LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bulleit Frontier Whiskey announced today that it is teaming up with American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the United States, and a leader in forestry innovation, with the goal to plant one million trees over the next five years. As a fundamental part of the recently announced Bulleit Frontier Fund, this initiative reaffirms the brand’s long-standing commitment to a more sustainable future for the bartending and hospitality industry, and the communities surrounding it.
As a brand focused on building community, Bulleit aims to support pioneers like American Forests who are pushing the frontier of sustainability forward, to aid in a healthier future for our planet. The partnership with American Forests announced today reflects this mission.
“At Bulleit, we believe now more than ever that businesses have a responsibility to our environment, our communities, and our planet,” said Sophie Kelly, Sr. Vice President of Whiskey at Diageo North America. “We’re so excited about our partnership with American Forests because it allows us to further our commitment to sustainability and help in the fight against climate change by planting these trees, which will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come including carbon sequestration, air purification, water conservation, and providing vital wildlife habitat.”
The partnership will reforest eastern landscapes dominated by white oaks, a key species for wildlife, water conservation, and forest products.
White oak forests benefit every aspect of our lives, from providing clean air and water to the amazing smells and flavors in a glass of bourbon,” said Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests. “This great new partnership with Bulleit will give back to these forests by taking care of white oak forests for long-term health and resilience.”
Together, Bulleit and American Forests will not only plant trees but also utilize innovative forestry, including using prescribed fire to facilitate natural oak restoration and planting trees in ways that will help them thrive in a changing climate.
These one million trees planted through the Bulleit and American Forests partnership will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come. American Forests has calculated these benefits to include:
- Carbon sequestration:
- 645,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be stored over the next 100 years, equal to removing the emissions from driving 140,000 cars over one year.
- Air purification:
- An average of 74,000 pounds of air pollutants will be removed from the air per year. For fine particles like dust, this benefit is equal to removing 1,000 cars from the road.
- Water conservation:
- An average of 75 million gallons of runoff will be conserved per year, equal to the volume of water stored by 114 Olympic sized swimming pools.
- Providing vital wildlife habitat:
- Roughly 2,000 acres of critical forest across several states in the Eastern U.S. will be restored.
Bulleit has prioritized white oak restoration because in addition to being a cornerstone species of forests in the Eastern United States, white oaks are essential to the future of so many industries, including the whiskey industry. By definition, bourbon must be aged in new charred oak containers (e.g., barrels), and it’s thanks to white oak that the delicious toasty, vanilla, caramel, nutty notes come to life when consumers enjoy a glass of Bulleit Bourbon or Bulleit Rye.
As bourbon matures in the barrel, the wood naturally contracts and expands during Kentucky’s four distinct seasons, pulling the liquid in and out of the inner portion of the stave, therefore bringing out wood sugars and tannins to enhance the whiskey’s flavor over the years. Once one of our Bulleit barrels is used to age bourbon, the life cycle of the barrel continues with the majority of barrels being used for many years to age other spirits like scotch, rum and tequila.
It is a priority for both Bulleit and its parent company, Diageo, to operate responsibly and preserve natural resources for future generations. The commitment of Bulleit to plant one million trees over five years will contribute to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Diageo is part of a group of organizations that are championing a green recovery and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through various advocacy groups. Diageo recently signed onto the Business for Nature‘s Call to Action, joining more than 560 companies to urge governments around the world for collective action and ambitious nature policies.
In addition to its reforestation efforts in large landscapes, Bulleit has committed to supporting American Forests’ goal of creating tree equity and green space in urban areas. These Community ReLeaf efforts are set to kick-off in 2021 in Louisville, Ky.
A commitment to sustainability
Sustainability has been a priority for Bulleit since it built the Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Ky., which was recently honored with the title of ‘Highly Commended’ for Sustainable Distillery of the Year at Whisky Magazine’s 2020 Icons of Whisky American Awards. The Shelbyville site includes the first-ever industrial solar array in Shelby County and a focus on reducing its carbon footprint by sourcing local ingredients from local farmers as well as on water conservation and waste management during production. In 2019, Bulleit continued the brand’s commitment to a more sustainable future by implementing thoughtful practices at the Visitor Experience, such as sourcing locally-grown organic cocktail garnishes from its onsite garden, and a partnership with the non-profit Oceanic Global to ensure its tasting experience and cocktail bar align with The Oceanic Standard (TOS), a badge and certification for venues that have adopted sustainable operating practices and are committed to eliminating single-use plastics.
Most recently, with the new distillery in Lebanon, Ky., which is expected to be carbon neutral once operational– Diageo will implement a number of sustainable features that reflect its global commitment to reducing carbon emissions and move the company closer to its goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Bulleit will be the first and lead brand produced at the new distillery – supplementing existing production at The Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky. This move will further strengthen the brand’s commitment to a more sustainable future.