The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced Tuesday Tennessee Sustainable Spirits, “a program aimed at reducing environmental impact and operational costs associated with energy and natural resource use by wineries, wine growers, breweries, and distilleries,” according to a release.
Franklin’s Mantra Artisan Ales in Franklin is helping pilot the voluntary recognition and technical assistance program. Other pilot members are Jackalope Brewing in Nashville, Keg Springs Winery in Hampshire and Short Mountain Distillery in Cannon County.
Sustainability practices need to be incorporated into the production of wine, beer and distilled liquor because the products require energy and water while also producing unique waste streams and byproducts. “Spirits producers often require significant amounts of energy to produce a final product. Water is the single most important natural resource across each industry, from growing grapes to using water as an ingredient. Access to clean water and responsible management of waste water is vital to a sustainable spirits industry in Tennessee,” the release from TDEC says.
“We want this program to foster responsible environmental practices, and we want to publicly recognize these producers as part of that effort,” said Kendra Abkowitz, director of TDEC’s Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices.
According to a release from TDEC, the program “will assist wineries and wine growers, breweries, and distilleries by promoting sustainable best practices and providing technical assistance toward environmental goals.” In order to participate, producers must meet certain sustainability requirements, provide utility and production data and submit applications to be considered for admission into the program — though businesses that don’t qualify initially will get recommendations from TDEC on how to increase the chances of eligibility.
“We are very proud to be a part of the TNSS program,” said Mark Jones, owner of Life Is Brewing, which owns Mantra Artisan Ales. “We are grateful to have industry information available for comparisons as well as new ideas in sustainability and cost savings.”
The program is open to all Tennessee wineries and wine growers, breweries and distilleries. More information on how to apply can be found here.