Every year, Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) hands out its Environmental Excellence Award to recognize a company that has shown a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and adopting sustainable practices. The award is the highest environmental honor there is in Mexico, and Tequila Herradura is the only spirit brand to earn it.
So what exactly did Herradura do to deserve Mexico’s most prestigious environmental award?
The answer isn’t a simple one. There isn’t a magic trick that can wipe away a distillery’s carbon footprint. For major distilleries, it takes more than switching to paper straws to make a serious difference.
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword or fad for Herradura. It’s a principle that guides each decision made at Casa Herradura, the last true tequila-producing hacienda on the planet.
It all starts with waste. At Casa Herradura, more than 99% of the solid waste is reused or recycled. Few spirit companies come close to approaching that number, but Herradura isn’t quite satisfied with that success rate. They’re hoping to increase the rate to a neat 100% by 2023. Trips to the landfill are already rare for Herradura, but in the next few years they’ll be nonexistent.
That covers the solid waste, but liquid runoff can be as much of a problem when making spirits. To counter that issue, Herradura built two specialized wastewater treatment plants to reuse the company’s liquid waste.
It was a big investment, but it’s paid off in additional ways. Mainly, it gives Herradura all the clean water it needs for the company’s expansive fields of agave. This means the hacienda doesn’t have to depend on water sources from the community surrounding Casa Herradura.
The wastewater treatment plants aren’t the only eco-friendly additions to Casa Herradura. The new state-of-the-art steam boiler uses bio-gas from the wastewater treatment plants and other organic material for fuel. This provides Casa Herradura with a closed-loop energy source that generates fewer emissions than other distilleries.
It might be surprising that the sustainable distilling movement is being led by a centuries-old hacienda. But that’s exactly what’s happening at Casa Herradura. And more people, including Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection, are starting to celebrate the iconic and cutting-edge tequila.