent to LEED, which was developed in the U.S.

The distillery’s “Outstanding” design-stage rating signifies its buildings have achieved the highest level of sustainable construction, and it is expected to be one of the most environmentally friendly distilleries in the world, the announcement says.

“We are very happy that the Bombay Sapphire team has achieved this ‘Outstanding’ design-stage certification,” said Martin Townsend, Director at BREEAM, BRE Global. “This is one of the highest scores under BREEAM and a first in the drinks industry. It is particularly impressive given this is a conversion of an existing building.”

“Bombay Sapphire aims to seamlessly fuse the modern requirements of a premium distillery with the original features of the rich heritage of Laverstoke Mill,” added Emma Johansson, Global Marketing Manager, Bombay Sapphire.

In 2008, beverage-maker Diageo, corporate parent of the Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray and Bailey's brands, poured more than $120 million into an on-site renewable energy plant at its distillery in Scotland. The facility also installed technology to convert distillation waste into biofuel.

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