Bulleit Partners With American Forests To Plant One Million Trees Over Next Five Years

Bulleit American Forests

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is teaming up with American Forests to plant one million trees over the next five years. The Diageo-owned Whiskey brand and the United States’ oldest national nonprofit conservation organization’s new partnership is part of the Bulleit Frontier Fund, which reaffirms the brand’s long-standing commitment to a more sustainable future for the bartending and hospitality industry, and the communities surrounding it.

“At Bulleit, we believe now more than ever that businesses have a responsibility to our environment, our communities and our planet,” said Sophie Kelly, Sr. Vice President of Whiskey at Diageo North America. “We’re so excited about our partnership with American Forests, because it allows us to further our commitment to sustainability and help in the fight against climate change by planting these trees, which will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come including carbon sequestration, air purification, water conservation, and providing vital wildlife habitat.”

The partnership will reforest eastern landscapes dominated by white oaks, a key species for wildlife, water conservation, and forest products.

“White oak forests benefit every aspect of our lives, from providing clean air and water to the amazing smells and flavors in a glass of bourbon,” said Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests. “This great new partnership with Bulleit will give back to these forests by taking care of white oak forests for long-term health and resilience.”

Together, Bulleit and American Forests will not only plant trees but also utilize innovative forestry, including using prescribed fire to facilitate natural oak restoration and planting trees in ways that will help them thrive in a changing climate.

These one million trees planted through the Bulleit and American Forests partnership will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come. American Forests has calculated these benefits to include:  

  • Carbon Sequestration:
    • 645,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be stored over the next 100 years, equal to removing the emissions from driving 140,000 cars over one year.
  • Air Purification:
    • An average of 74,000 pounds of air pollutants will be removed from the air per year. For fine particles like dust, this benefit is equal to removing 1,000 cars from the road.
  • Water Conservation: 
    • An average of 75 million gallons of runoff will be conserved per year, equal to the volume of water stored by 114 Olympic sized swimming pools.
  • Providing Vital Wildlife Habitat:
    • Roughly 2,000 acres of critical forest across several states in the Eastern U.S. will be restored.

Bulleit has prioritized white oak restoration because in addition to being a cornerstone species of forests in the Eastern United States, white oaks are essential to the future of so many industries, including the Whiskey industry. By definition, Bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels, and it’s white oak that delivers those toasty, vanilla, caramel, and nutty notes. As the bourbon matures in the barrel, the wood naturally contracts and expands during Kentucky’s four distinct seasons, pulling the liquid in and out of the inner portion of the stave, therefore bringing out wood sugars and tannins to enhance the Whiskey’s flavor over the years. Once one of Bulleit’s barrels is used to age Bourbon, the life cycle of the barrel continues with the majority of barrels being used for many years to age other spirits like Scotch, Rum, and Tequila.

The commitment of Bulleit to plant one million trees over five years, will contribute to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Bulleit owner Diageo is part of a group of organizations that are championing a green recovery and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through various advocacy groups. Diageo recently signed onto the Business for Nature‘s Call to Action, joining more than 560 companies to urge governments around the world for collective action and ambitious nature policies.

In addition to its reforestation efforts in large landscapes, Bulleit has committed to supporting American Forests’ goal of creating tree equity and green space in urban areas. These Community ReLeaf efforts are set to kick-off in 2021 in Louisville, KY.

Back in June, Diageo announced that it will make its new Bulleit Bourbon distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky carbon neutral. The forthcoming $130 million distillery will be the first carbon neutral facility built by the spirits giant. The company expects it to be fully operational in 2021. Diageo will implement a number of sustainable features in the new facility that reflect its global commitment to reducing carbon emissions and move the company closer to its goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Bulleit will be the first and lead brand produced at the new distillery – supplementing existing production at The Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky. 

Bulleit has also been a leading supporter of the struggling hospitality industry and unveiled the $250,000 Bulleit Frontier Fund in August.