Check the news on any day of the week and you’ll discover new, sobering facts pertaining to the environment. From the depletion of natural resources to steadily rising temperatures, it’s no secret we’ve been less than hospitable to our little blue dot in the Milky Way. Countless companies, organizations, and individuals have taken a pledge to do better, though, and their efforts have made a difference. Patrón is one of them.
“Here in Mexico, in tequila, sustainability is definitely an important issue, and we’re proud that Patrón is considered an industry leader in finding and sharing ways to limit the environmental impact of tequila production,” said Antonio Rodriguez, the production director at Tequila Patrón in Jalisco, Mexico. “We’ve been recognized by CONAGUA (the Mexican federal water authority), SEMADET (the Jalisco state environmental agency), and PROFEPA (the Mexican Federal Environmental Protection office) for the work we’ve done to help protect the environment.”
Rodriguez has a front-row seat to the brand’s sustainability efforts, and informed us about the ways in which Patrón has gone above and beyond.
They’re Thoughtful About Byproduct Waste
There’s a stark difference between how environmentally committed distilleries process their waste, and how other companies do it.
“The tequila production process creates a leftover distillate, or ‘stillage’ byproduct. Rather than discard this, one of the treatment technologies that we’ve developed at Patrón is a reverse osmosis system that recovers clean water that we can then use in our facilities’ cooling towers, and for cleaning,” explained Rodriguez. “We also create compost from our leftover agave fibers, which is used to fertilize the agave fields, and which we donate to our community to use in recreational fields and gardens.”
They’ve Reduced Emissions and Noise Pollution
Patrón has also installed a natural gas pipeline directly into their distillery, which has significantly reduced their carbon dioxide emissions, notes Rodriguez. According to a blog update on the brand’s website, these emissions were reduced by approximately 200 tons in 2016.
“Along with using cleaner energy sources, Patrón utilizes acoustic screens around the cooling towers at our facilities to reduce and contain the noise that goes out into the surrounding area to keep noise pollution low for the community,” their website states. “Implementing these improvements has made Patrón more green than ever.”
They’ve Reduced Packaging and Solid Waste
Rodriguez also told Tales that Patrón has cut back on the amount of paper and solid waste the facility produces.
“We’ve done this by eliminating individual boxes for bottles of Patrón that are destined directly to bars and restaurants,” he said. “We also have a system to separate our trash at the distillery, which has reduced our volume of solid waste up to 70 percent. Everything else is recycled either in compost or sent to a recycle center.”
Hand labeling at Patrón.
They Share Their Technology
Patrón isn’t just dedicated to sustainability at their own facilities; they’ve actively made an effort to help other distilleries become greener, too.
“We share with other tequila producers the technology and processes that we’ve put into place,” said Rodrigeuz. “And, free of charge, we also take in leftover agave from other nearby smaller distilleries to treat their waste in our compost area. Taking care of the environment is important to everyone, and to our entire community here.”
In addition to helping other distilleries, Patrón is actively involved with local organizations that are committed to reforesting trees and plant life. They also support charities that cover a range of issues, including hunger, children’s health, and water conservation.