Koskenkorva vodka sustainability
SUSTAINABILITY IS A WAY OF LIFE
In the village of Koskenkorva, we’re forerunners of circular economy. Our distillery runs mostly on bioenergy generated by our own bioenergy power plant, we use 100% of every single barley grain, our recycling and reutilization rate is 99.9% and we’ve managed to reduce our CO2 emissions by 50%.
We also educate our farmers, measure soil nutrient levels and protect groundwater areas to reduce the impact of our production on the environment.
But we’re not done yet: we aim for fully carbon neutral production by 2025 and increased use of regeneratively farmed barley. Drink sustainably.
50% decrease in co2 emissions since 2014
At the Koskenkorva distillery, we have our own bioenergy power plant. It is especially designed to use the barley husks that are left over from the distillation as fuel for producing steam energy, which is then used for the distillation. Thanks to the renewable fuel, we have been able to decrease our CO2 emissions by over 50% since 2014, and we are now 60% self-sufficient in terms of steam generation for the distillery.
99.9% recycling and reutilization rate
As mentioned, our distillery’s recycling and reutilization rate is 99.9%. Which means we recycle literally everything. Like the ashes from our bioenergy plant that we use to fertilize the barley fields.
100% usage of barley grain
Our distillery uses 100% of the barley grain. This zero-waste mentality has been passed on from generation to generation to generation. What we can’t use for vodka goes into making animal feed and paper. And as you might know by now, the rest is used as fuel to run our bioenergy power plant.
Increased use of regeneratively farmed barley
Focusing on more environmentally friendly farming practices is a crucial part of our sustainability journey and that’s why we’re aiming at increasing our use of regeneratively farmed barely. Regenerative farming fights climate change by converting fields from emission sources into significant carbon sinks. It improves biodiversity, keeps nutrients from leaking into water bodies, and provides more and better crops at the same time.
In 2021 we launched Koskenkorva Vodka Climate Action – the first vodka in the world made entirely from regeneratively farmed barley. Read more here.
The northernmost barley in the world
Koskenkorva is made from the northernmost barley in the world. Barley provides the best harvest in the arctic climate of the village. We use custom barley varieties, such as Saana and Elmeri, that have been developed for the short growing season of Finland.
The summer days are so long that for almost a month the sun doesn’t set at all and all that abundant light enhances the enzymatic properties of the barley.
Most of the barley we use is sourced locally within a 200 km radius of the Koskenkorva village. Barley also enables a clean fermentation and distillation process which requires less washing and less water.
Pure spring water
The other key ingredient and one of the main reasons our vodka tastes so smooth is the 100% unfiltered and unprocessed pure spring water. The water in Finland is known of its exceptional quality. Water from rain and melting snow flows through the ridges of Salpausselkä and its sandy soil cleans the water naturally. The effect of the ground and the lack of chemical treatment give the water a fresh taste and clear color.
The water quality is examined regularly by an external laboratory.
The water is pumped from seven to eight meters below the ground to the Rajamäki bottling plant where it’s added to the grain spirit. To keep the exceptional water quality, Altia protects the water abstraction areas by owning land, limiting construction in the area and establishing environmental protection.
In the village of Koskenkorva, the craft of cultivating barley has been passed on from generation to generation.
We encourage our local farmers to maximize the efficiency of farming, to use nutrients sensibly and to monitor the barley during the growth season to ensure its viability.
We also help farmers in areas such as performing plot-specific nutrient balance calculations. With these calculations, it is possible to determine the amount of nutrients introduced to the fields by fertilizers and the amount of nutrients removed during the harvest.
And why does all this matter? Our farmers can use this information in their nutrient calculations. The larger the field’s crop yield, the more efficiently the plants tie up nutrients in the harvested crop. Otherwise, if the nutrients are left in the soil, they will be washed off into waterways causing eutrophication.
In a nutshell, a high yield of good quality barley and environmentally friendly farming go hand in hand.
The Koskenkorva distillery has a state-of-the-art distillation process that uses a highly developed producing technique that allows for an exceptional material efficiency. The process can use 100% of the barley grain and the production runs nonstop for 350 days a year.
Our continuous distillation uses altogether 9 columns. This raises the distillation efficiency up to 99%. It has several advantages over regular batch distillation such as the ability to distill larger amounts more efficiently. There also isn’t any need for unnecessary washing. This decreases water consumption, chemical and energy use, and ensures uniform quality. And finally, it means a 100% unfiltered pure spirit after the distillation.