Welcome to our series aimed at spotlighting the individual leaders within BIER member companies and stakeholder organizations. Learn how these practitioners and their companies are addressing pressing challenges around water, energy, agriculture, climate change, and what inspires each of them to advance environmental sustainability in the beverage sector and collectively, overall.
Briefly describe your role and responsibilities and how long you have worked with your organization.
I joined Heaven Hill in December 2019, so I’m coming up on two years with the company. My role as Environmental and Sustainability Manager with Heaven Hill requires me to ensure compliance with all of the federal, state, and local environmental regulations that are pertinent to each of our facilities, as well as provide technical and administrative direction on all sustainability programs and initiatives for Heaven Hill. My team and I are responsible for driving performance and measuring progress against our 2030 Environmental Sustainability Strategy goals.
Other key parts of my role are developing and coordinating training programs related to environmental awareness, conducting site audits to assess and address environmental concerns, and participating in capital project reviews to ensure proper environmental consideration and design.
How has the organization’s sustainability initiatives evolved over the years and what are your priorities for 2021?
As a leader in the industry since 1935, Heaven Hill has always strived to be a good steward of the natural resources used to create our products, like grains and water for our spirits, fuel and energy to run our facilities, and wood for our aging barrels.
To protect these resources, Heaven Hill has implemented a variety of projects over the last several years, including replacing light fixtures with more energy-efficient LED bulbs, implementing recycling programs within our operations, completing multiple boiler efficiency projects to reduce energy needs, and tree plantings around our Bernheim Distillery.
However, our world is now being faced with some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, and it became obvious that we needed a cohesive strategy with a long-term outlook to guide this work. In early 2021, Heaven Hill finalized our first Environmental Sustainability Strategy, with robust long-term goals to achieve by 2030. The strategy focuses on four areas-- use water more efficiently, drive toward zero carbon emissions, reduce waste, and conserve the ecosystems that support our business.