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Sustainability is part of our DNA

We started Dairy Distillery with the idea of transforming an unused milk sugar into vodka. We figured vodka made from milk would taste delicious. We also believed using waste is better for the planet and helps dairy farmers. As we moved to production, we discovered significant energy saving compared to traditional methods. When it came to packaging, we picked a bottle that not only tells our story but is half the weight of other glass vodka bottles. Thanks to our sustainable ingredients, efficient production and lighter packaging, Vodkow has half the carbon footprint of traditional vodka. This allows us to affordably purchase the offsets to make every bottle of Vodkow carbon neutral. Through innovation, we’ve created a better tasting vodka that is naturally sustainable.

sustainability info

Vodkow reduces waste

Vodkow is made using milk permeate, not starch from grains or potatoes like traditional vodka.  Milk permeate is a lactose (milk sugar) rich by-product of ultrafiltered milk production. Using a special yeast, we ferment the lactose in the milk permeate to make alcohol. Our milk permeate comes from Canada’s largest dairy in Winchester, Ontario where they make over 100,000L of milk permeate a day. Most of this permeate is sent to digesters for disposal. We use 3.7kg of milk permeate to make a bottle of Vodkow (215 g per 1.5 oz serving). So every time you drink Vodkow, you’re reducing waste while saving food for human consumption

Vodkow’s lighter bottle means a small carbon footprint

The manufacturing of glass is the single largest contributor of a bottle of vodka’s carbon footprint. Since the carbon footprint is proportional to the weight of the bottle and a bottle of Vodkow weighs on average 50% less than other glass vodka bottles, our carbon footprint is smaller than other vodkas. A lighter bottle also means less glass ending up in landfills or recycling plants. Less is certainly more when it comes to a bottle of Vodkow.

Making alcohol using lactose uses less energy and water

Making vodka using milk permeate is more efficient than using traditional ingredients like grains or potatoes. Traditional vodka production starts with converting the starches in grains or potatoes into sugar. We skip this energy and water intensive step as our milk permeate is delivered to our distillery in liquid form. Our proprietary yeast can start fermenting the lactose directly, significantly reducing both energy usage and production time. Our innovative process is better for the environment and our bottom line.

We’re 100% transparent about our carbon footprint

We performed a cradle-to-grave lifecycle analysis of Vodkow’s carbon footprint in accordance with the ISO 14021 standard. The carbon (CO2e) associated with all aspects of our process was accounted for. We estimate we produce 1.56kg eCO2 per bottle of Vodkow (48.4 tonnes in 2019). We’re one of only a few distilleries in Canada to publish a carbon assessment (link).

Vodkow is carbon neutral

Our sustainable ingredients, energy efficient production and lighter packaging combine to give Vodkow a naturally low carbon footprint. Since the main ingredient is a waste product, it has no carbon intensity associated with it. Lower production energy and a lighter bottle further reduce its carbon footprint. These advantages make it economical for us to buy offsets to make every bottle of Vodkow carbon neutral. We selected Tree Canada’s “Grow Clean Air” program that plants trees guaranteed to sequester carbon for 30 years.