The renovation plan for the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Distillery at Laverstoke Mill got the sustainability wheels turning as teams figured out how to reinstate the former paper mill’s water turbine to once again harness the power of clean energy. Now operational, the refurbished water turbine provides green energy to power the new distillery’s state-of-the-art visitor center, and all of its displays, at the restored facility.
For hundreds of years, the historic Laverstoke Mill bustled with industry as it churned out the paper needed to make bank notes for the British Empire. Ingenuity of the 19th century captured the power of nature at the heart of the mill as its turbine motorized the belts and pulleys needed to bring the factory’s machines to life. The mill’s automated inner-working parts pumped with a rhythm, animating the buildings with the lifeblood current from the River Test, which always provided an abundant flow of unfailing water power.
British Empire Bank Notes Were Once Printed at This Mill
With years of disuse, Laverstoke Mill fell into disrepair, and its engine, the original water wheel, was long gone—only a big hole remained in its place but the water never stopped. The original turbine building stood lifeless, without its core, but redevelopment plans included designs to lovingly restore the heart of the property, to revive the buildings and bring industry back to the historic Laverstoke Mill site. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill is the new brand home of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, known for its production of premium gin, and for being one of the most forward-thinking, sustainable gin brands in the world.
“Through careful consideration of the historic site and buildings, which are government protected, the redevelopment team commissioned a specialist to find and recondition a suitable turbine for the distillery. Today, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery uses the same constant, renewable power from the River Test that brought industry to the Laverstoke Mill riverbanks for a thousand years,” says Will Brix, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Estate Manager.
As a Bacardi-owned brand, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin brand is doing its part to fulfill the Bacardi Limited Good Spirited campaign, which strives to improve sustainability within three main areas:
- responsible sourcing,
- global packaging and
- operational efficiencies.
Across all its brands, Bacardi has already reduced both nonrenewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 28% and seeks to attain a net-zero impact on the environment, companywide. With the added benefit of the clean energy from the newly reinstalled turbine at the renovated distillery, these percentages will certainly improve. In fact, together with other renewable sourcing on the Laverstoke Mill campus, in addition to solar power and the hydroelectric turbine, the distillery already provides a carbon savings of more than 30%.
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