Detailed Environmental Sustainability Practices
Montanya’s environmental sustainability practices touch every aspect of the company, from distilling to the Tasting Room to the partners we choose. Here’s a detailed list of steps we’ve taken and policies we’ve put in place to make sure that the health of the planet and of our people are just as important as profits:
First and foremost, Montanya rums will always be made on-shore in the USA. We do not intend to outsource any part of the rum-making process or any jobs overseas, even as we grow. Every step happens in our own facility. We do not ship in any cane-neutral spirit.
Energy Use and Carbon Offsets
Our distillery, barrel room, warehouse, and tasting room are 100% wind powered.
Our company offsets our carbon production from our natural gas fired stills, airline travel, freight shipping, Amazon shipments, restaurant supply deliveries, vehicle driving, and other mail-order by participating in programs that plant trees, install photo voltaic solar grids and other innovative renewable energy, and capture methane from landfills - all in the USA. View our carbon offsetting stats.
By purchasing our sugar cane directly from Lula (the sugar cane growing and milling co-op we buy direct from) before refining occurs, we are able to use a raw ingredient for our rum that requires much less energy to produce. The cane retains more of its natural flavors, keeps the complex molecules that we want for our rum, and is not exposed to sulfur dioxide, calcium hydroxide (slaked lime), or phosphoric acid like sugar cane from the refinery. We can also certify that it is American-grown and non-GMO.
Lula is 100% Biomass powered, generating all of its electricity and boiler-firing heat from sugar cane remnants called bagasse. They also return the water their mill uses back to the stream flow cleaner than it was when they brought it in.
We heat our Distillery and Tasting Room in Crested Butte using recycled heat produced by our stills.
We do not need to use chillers on our fermentations like most rum distillers. The tap water temperature in our distillery is cool enough to run through copper coils and provide any cooling ever needed.
We've gone Hybrid! The vehicle that logs the most miles driving for Montanya Distillers is now a Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid.
For our European markets, we ship rum in bulk to be bottled in Spain in glass made in France. This allows us to avoid the carbon footprint of shipping empty bottles made in the EU over to Colorado, only to fill them here and ship them back overseas.
We share our commercial kitchen with other makers of local products like Fireweed Ferments.
Waste, Recycling and Reuse
We have achieved a 75% reduction in the landfill-bound waste leaving our facility and we believe by 2020, we will be 100% zero waste in all aspects from our distillery to our bar and restaurant.
We recycle plastic film. Because we live in a rural area, our municipal recycling program doesn't take plastic film so we had to develop a solution of our own. We were able to connect with Trex, and our plastic film recycling goes directly to them through a 3rd party partner to be recycled into beautiful decking.
We completely avoid plastic in our packaging.
We have eliminated disposable straws and throw away cups at our Tasting Room and all of our events.
We travel with reusable glass in kits to our events within driving distance.
We purposefully choose to support zero-waste events such as Telluride Mountainfilm and The Crested Butte Arts Festival when we choose events to support.
We host zero-waste Montanya Rum brand education events around the country. We always create zero-waste events, including the lunches we bring in for bartenders and sales reps. One example of such a partner is in San Francisco, where our lunches are delivered by bike messenger from Green Tiffin: 100% waste free (no disposable plates, cutlery, napkins, serving trays, or cups).
We use a solar wall for our barrel room. This wall is south facing and gathers heat during sunny days (most days in CB) which warms the barrels and opens the pores of the oak. At night, we don't heat our aging facility because we prefer to fluctuate the temperatures naturally to shrink the barrel pores and keep the rum moving kenetically within the barrel. This is a catalyst to the aging process. The more the temperature fluctuates, the faster our rum ages and the more flavorful it becomes.
We are committed to adaptive reuse of historic buildings. In our ten-year history, we have renovated and brought back to life two historic buildings to accommodate our distillery, one in Silverton, CO and one in Crested Butte, CO.
We use only 100% recycled-content cocktail napkins and paper bags in our Tasting Rooms.
We minimize our printed (aka throw away) materials compared to most liquor companies, and we print on recycled stocks using soy inks from a sustainable printing company, Greenerprinter. Our labels and case boxes are printed on FSC Certified paper.
We use a synthetic cork with a wood top rather than a plastic top. While some argue that natural cork is more sustainable, we feel that natural corks only come from Portugal, which we believe has a much higher carbon footprint than our synthetic corks from Tapi USA, which are made in the US. These Tapi corks are made by dehydrating ethanol (alcohol) made from sugar cane rather than from petroleum.
We sell recycled and organic US cotton logowear (hats, tshirts, sweatshirts, etc) at Montanya. 10% of the price of our Threads for Thought shirts is donated to the International Rescue Committee, which helps refugees who come to the USA gain access to or grow their traditional cultural foods in their new home. We also source from Econscious and Recover. We buy logowear from American Apparel because of its commitment to US manufacturing and vertical integration. We buy sweatshirts from Alternative Apparel. Every choice of supplier is vetted to determine if they are committed to a similar ecologically sustainable ethos.
We provide reusable shopping bags from DiscountMugs and 100% recycled paper bags for the rum purchases made at our Tasting Room. We never use single-use plastic bags at Montanya and we support the local ban on single use plastic community wide with cash donations and by hosting the events of this coalition.
Our bottle supplier (Owens Illinois or O-I) is the first beverage packaging company to be certified Cradle to Cradle for its environmentally responsible production methods of the glass we use to package our rum.
In October, 2018, Montanya Distillers became the first craft distillery in Colorado and the third in the world to be certified as a B-Corp, which validates in a rigorous way all of our claims to be an environmentally responsible and socially sustainable company. Learn more.
Montanya Distillers is a Certified Green Business, which means our company is values-driven, socially-equitable, accountable with radical transparency, and environmentally responsible in sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, and daily operations. Customers can feel confident that businesses with this certification operate in ways that support workers and communities, and protect the environment.
People and Community
Our employees are paid higher than average wages, with paid vacation and health benefits for full timers, ski pass subsidies, and professional training opportunities.
We participate financially in organizations that support open space preservation (1% for Open Space) and dedication of wilderness areas (HCCA) in western Colorado.
We are very philanthropically involved with many non-profit organizations in our communities through in-kind and cash donations. These organizations grow local foods for our school district (Mountain Roots Food Project); provide sexual assault prevention; music/arts/film festivals; education and support for breast cancer victims and survivors; and Crested Butte's world-class nordic system and nordic programs for kids (Crested Butte Nordic). This is just a short list.
We back up our equal opportunity policy as a company with real hires of qualified minorities and women (a minority in the distilling industry), outpacing the demographics of our community to reflect the diversity of our country.
It's a start. We know we could always always be doing more, and we are probably working on ways to do just that!