Cooper King distillery marks International Day of Forests by planting hundreds of local trees
Award-winning Yorkshire gin and whisky distillery Cooper king has donated over £1,000 to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) to plant 115 new trees to mark International Day of Forests.
North Yorkshire-based Cooper King Distillery is a self-built venture run by co-founders Dr Abbie Neilson and Chris Jaume. Inspired to build their own sustainable distillery after leaving their corporate jobs to travel to some of the world’s most beautiful places, the duo is keen to create and protect beautiful places closer to home, for future generations.
The pair are committed to running a responsible business with all parts of the operation sourced locally, ethically and with the environment in mind.
Every year the United Nations raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests and this year it is promoting the theme Learn to Love Forests.
Cooper King is the only distillery in Europe to have forged the partnership with YDMT as part of global initiative ‘1% for the Planet’. Having partnered last summer, it has been so successful that the organisations are planning to run a series of events together. This includes inviting Cooper King customers to join a guided woodland walk in autumn this year. Further plans include the production of a bespoke spirit using wildflowers grown in meadows which are created and protected by the trust.
Having set a target to plant 4000m2 of new woodland (400 trees) in its first year, the distillery has already seen 335 new trees planted in the Yorkshire Dales with a further donation being made this spring. The trees planted to date have helped offset 167.5 tonnes of CO2, which equates to 50kg carbon dioxide offset for every bottle of gin sold.
The firm is one of only a handful of distilleries in the UK to run on 100% green energy. It’s more expensive, but hugely reduces the environmental impact of their operations, supports Britain’s energy independence, and reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
They save water too. Instead of relying on fresh water to supply the distilling cooling system, they use a clever closed-closed loop system to recycle coolant over and over, saving a substantial 13 tonnes of fresh water a year.
Sourcing a clever origami-style locally-made recycled cardboard box to ship any orders, Cooper King have successfully eliminated the need for plastic packing materials such as bubble wrap. Any packing material they do use is either shredded cardboard made from the off-cuts of their boxes, or 100% biodegradable potato starch pellets.
Cooper King is also committed to reducing waste and was the first distillery in England to launch a gin refill scheme which encourages customers to bring their empty gin bottles back to be refilled, incentivised with 15% off. This ‘bottle for life’ reduces landfill and helps raise awareness for the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra.
Abbie Neilson, co-founder of Cooper King Distillery said:
“It is difficult to ignore increasing messages about the state of our planet and as a business we take a commitment to sustainability seriously. We’re proud to have built the distillery ourselves, learning how to make it as environmentally-friendly as possible, using recycled materials and local suppliers as much as possible. We are delighted to work with the YDMT which shares our passion in preserving our beautiful natural landscapes and reducing our carbon footprint.”
Established in 2016 by co-founders Chris Jaume, a chartered architect and Dr Abbie Neilson, a former scientist, Cooper King Distillery is located in the village of Sutton-on-the-Forest, north of York.
YDMT is a small charity doing big things to support the people, landscape and wildlife of the Yorkshire Dales.
Michael Delvin, development manager at YDMT, commented:
“Big businesses can learn a lot from passionate start-up’s such as Cooper King Distillery. Our partnership has been a great success and their commitment and donations will not only contribute to the planet’s future but also help improve the overall landscape in the Dales. This support will play an important part in our Together for Trees appeal through which we aim to plant 100,000 trees over the next two years, creating beautiful woodlands that everyone can enjoy.”
About Cooper King Distillery
Located in the heart of Yorkshire, Cooper King Distillery is a self-built, family-owned gin and whisky distillery built on the site of a stable.
Formed in 2016, by Dr Abbie Neilson, a former scientist and Chris Jaume, a chartered architect, Cooper King Distillery is independent, self-built and powered by 100% green energy.
With a desire to leave the rat race, co-founders Chris and Abbie travelled across the globe, in search of sun, sand and adventure. Whilst visiting Australia the pair became fascinated by Tasmania’s eight operational whisky distilleries and the hand-crafted premium whisky industry, which was just starting to take off in this part of the world.
With a mission to bring their discoveries back to Britain, Chris and Abbie set up a truly independent craft distillery back home in Sutton-on-the-Forest in North Yorkshire.
Taught by Bill Lark, the godfather of Tasmanian whisky, and armed with a wealth of knowledge gathered from across Tasmania’s now internationally acclaimed New World whisky distilleries and beyond, Cooper King Distillery produces authentic premium spirits, using the highest quality ingredients that England has to offer.
The distillery’s inaugural product, Cooper King Dry Gin was released in May 2018.
Hand distilled using honey from the distillery’s beehives, lemongrass and a touch of locally-grown lavender, the gin has incredible savoury lemongrass flavours, a silky mouthfeel and delicate floral notes.
Produced in micro-batches, Cooper King is the first distillery in Yorkshire to combine innovative cold vacuum distillation with traditional hot copper-pot distillation, in a process that’s tailored to suit each individual botanical, ensuring they extract the freshest, fullest flavours.
The initial reviews of Cooper King Dry Gin are extremely positive, with The Gin Fayre describing it as a ‘game changer’.
The company is the first distillery in Europe to join international environment initiative, 1% for the Planet, which sees 1% of sales of Cooper King Dry Gin contributed towards environmental non-profits. Cooper King Distillery will plant one square metre of native woodland for every bottle sold through a partnership with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
Its initial batch of premium single malt whisky, made using Yorkshire barley, is scheduled to go into production in spring 2019, with a projected release date of 2023.
Inspired by Chris’s great-great-grandfather, Charles Cooper King, the name Cooper King has rich historical ties to England and Yorkshire. Born in 1843, Charles, who was Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Marine Artillery, traced the Cooper King family history back to 1030, where he identified the Pigot family of Yorkshire, whose shield can still be seen today throughout Ripon Cathedral.
The Cooper King Distillery Founders’ Club is offering craft spirit lovers a unique opportunity to become part of the Cooper King family and help make English distilling history. Membership tiers start from £30, which is ideal for a gift, through to more established memberships which include a name engraving on the Founders’ Plaque in the distillery. Memberships also offer first access to rare and collectable whisky in the form of new, special, and small-batch releases, individually-numbered single cask releases from their early casks, plus the chance to own Cooper King Distillery’s Inaugural Release bottle #1.