Raffles Hotel Singapore & ecoSPIRITS Blend Tradition & Sustainability in the Iconic Singapore Sling

SINGAPORE 27 JUNE 2021 In celebration of the inaugural Singapore Sling Day on 27 June, Raffles Hotel Singapore and ecoSPIRITS have announced the results of a sustainability review of the iconic Singapore Sling. In collaboration with Proof & Company and ecoSPIRITS, the Singapore Sling was revitalised in 2018 by Raffles Hotel Singapore as part of the reopening of the hotel after a two-year renovation. By using the patent-pending ecoSPIRITS technology and taking other steps to reduce waste, each new Singapore Sling saves the equivalent of 200g of C02 emissions per serve and contributes to the planting of native trees in the endangered rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia.

Developed with taste and sustainability at the fore, the revitalised Singapore Sling honours the long tradition of a cocktail widely regarded as the national drink of Singapore and first created in 1915 by Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. The classic recipe of gin, cherry liqueur, Bénédictine, curaçao, pineapple juice, lime juice and grenadine and bitters remains, but with improved, natural ingredients throughout and an eye to the future through a commitment to limiting single use waste and carbon footprint.

The iconic Singapore Sling, first created in 1915 at Raffles Hotel Singapore

The revitalised Singapore Sling features copper pot-distilled Widges London Dry Gin, a cherry liqueur from the Luxardo family who have produced cherry liqueurs from their own marasca cherry orchards in Italy for more than 200 years, an artisanal dry curaçao from Ferrand Cognac, an all-natural pomegranate grenadine produced exclusively for Raffles Hotel Singapore by Crawley’s, and a bespoke Scrappy’s Spice Plantation Bitters, which is prepared using local Singapore botanicals such as nutmeg, mace and cloves. The result is a Singapore Sling for modern palates, one that is fresher, less sweet and more balanced.

The revitalised Singapore Sling, with all-natural ingredients and sustainable practices.

The ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste technology lies at the heart of the revitalised Singapore Sling, used to dramatically reduce single use glass waste and carbon footprint for the spirit and liqueur ingredients. The gin, cherry liqueur and dry curaçao are all delivered to Raffles Hotel in patent-pending ecoTOTE™ format, saving tens of thousands of glass bottles each year. Furthering the sustainability profile of the cocktail, both the real marasca candied cherries used as garnishes and the Spice Plantation bitters are shipped in large low-waste formats, eliminating several thousand kilograms of packaging waste per year.  Single use plastic straws have also been replaced with biodegradable potato starch straws.

The Singapore Sling was the first cocktail in the world to use the ecoSPIRITS technology, dating back to November 2018

The result is a Singapore Sling that is far more sustainable, led by significant reductions in single use glass waste, other packaging and service wastes and carbon (C02) emissions. For purposes of the sustainability review, C02 reductions were estimated using the ecoSPIRITS Carbon Calculator, which was developed by leading consulting firm Deloitte. In addition to the waste and C02 savings, under the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program, Raffles Hotel is planting native trees in the Kalimantan and Sumatran rainforests, leaving a permanent legacy of carbon reduction and reforestation of endangered wild areas. The reforestation program yields an additional 150g of C02 sequestration per year per Singapore Sling, bringing the total to 200g of C02 reduction.

The Sustainable Singapore Sling  Natural ingredients, less single use waste and a reforestation legacy.

“The inaugural Singapore Sling Day honours our cherished heritage and the undisputed legacy of the Singapore Sling, an exceptional icon fashioned at Raffles Hotel Singapore that has, much like the storied luxury property, put Singapore squarely on the global map. Singapore Sling Day also recognises our constant efforts towards sustainability and innovation aligned with Accor Hotel’s Planet 21 initiative, while continuing to deliver vibrant and inimitable experiences to engage our guests and the community,” said Christian Westbeld, Managing Director, Raffles Hotel Singapore.”

– Christian Westbeld, Managing Director, Raffles Hotel Singapore

“ecoSPIRITS is proudly a ‘Born in Singapore’ technology. To be able to work with one of Singapore’s great icons – Raffles Hotel – to transition the Singapore Sling into a new era of sustainability, quality and taste is a dream come true,” notes ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie, “Raffles was the first hotel in the world to use the ecoSPIRITS technology, going back to November 2018. Their leadership in committing to green innovation and a vision of a sustainable future in food and beverage can serve as an inspiration to all of us.”

– Paul Gabie, CEO, ecoSPIRITS

About Raffles Hotel Singapore

Opened in 1887, Raffles Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world. Till today, its architecture is perfectly preserved both inside and out, giving it an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and classic colonial design. Within its walls are more than a hundred expansive suites, framed by polished teak verandahs and white marble colonnades, clustered around lush tropical gardens. Each is serviced by the legendary Raffles butlers and offers every modern convenience necessary.

Raffles Singapore has recently undergone a careful and sensitive restoration and has fully reopened on 1 August 2019. The restoration of Raffles Singapore is designed to ensure that it retain what is so special about Raffles – the ambience, the service, the charm and the heritage of the hotel. It is also designed for Raffles Singapore to stay relevant and distinctive by moving with the times and with its guests and adapting to the changing needs of the well-travelled and Singapore’s community.

For more information, please visit Raffles Singapore

About Raffles Hotels & Resorts

Raffles Hotels & Resorts boasts an illustrious history and some of the most prestigious hotel addresses worldwide. In 1887, Raffles Singapore set the standard for luxury hospitality, introducing the world to private butlers, the Singapore Sling and its enduring, legendary service. Today, Raffles continues this tradition in leading cities and lavish resort locales, enchanting travellers with meaningful experiences and service that is both gracious and intuitive. Connoisseurs of life choose Raffles, not merely for its aura of culture, beauty and gentility, but for the extraordinary way they feel when in residence with Raffles. Each Raffles, be it Paris, Istanbul, Warsaw, Jakarta or the Seychelles, serves as a venerated oasis where travellers arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family. Raffles is part of Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group which invites travellers to feel welcome in almost 4,800 hotels, resorts and residences, along with some 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.

For more information, please visit Raffles | Accor Hotels

ecoSPIRITS Launches Licensed Operator Program, Starting with the United Kingdom

SINGAPORE 21 DECEMBER 2020 Building on its success across Asia Pacific over the past 18 months, ecoSPIRITS has announced a global licensed operator program, which will bring its closed loop spirits distribution technology to new markets worldwide. The first market under this new program will be the United Kingdom, where ecoSPIRITS has partnered with the team behind premium spirits importer and distributor Mangrove UK. The new partnership will bring closed loop spirits distribution to London in April 2021, with additional cities to follow over the course of the year.

ecoSPIRITS’ patent-pending system of closed loop technologies offers both a substantial reduction in the delivered cost of premium spirits, and a transformative reduction in waste and C02 footprint. As one of the world’s most mature markets for premium spirits, the United Kingdom is a natural fit for this cost reduction advantage. The ecoSPIRITS circular solution to eliminating single use glass waste is also in sync with United Kingdom consumers, who are increasingly transitioning to sustainable consumption and purchasing choices.

Under the new Licensed Operator program, experienced local spirits industry partners invest in the ecoSPIRITS hardware and technologies, including the ecoPLANT™, ecoTOTE™ and SmartPour™ systems. They receive the rights to operate the ecoSPIRITS closed loop technology in a market, with comprehensive technology, engineering and product support from the ecoSPIRITS team. In return, Licensed Operators commit to offering closed loop service to other industry participants, including premium spirits brands, distributors and wholesalers who are looking to improve their cost and environmental performance.

Zdenek Kastanek, International Sales Director, ecoSPIRITS

“Since launching in Asia Pacific in late 2018, ecoSPIRITS has received inquiries from countries around the world about the prospect of closed loop service,” notes Zdenek Kastanek, ecoSPIRITS International Sales Director, “The ecoSPIRITS Licensed Operator program makes this prospect a reality. Together with our local partners, such as the wonderful team behind Mangrove UK, we can scale our climate impact many times over. From a personal perspective, I am excited to have this opportunity to reconnect with so many industry friends and relationships that I developed during my years working in hospitality in London.” 

Nick Gillett, Managing Director, Mangrove UK

Nick Gillett, Managing Director, Mangrove UK, added,“I have tracked the progress of ecoSPIRITS in Asia since its launch, and firmly believe their technology offers a sustainable blueprint for the UK drinks industry to follow. A number of brands in our portfolio have sustainability, environmental and Fairtrade principles at their core, and ecoSPIRITS offers us a very natural next step. The on-trade community is a driving force for change – campaigning against plastic straws, ill treatment of workers in production, treatment of waste water. ecoSPIRITS offers the potential to remove single glass from a large portion of the UK trade, in addition to commercial and logistical advantages, and deliver greater long term sustainable benefits. We are all experiencing a seismic change in the industry and revaluating everything we have previously believed in, so the question for me was – how can we not get involved?”

Founded by spirits industry veterans Nick Gillett and John Coe, Mangrove UK is a leading specialist distributor of premium spirits and liqueurs. As the anchor investor in the new United Kingdom Licensed Operator for ecoSPIRITS, Mangrove UK brings an extensive network of industry relationships, and an existing portfolio of premium spirits and liqueur brands, to the launch of closed loop service in this all-important spirits market.

The more than 500 hospitality venues that operate the ecoSPIRITS technology in Asia Pacific markets will soon be joined by leading United Kingdom hospitality operators, both large and small. As the on-trade community begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2021, reduced spirits costs, smaller carbon footprints, and sustainable consumption choices offer the prospect of a ‘green reset’ – moving forward to a more sustainable future, rather than a simple reversion to the old normal.

Every now and then there is a need for a disruption in the market place. A disruptor who understands there is a need for change, who is not afraid to challenge status quo and who goes and figures it all out and dedicates massive effort to solve the problem. ecoSPIRITS is the disruptor and a total game changer.”

“I am really excited to have ecoSPIRITS on the UK market. Reducing waste in our industry is sometimes really hard work, but in this case someone has basically done it for you while you are saving cost, which ultimately is a benefit for our guests as well. Having great spirits delivered to your bar, while helping the environment is just a beautiful thing! I cannot wait to have them over in the Mezcaleria soon.”

“Many have seen circular spirits as mission impossible. ecoSPIRITS have made it mission possible to bring the ground breaking concept to the bars to reduce the waste in bars which has a massive impact on our environment. Definitely the way forward as our industry needs to see more actions like this from drink producers.”

The first United Kingdom ecoPLANT™, the 16th worldwide, will be located in central London. More details regarding the United Kingdom launch will be released in January, including the initial portfolio of spirit brands that will be available in ecoSPIRITS format. In the meantime, spirit brands, importers, distributors and venues interested in learning more about closed loop service in the United Kingdom can reach out to ecoSPIRITS via email at [email protected] or Mangrove UK via email at [email protected]

About Mangrove

Mangrove UK was established by John Coe and Nick Gillett in 2014 and now employs over 30 specialist spirits professionals, mixologists, sales and brand experts with extensive experience in both the On and Off trade UK spirits market. Mangrove UK’s hand-picked portfolio displays heritage, innovation and commercial viability. The company has delivered measurable growth for a number of brands to become market leaders in their categories in under five years through strategic marketing and commercial advice, category education, menu creation, PR partnerships and brand activations. With over 100 routes to market, the business has grown turnover from £10.5 million in 2015 to £21.4 million in 2019. Focusing on the premium market, Mangrove UK ensures it represents the highest quality of brands by hand-selecting all products based on their provenance, category authenticity, innovation and commercial value to the trade. For more information, please visit mangrove.com

ecoSPIRITS Embarks on Journey to B Corporation Certification

SINGAPORE 11 DECEMBER 2020 ecoSPIRITS has been granted status as the first Pending B Corp in Asia, as it embarks on a year-long journey to secure the coveted B Corp Certification offered by B Lab, a global non-profit organisation. B Corps are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. 

ecoSPIRITS’ belief that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and non-profits alone inspired the company to join the B Corp movement. The growing global community of certified B Corp companies, which includes impact leaders Danone, Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s, is working toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.

“ecoSPIRITS mission to end single use glass in the spirits industry has deep environmental foundations. However, we realise our work to have a positive impact cannot end there,” notes ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie, “By pledging to become a B Corp, we are committing to better understand the impact of our operations on the environment, our communities, our suppliers, our team members and others we engage in our work.”

“We are extremely excited to welcome ecoSPIRITS to the B Corp community and to partner with them on the journey to full certification in 2021. The Pending B Status provides a mark of intent for companies to manage their impact and inform stakeholders of their intent, notes Tom Stewart, Executive Director for B Market Building in Singapore and Malaysia, “ecoSPIRITS is a visionary organisation, addressing a key environmental issue, and a great business to have as the first Pending B in Asia.”

The B Corp Certification assesses the overall positive impact of a company. To be certified, companies must achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous evaluation of a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community and the environment. Once completed, ecoSPIRITS’ B Corp certification score and impact assessment will be public, and available on bcorporation.net. This powerful combination of third-party validation, public transparency and legal accountability builds trust.

The patent-pending ecoTOTE 3.0, a closed loop technology for spirits distribution.

The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program supports low-income communities in the endangered Kalimantan rainforest area of Borneo.

From supply chain and input materials to charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification will require ecoSPIRITS to evaluate every aspect of its business and operations with impact in mind. Just one example of the impact of the B Corp process: ecoSPIRITS will now be required to audit, monitor and support its manufacturing partners in China, who produce ecoPLANTS, ecoTOTES and other ecoSPIRITS hardware and technologies, to ensure their environmental and labour practices meet B Corp standards.

“To obtain the Pending B status, we have already completed the first step of amending our corporate constitution to include the B Corp purpose clause. It now legally requires our board of directors to balance profit and purpose,” notes Cash van Halder, ecoSPIRITS General Counsel, “To maintain transparency as we complete the journey to full B Corp Certification over the next 12 months, ecoSPIRITS will provide interim updates on our progress. And once certified, we will also be subject to a B Corp audit every three years to ensure we are maintaining high standards of positive impact, governance and transparency.”

For a young technology company with a mission of environmental impact, B Corp Certification is a natural fit. By becoming a member of the growing B Corp community, ecoSPIRITS hopes to inspire others in the spirits industry to join this movement towards a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.

About B Lab
B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, and tools for business, and we certify companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. To date, our community includes over 3,500 B Corps in 70 countries and 150 industries, and over 100,000 companies manage their impact with the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager.

For more information, please visit bcorporation

ecoSPIRITS Announces ecoPLANT 2.0, Reducing Closed Loop Operating Costs

SINGAPORE 18 NOVEMBER 2020 ecoSPIRITS has produced the first units of its containerised, semi-automated spirits processing facility, the ecoPLANT 2.0.  Destined for Yantai, China, Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, the first units of the ecoPLANT 2.0 technology will go into service in late December. Additional ecoPLANT 2.0 units will be deployed to international markets in the coming months.

The ecoPLANT is a cornerstone of the ecoSPIRITS closed loop solution for premium spirit distribution. An upgraded version of the original ecoPLANT technology, the ecoPLANT 2.0 is a containerised, semi-automated spirits processing facility engineered to meet international food safety standards and best practices. ecoPLANT 2.0 units provide high-efficiency, hygienic ecoTOTE cleaning, sanitisation and refilling in line with the standards of leading international distilleries. When paired with the ecoTOTE™ and SmartPour™ technologies, the ecoPLANT completes an innovative closed loop system that eliminates more than 95% of the packaging waste and as much as at 80% of the carbon footprint of spirits production, distribution and consumption.

The ecoSPIRITS closed loop system for spirits distribution

The ecoPLANT 2.0 offers a broad array of performance upgrades over the first generation ecoPLANT technology, which was originally deployed in early 2019. First and foremost, the containerised ecoPLANT 2.0 design and upgraded, semi-automated cleaning, sanitisation and filling equipment dramatically improves closed loop efficiency, allowing for the processing of up to 400 ecoTOTES per day with three operators. A single ecoPLANT 2.0 can eliminate more than 40,000 single use glass spirit bottles – equivalent to 22,000 kg of carbon emissions – per month when operating at full capacity. This multi-fold increase in processing capacity reduces closed loop operating costs by as much as 70% over the prior generation ecoPLANT.

An efficient, modular solution to closed loop spirits processing

At its essence, the ecoPLANT technology is a miniaturised bottling and spirits processing facility designed to fit comfortably within a customised 20-foot shipping container. This ensures that all spirits handling takes place in a clean room environment that meets or exceeds international distillery standards. Each ecoPLANT 2.0 is equipped with automated sanitisation and filling stations in an air conditioned work environment, supplemented with spirits filtration, pre-rinsing, and additional safety and hygiene features. ecoTOTE processing takes place in a continuous loop, utilising automated conveyors to reduce operator movement and strain.

Continuous process for operator efficiency

Hygienic, clean room environment

Setting gold standards in hygiene, food safety and quality control was a core objective of the ecoPLANT 2.0 project.  The standard ecoPLANT 2.0 is compliant with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand for Food Premises and Equipment, as well as the National Food Safety Standard for Food Production in China. Individual ecoPLANT units can tailored to specific food safety and production regulations of any country during the manufacturing process. Spirits filtration standards, as well as spirits handling, sampling and analysis, can also be adjusted to the requirements of individual spirits producers, dovetailing with existing production standards and controls in place at their distilleries.

Distillery grade process engineering

Gravimetric filling for speed and accuracy

The modular, containerised design of the ecoPLANT 2.0 allows for rapid deployment to any global spirits market, opening the prospect of expanded access to closed loop service for spirit brands, distributors and hospitality venues. Each ecoPLANT 2.0 arrives in its destination market fully equipped for operations, requiring just 24 hours for commissioning at a new site. For production operations, the ecoPLANT 2.0 requires three-phase power supply, as well as compressed air and cold water. With comprehensive onsite commissioning and production training from the ecoSPIRITS engineering team, activating closed loop spirits distribution in a new market is a seamless experience.

“ecoSPIRITS is committed to moving the spirit industry in the direction of a circular future. With the release of the ecoPLANT 2.0, we are now able to make closed loop spirits distribution even more efficient and cost effective,” notes ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie, “Despite the challenges 2020 has brought to our industry, we are convinced that the future is green and the future is bright.”

Photography for ecoSPIRITS by Graeme Kennedy

ecoSPIRITS Releases the SmartPour, Streamlining the Closed Loop Experience

SINGAPORE 2 NOVEMBER 2020 ecoSPIRITS today announced the release of the latest addition to its closed-loop spirits distribution technology, the SmartPour automatic dispense accessory for the ecoTOTE. This latest hardware release will further improve the closed loop operations experience for hundreds of venue partners and hospitality operators who have already adopted the ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste system.  The SmartPour will become available across all ecoSPIRITS Asia Pacific markets in the coming weeks.

The new SmartPour, an automatic dispense accessory for the ecoTOTE

Circular economy solutions, while offering transformative environmental impact, present complex challenges in packaging design, closed loop logistics, user experience, and quality control. The ecoSPIRITS system, which is a 360-degree approach to circular spirits distribution, is anchored by three proprietary technologies: the ecoPLANT, a containerised, semi-automated spirits processing facility; the patent-pending ecoTOTE™, a tamper–proof, closed–loop 4.5L vessel; and, now, the SmartPour™, an electronic accessory for seamless, hygienic in-venue dispense and sustainable refilling. When operated as a closed loop system, the ecoSPIRITS technologies eliminate more than 95% of the packaging waste and as much as 80% of the carbon footprint of spirits distribution and consumption.

The ecoSPIRITS closed loop system for spirits distribution

The new SmartPour accessory enables ecoSPIRITS partner bars and restaurants to quickly and accurately transfer spirits from an ecoTOTE to spirits bottles, cocktail shakers, or serving vessels. When mated with an ecoTOTE, the SmartPour provides a one-push pour at 30ml, 45ml, 60ml and 700ml volumes, along with a continuous pour option for any desired fill volume. Regional variants will be available for standard pouring measures in all global markets.

Battery powered with convenient USB-C charging, the SmartPour is compliant with global hygiene best practices for food handling, as well as FCC and RoHS standards in the United States and European Union, respectively. The SmartPour is compatible with both the new ecoTOTE 3.0 and the prior generation ecoTOTE 2.0, allowing for seamless deployment in existing ecoSPIRITS cities.

A SmartPour used to sustainably serve, and refill, Peddlers Gin, the world’s first Shanghai craft gin.

“ecoSPIRITS supports hundreds of partner hospitality venues across our Asia Pacific markets. The release of the SmartPour will improve their closed loop experience, while further enhancing hygiene standards and reducing labour costs,” notes Bob Syihabuddin, ecoSPIRITS Operations Engineer and lead for Asia Pacific closed loop operations, “The SmartPour solution provides a fast, accurate pour every time. It also integrates easily into back-of-house operations and processes.”

The SmartPour offers ecoSPIRITS partner venues a range of performance upgrades over the prior manual transfer solution, improving speed, hygiene, and accuracy. Each unit is water resistant, easy to clean, and transitions seamlessly between spirit types. SmartPours come packaged with all necessary accessories, as well as a link to a brief online product training resource.

One push pours that are fast and accurate

The perfect complement to the ecoTOTE

Whether batching cocktails, direct service, or sustainably refilling branded spirits bottles, the SmartPour completes the ecoSPIRITS closed loop in a user-friendly manner. Eliminating single use glass in the spirits industry just got easier. 

Wavemaker Partners Invests in ecoSPIRITS to Support Global Expansion

SINGAPORE 27 OCTOBER 2020 Building on its rapid growth across the Asia Pacific region, ecoSPIRITS has announced a growth funding round with Wavemaker Partners, a leading venture capital firm for enterprise and deep tech companies with a presence in Southeast Asia and California. The support of Wavemaker Partners will both fuel the global rollout of ecoSPIRITS’ patent-pending, closed-loop spirits distribution technology and begin the next chapter of ecoSPIRITS’ vision:  a ‘intelligent’ circular economy of the future.

Although the terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the investment by Wavemaker Partners will bring both financial capital and deep technology expertise to ecoSPIRITS’ growth plans. The funding comes amid unprecedented demand for the ecoSPIRITS vision of ending single use glass in the spirits industry, offering dramatic cost savings coupled with transformative carbon footprint reduction. Since its launch in 2018, the ecoSPIRITS closed-loop technology has been implemented with partner spirit brands, distributors, wholesalers and hospitality venues across much of Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, China, Australia and New Zealand.

ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie notes, “Over the last three years, ecoSPIRITS has built remarkable momentum with our rollout in Asia Pacific and hardware development work. In this next chapter, as we embark on a journey to integrate intelligent features into circular packaging solutions, we were in need of a partner with experience bringing new technologies to regional and global scale. Wavemaker Partners was our first and only choice for this role. We have tremendous respect for the work Eric Manlunas, Paul Santos, Gavin Lee and the Wavemaker team have done over the past eight years to champion technology innovators.”

Left to Right: Eric Manlunas, Gavin Lee, and Paul Santos of Wavemaker Partners

The new funding from Wavemaker Partners will be used to grow the ecoSPIRITS team, expand its industry-leading intellectual property portfolio and add range of smart technology features to the existing ecoSPIRITS closed-loop hardware solutions. Building on the recent release of the third-generation ecoTOTE 3.0, ecoSPIRITS also has a number of new product releases to announce before year end. The focus will also turn to the United States and Europe, where ecoSPIRITS is in the advanced stages of launch planning. These new products and markets are expected to further accelerate ecoSPIRITS growth in 2021.

Never Never triple juniper gin in ecoTOTE 3.0 format

Global ecoTOTE tracking & management

“Prior to meeting with Paul and Spencer, we never really appreciated the amount of waste created by single-use bottles in the spirits industry,” says Gavin Lee, General Partner of Wavemaker Partners. “We were intrigued by their insights and amazed by the progress they’ve made in terms of product development, customer interest and adoption. It’s not very often that we get to invest in an early-stage start-up that is growing fast while delivering positive EBITDA. We are excited to be part of the company’s push to build the pioneering intelligent circular economy for the spirits industry that will be sustainable on so many levels.”

The close of this funding transaction also marks the completion of the spinout of ecoSPIRITS from Proof & Company, the award-winning independent spirits company that incubated the ecoSPIRITS brand and technology starting in 2016. As a stand-alone technology company, ecoSPIRITS is now poised to work with a broader network of spirit brand partners, distributors and hospitality operators across a range of global geographies. This independence will allow ecoSPIRITS to further its standing as the global market leader in circular packaging hardware and technology solutions for the spirits industry.

Grain Bar at Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney, Australia

Mill Bar, Hangzhou, China

“With this transaction, ecoSPIRITS is well-positioned to welcome a global network of partners onto the platform,” notes Spencer Forhart, Chairman of Proof & Company, “The ecoSPIRITS technology’s impact on our Asia Pacific distribution business has been nothing short of transformative, both commercially and environmentally. We look forward to furthering and expanding our partnership with ecoSPIRITS in the years ahead.”

About Wavemaker Partners
Wavemaker Partners is Southeast Asia’s go-to early-stage VC for enterprise and deep tech. 116 out of the 136 (85%) portfolio companies we have invested in since 2012 are in enterprise & deep tech. Our portfolio includes startups in software, AI and cybersecurity as well as precision agriculture, cleantech, additive manufacturing and laser communications. Recent exits include TradeGecko’s acquisition by Intuit, Moka’s and Coins.ph’s acquisitions by Gojek, Red Dot Payment by PayU/Naspers and Wavecell by 8×8.

For more information, please visit wavemaker.vc

ecoSPIRITS Introduces Next Generation ecoTOTE 3.0

SINGAPORE 30 SEPTEMBER 2020  ecoSPIRITS today announced the launch of the new ecoTOTE 3.0, a third generation of the patent-pending technology at the heart of the ecoSPIRITS system for low carbon, low waste spirits distribution. The latest generation ecoTOTE introduces a range of new features and performance upgrades, further reducing the carbon impact of spirits distribution and enhancing the experience for ecoSPIRITS partner spirits brands, distributors and venues. The new ecoTOTE 3.0 was released in China on 30 September and will become available across ecoSPIRITS Asia Pacific markets in October.

The new ecoTOTE 3.0, the third generation of the patent-pending closed loop technology.

“With the ecoTOTE 3.0 project, we set out to incorporate nearly two years of operating data from a wide range of markets and partner spirit brands, distributors and venues into our design and performance upgrades,” notes Zhang Shanshan, ecoSPIRITS Product Engineer and design lead on the ecoTOTE 3.0 project, “This is an exciting moment for our engineering team. We are confident the enhanced usability and performance will speak for themselves.” 

The ecoTOTE 3.0 offers ecoSPIRITS partner distributors and hospitality venues a range of performance upgrades over the prior generation ecoTOTE 2.0, improving ergonomics, usability, durability and economics. For ecoSPIRITS partner distributors, the ecoTOTE 3.0 offers more streamlined cleaning, sanitisation and filling, reducing labour time per ecoTOTE at the closed loop ecoPLANTS by as much as 75%. This translates into a further reduction in the operating cost of the ecoSPIRITS system. The ecoTOTE 3.0 is also 500 grams, or approximately 12%, lighter than the ecoTOTE 2.0, improving handling during closed loop distribution operations.

Machine-washable enclosures and caps streamline closed loop operations.

For ecoSPIRITS partner venues, the ecoTOTE 3.0 offers a number of design enhancements, including added top handles for improved ergonomics and a graduated inventory check window for seamless stock takes. An enhanced anti-scratch surface and improved enclosure design offer cleaner aesthetics – welcome upgrades for the many ecoSPIRITS partner venues who proudly showcase their ecoTOTES in the front-of-house environment. The popular nesting feature of the ecoTOTE 2.0 is carried over and enhancedproviding secure stacking and compact storage in the back-of-house.

The ecoTOTE 3.0 also delivers improved environmental performance – an objective that is central to ecoSPIRITS’ mission. The transition to injection-moulded plastic enclosures reduces the carbon footprint associated with the manufacture of each ecoTOTE by more than 12.5 kilograms of emissions, or more than 50%. The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program, which plants one tree for every cycle of an ecoTOTE through the ecoSPIRITS closed loop system, is showcased on the ecoTOTE 3.0 enclosure with the addition of the “One Tote, One Tree” mark. As with prior generations of hardware, ecoSPIRITS funds reforestation to fully offset the carbon impact of its own hardware manufacturing, making the production of each ecoTOTE 3.0 climate positive.

ecoSPIRITS new cloud-based ecoTOTE tracking service, with QR code tracking to improve fleet efficiency and security.

The release of the ecoTOTE 3.0 coincides with the launch of a global, cloud-based ecoTOTE tracking service, which will provide ecoSPIRITS partner distributors with real-time location information for all ecoTOTES in the global fleet. This feature will enhance tracking and fleet management, further streamlining closed loop operations and improving supply chain security.

The release of the ecoTOTE 3.0 is the first in a series of new product and technology announcements to come before the end of 2020. Taken together, these releases will deliver a comprehensive, generational upgrade to the entire ecoSPIRITS closed loop system.

ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie notes, “At ecoSPIRITS, our mission is to end single use glass in the spirits industry through ground-breaking circular hardware and technology solutions. The release of the ecoTOTE 3.0 marks another step in that journey. Through our rapidly growing movement of partner spirit brands, distributors and venues,  more than 20,000 ecoTOTES will be in closed loop service by the end of the year. Together, we are beginning to have a meaningful impact on the 40 billion single use glass bottles the spirits industry will produce in 2020.” 

Photography for ecoSPIRITS by Graeme Kennedy

Three Leading Craft Spirits Producers Join the ecoSPIRITS Platform in Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE 27 JULY 2020  ecoSPIRITS has welcomed three leading craft spirits producers to the ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste distribution network in Asia Pacific:  Never Never Distilling Co. in Australia, Peddlers Gin Company in China, and Brass Lion Distillery in Singapore. Through these partnerships, ecoSPIRITS will help each producer make their award-winning spirits more affordable to bars, restaurants and hotels, while eliminating 95% of the single use glass and packaging waste in their respective supply chains.

ecoSPIRITS is movement. One in which producers, distributors and venues come together to dramatically reduce waste, improve affordability, and build a sustainable future for the industry,” notes Zdenek Kastanek, ecoSPIRITS International Sales Director. ”We could not be more excited to welcome these three wonderful partners to the ecoSPIRITS network.

From August 2020, Never Never’s acclaimed Triple Juniper Gin will be available to on trade customers across Australia in the ecoSPIRITS format. In just three years, the team behind Never Never have built Australia’s highest awarded gins and swept onto the world gin stage – no small feat in the current category boom.  Winner of Double Gold at the San Francisco Spirits Awards in 2019, Never Never’s signature spirit bursts with more flavour, to create better gin. Using a three stage infusion process to build juniper intensity – Triple Juniper is perfect for gin & tonics and classic cocktails. The ecoSPIRITS partnership builds on the team’s recent momentum, which includes the February 2020 opening of their permanent brand home and distillery in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

The Never Never distillery in McLaren Vale, Australia

Never Never Triple Juniper Gin

George Georgiadis, Never Never Managing Director, notes, “We set out to push the boundaries not just of flavour but of everything we do. So it’s amazing to play a role in the incredible ecoSPIRITS waste reduction movement, which will have a lasting impact on the sustainability of our industry.”

Founded in Shanghai in 2016, Peddlers Gin Company is China’s first craft gin. Their core product is a Shanghai Gin, using premium local botanicals, such as Buddha’s Hand citrus, lotus flower, and Sichuan pepper. The product and brand is a fusion of traditional and contemporary influences. Blessed with extraordinary growth in their first three years, Peddlers Gin Company is part of a growing “Made in China” movement. Having won several big awards in China and abroad, Peddlers is living proof in that premium spirits from China can compete with the best on the world stage. The partnership with ecoSPIRITS is expected to further grow on trade volumes for Peddlers in their home market by more than 80% within the first twelve months. Peddlers Shanghai Gin will be available in ecoSPIRITS format in select cities in Mainland China from September 2020.

Peddlers Rare Eastern Gin, in ecoTOTE 4.5L and traditional 700ml bottle format

Rio Liu, Asia Sales Director, Peddlers Gin

“We are excited to be an early partner of the ecoSPIRITS program in China, and be a part of the wider sustainability movement in the alcohol industry,” says Rio Liu, Asia Sales Director of Peddlers Gin. “Waste reduction in our supply chains is an important issue. As a Chinese craft gin, we are committed to delivering a premium and thoughtful experience to our customers, who will no doubt embrace the innovation of the ecoSPIRITS technology.”

A partnership between ecoSPIRITS, founded in Singapore in 2017, and Brass Lion Distillery, Singapore’s leading craft spirit producer, is a natural step for both companies. Building Singapore’s first full-fledged micro distillery was a six-year journey for Founder and CEO, Jamie Koh. “I first conceptualised the idea of a Singaporean distillery producing uniquely Singaporean spirits back in 2012. We believe Singapore is the perfect place to create a holistic distillery experience, given how the cocktail and spirits scene here has matured in recent years. At Brass Lion Distillery, we place a strong focus on the quality of our product.”

Jamie Koh, Founder & CEO, Brass Lion Distillery

Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin

Collaborations like the one between ecoSPIRITS and Brass Lion Distillery are in keeping with Singapore’s vision to become the world’s greenest city. The ecoSPIRITS format will also make Singapore’s leading gin more affordable to the city’s renowned cocktail scene, reducing the delivered cost to venues by a remarkable 25%. Brass Lion’s flagship Singapore Dry Gin will be available in ecoSPIRITS format in Singapore from August 2020.

“With the ecoSPIRITS program, Brass Lion will be the most sustainable spirit available in Singapore.” Notes Jamie Koh, Founder & CEO of Brass Lion Distillery, “In addition to distilling locally and sourcing our botanicals within a 5km radius of the distillery, we will now able to significantly reduce our glass and packaging waste. This lowers our carbon footprint and allows us to pass on the cost savings to our venue partners. We are proud to be able to do our small part for the environment.”

All three spirit producers will participate in the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program, in which one tree is planted in for each cycle of an ecoTOTE through the ecoSPIRITS closed loop distribution platform. Their support of the Forest Program will plant thousands of additional trees, each sequestering approximately 12kg of CO2 per year, in the ecoSPIRITS reforestation area in the endangered Kalimantan rainforest in Borneo.

“Drinking local is an integral part of the future of our industry. Local spirits delivered through low waste, low carbon technology is the ultimate in spirits sustainability,” notes Paul Gabie, ecoSPIRITS CEO. “We thank the teams at Never Never, Peddlers and Brass Lion for their trust. Now we roll up our sleeves and get to work together on the 40 billion single use glass bottles that our industry produces every year.”

About Never Never Distilling Co.

Never Never Distilling Co. is built on bold decisions and a fearless spirit. It was founded by three friends with the passion and drive to produce Australia’s most highly awarded gins. When it comes to the Never Never Distilling Co, our mantra is more flavour. More flavour makes better gin and better gin makes better drinks. We create gins with bold, concentrated flavour, that celebrate a new classic style, in order to create the best g&t’s and signature cocktails. We thirst for more, not just in the spirits we make but in the lives we lead. For more information, please visit www.neverneverdistilling.com.au.

About Peddlers Gin Company

Founded in Shanghai in 2016, Peddlers Shanghai Gin is the world’s first craft gin from China. The product is the result of a three-year journey across the country focused solely on making a gin for the most discerning and adventurous drinkers. Distinctive notes of Buddha’s hand, Sichuan pepper and lotus flower complement traditional botanicals for a unique yet perfectly blended gin. Having won several big awards in China and at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards, Peddlers Gin is part of a growing “Made in China” movement showing that premium craft spirits from the Middle Kingdom can compete with the best on the world stage. For more information, please visit www.peddlersgin.com

About Brass Lion Distillery

Launched in 2018, Brass Lion Distillery is Singapore’s first full-fledged micro-distillery offering a selection of high-quality craft spirits using local ingredients. Inspired by the flourishing spice trade that made Singapore a trading hub in the 19th century, Brass Lion Distillery uses familiar Southeast Asian botanicals to create distinctive spirit creations that reflect Singapore’s heritage as a cultural melting pot. For more information, please visit www.brassliondistillery.com

The Never Never distillery in McLaren Vale, Australia.

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts Partners with ecoSPIRITS across Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE 3 JUNE 2020 ecoSPIRITS and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have partnered to reduce single use glass waste and carbon footprint across the leading hotel group’s entire Asia Pacific network. With this partnership, Four Seasons becomes the first hotel group in the world to pioneer low carbon, low waste spirits on a continent-wide scale.

As one of the world’s most respected hotel companies, Four Seasons is extending its leadership position with a number of sustainability initiatives. Under the partnership with ecoSPIRITS, Four Seasons properties across Asia Pacific will exclusively pour premium and craft spirits available through the ecoSPIRITS distribution platform. This partnership is expected to eliminate tens of thousands of single use glass bottles, and many tons of carbon emissions, per year once fully implemented.

ecoSPIRITS is currently available in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Mainland China, Malaysia, Thailand, the Maldives, Australia, and New Zealand. A growing number of Four Seasons properties have already completed the transition to ecoSPIRITS, including Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giravaaru. The balance of Four Season’s Asia Pacific properties will transition to ecoSPIRITS as the technology becomes available in the remaining regional markets.

“We are proud and excited to partner with ecoSPIRITS in implementing this innovative and important new technology across 27 properties in the Asia Pacific region.” said Four Seasons Asia Pacific Vice President of Food & Beverage, Philipp Blaser.  “The positive impact of decreasing the carbon footprint of spirits by 80% speak for themselves, especially as in 2020 we are welcoming 10 new restaurants and bars including the opening of Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Praya River and Four Seasons Tokyo Otemachi. We have found the transition process to be seamless with very few changes required in back-of-house, while the partnership further reinforces our other sustainability efforts in other areas including the elimination of plastic bottles from our guestroom private bars in Asia Pacific and plastic straws across our global portfolio.”

As part of this ground-breaking partnership, ecoSPIRITS will provide detailed carbon audit and waste savings reporting to Four Seasons.  In addition to this glass waste reduction, the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program will plant one indigenous tree in a reforestation tract of the Kalimantan rainforest area in Borneo, Indonesia for each cycle of an ecoTOTE through the ecoSPIRITS and Four Seasons closed loop. ecoSPIRITS expects to plant several thousand trees on behalf of Four Seasons in the next 12 months.

ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie notes, “Provenance is important for premium spirits, and for the well-travelled luxury hotel guest. Unfortunately, this translates into high carbon footprints. ecoSPIRITS addresses the problem of single use glass, which makes up the majority of the carbon footprint of premium spirits. We are delighted to partner with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, who are demonstrating true sustainability leadership with this Asia-Pacific wide commitment. Together, we can eliminate a small portion of the 22 million tons of carbon emission that single use glass spirit bottles will generate in 2020.” 

About Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Founded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 116 hotels and resorts, and 44 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world’s best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit fourseasons.com. For the latest news, visit press.fourseasons.com and follow @FourSeasonsPR on Twitter.

ecoSPIRITS Partners with Green Steps Group

SINGAPORE 22 May 2020 ecoSPIRITS has announced a partnership with Green Steps Group, carbon dioxide (CO2) impact specialists, to launch the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program , which will further offset the carbon impact of beverage operations at leading hotels, bars and restaurants across Asia Pacific. With this first-of-its kind program, ecoSPIRITS and its partner venues, spirit brands and distributors deepen their commitment to carbon impact leadership in the beverage industry.

The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program will help ecoSPIRITS partner venues generate additional carbon mitigation beyond the substantial carbon footprint reduction from their use of low-waste, low-carbon spirits. Under the program, one tree will be planted for each cycle of an ecoTOTE through the ecoSPIRITS closed loop distribution platform.  Each tree planted will be geo-tagged in the name of the partner venue. Using Green Steps Group’s proprietary “proof of planting” technology platform, the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program will be verified, monitored, and reported through an industry-leading digital trail. Tree planting benefits the partner venue, but is jointly funded by ecoSPIRITS, its spirit brand partners, such as Plantation Rum and Widges Gin, and its licensed local distributors, such as Proof & Company Australia.

ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie notes, “Through its closed loop technology, ecoSPIRITS already generates a transformative reduction in the carbon footprint of premium spirits. But reduction is not elimination. The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program ensures we ourselves offset the balance of the carbon footprint from our business and manufacturing operations. More importantly, it will allow the rapidly growing network of ecoSPIRITS partner venues to offset a substantial portion of the remaining carbon footprint of their beverage operations.”

The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program will initially focus on a reforestation tract of the endangered Kalimantan rainforest in Borneo, Indonesia. During the first year of the program, the parties expect to plant at least 25,000 locally grown trees in the area. The process begins with the planting of saplings of indigenous trees, which have been grown from seed at on-site nurseries, in an area cleared of invasive jungle vines. This is a tough, labour-intensive process known as silviculture. In the first year, the planting site is revisited every few months to be manually cleared of the vines, which can overwhelm and smother the young trees. Once safely established, however, these future forest giants can sequester CO2 for more than 200 years.

The Kalimantan rainforest replanting area in Borneo, Indonesia

Andrew Kerr, Green Steps Group founder, explains: “In simple terms, CO2 sequestration refers to the conversion of atmospheric CO2 into carbon. Trees are approximately 50% carbon, which means half of every tree is long-term-stored CO2, and with the massive and incredibly fast growing trees in Borneo this is one of the best places on Earth to capture CO2.”

Under the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program, the principal local tree species planted will be Dillenia Borneensis, Octomeles Sumatrana, and Molotus Muticus. Approximately 12 kg of CO2 is sequestered per tree, per year, over an initial 12-year period. Beyond 12 years, the sequestration increases as the trees grow. With life spans averaging 200 years, and with some of the trees such as Octomeles Sumatrana living up to 500 years, the average tree in the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program will sequester 2,400 kg of CO2 – or the equivalent of eliminating 4,800 single use glass spirit bottles – over its entire lifespan.

The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program will be managed by a cooperative (co-op) of four villages, who share the income from the tree planting. In addition, they set aside funding for village student scholarships and medical emergencies. Prior to COVID-19, the village co-ops relied mainly on ecotourism for funding, but the impact of the pandemic has left the village planting-operation entirely dependent on support from enterprises such as ecoSPIRITS, Green Steps Group and their spirits and distribution partners. Working together, the ecoSPIRITS network is helping to regenerate a safe, natural habitat for some of the planet’s most rare and endangered wildlife, while also providing hugely valuable CO2 sequestration.

The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program will have a substantial impact on the carbon footprint of ecoSPIRITS partner venues. By choosing ecoSPIRITS, venues already generate 550g of carbon emissions savings per 700ml bottle of spirit poured. The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program now adds an additional 1,800g of yearly emissions savings for each bottle poured. One such venue is Cantina OK! in Sydney, Australia, which will plant at least 250 trees per year by pouring spirits. The annual carbon impact of Cantina OK!’s ecoSPIRITS partnership, through both the elimination of single use glass and reforestation, will now  exceed 4,000kg of emissions reduction. And all this for a 15-square meter laneway bar.

“Rarely do you get the opportunity to work with innovative people looking to make the world a better place. Not everyone sees the forest for the trees. Our relationship with ecoSPIRITS is one of those unique win-win situations. We thought eliminating single use glass bottles was game-changing, but the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program has really set a new precedent,” says Alex Dowd, Co-Owner, Cantina OK!. “We’re proud to be a part of it and feel lucky that, even in a small space, we can contribute to offsetting our carbon impact and reforesting endangered rainforests. We hope that other companies around the world are taking notice of the new standards being set.”

About Green Steps Group

Green Steps Group, a Swedish-based technology start-up, provides governance for the tree planting organization  and the measurement of the CO2 output of each tree. Using a proprietary platform that combines geo-tagging, camera-traps and satellite multi-spectrum imagery to monitor individual trees , GSG and the on-site research scientists track the overall health of the forest and track the long-term CO2 impact at a per-tree level. Demonstrating how quickly success can be achieved, GSG has been able to document the movements of orangutans sleeping in trees that were planted only a few years ago.

For more information, please visit www.greenstepsgroup.com