Beam Suntory recently announced that it is launching a first-of-its-kind pilot programme within the tequila industry to explore regenerative agricultural practices in the agave fields near its Casa Sauza operations in Jalisco, Mexico. The programme has the potential to reveal new opportunities to improve carbon capture and supports Beam Suntory’s Proof Positive sustainability agenda and commitment to achieving net zero emissions in direct operations by 2030.
In partnership with environmental professional services company Red BioTerra, the pilot programme will explore methods of maximising carbon capture in agave fields by introducing additional plants, which absorb carbon during the day, between rows of agave, which absorbs carbon at night to avoid water loss. If successful, this method is expected to neutralise 50% of Casa Sauza’s emissions by 2026, and 100% by 2030.
“This marks an exciting step toward more sustainably sourcing the highest quality agave for our renowned Casa Sauza tequila, ultimately benefitting the environment through the power of regenerative agriculture,” said Kim Marotta, Global Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, Beam Suntory. “We are proud to be working toward our sustainability commitments with cutting-edge initiatives across our entire family of brands.”
The pilot programme is the latest development in Casa Sauza’s long-held commitment to environmentally friendly practices. The tequila brand has one of the industry’s lowest water usage rates and is working toward further reducing water, energy and waste at its facilities through continuous production improvements and new technologies – including switching from fuel oil to natural gas. Casa Sauza is also part of the Charco Bendito Project, through which it supports the restoration and protection of a sub-basin of the Lerma–Santiago River and promotes reforestation, soil conservation and recharging the aquifer.
“Caring for the environment is a core value in our pursuit to produce the finest tequila,” said Servando Calderon, General Manager Tequila Operations, Casa Sauza. “We are proud to be kicking off this new pilot programme, which has the potential to capture more than 36,800 tons of carbon per year – leading to healthier soil, increased biodiversity and reduced soil erosion.”
Results from the pilot programme, which is inspired and supported by parent company Suntory Holdings’ Growing for Good initiative, are anticipated by the end of its first year of study, with the potential to extend for an additional seven years.