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Secret Garden Distillery Lead the Way with Sustainability

Midlothian’s Secret Garden Distillery have sustainability at the heart of all their business operations. From planting to packaging, energy consumption to supplier sourcing, it’s not just a buzzword but a core value that influences every decision they make.

Secret Garden DistillerySecret Garden Distillery

Based in Lothianburn, Midlothian, Secret Garden Distillery produce a range of luxury hand-crafted gins using botanicals grown in their very own gardens.

With a firm commitment to the environment, the botanicals for their seed to sip gins are free from pesticides and grown using sustainable practices. Any ingredient that cannot be grown in the garden are sourced from suppliers who share the same commitment to the environment.

The Armstrong family took over the distillery in 2022 and have a passion for distilling exceptional spirits. They have ambitious environmental plans but are already well on their way to achieving Carbon Zero status by 2026 and aim to become Carbon-Negative by 2030.

Sustainable Packaging

In 2024 Secret Garden Distillery further solidified their dedication to the environment with their new 70cl bottle. The redesigned bottle, crafted with 70% recycled glass content enhances not just its position on shelf but the business’s sustainability credentials.

Moreover, they have significantly reduced their carbon footprint with this new bottle. The use of UK based suppliers and FSC-certified labels has decreased their Scope 3 emissions by dramatically reducing the number of miles packaging needs to travel to get to the distillery.

Midlothian Business Green Pledge

Secret Garden Distillery signed the Midlothian Business Green Pledge in early 2023 when the new owners took over the business and brought their passion for sustainability and natural ingredients to every product.

Since signing, sustainable practices at the distillery have gone from strength to strength, offering not just a unique selling point for their gins but a focus on a better, greener future for all.

Secret Garden Distillery Director Imogen ArmstrongMidlothian Council Green Transition Fund

Thanks to a successful application to the Midlothian Council LACER grant for Green Transition, Secret Garden Distillery were able to establish their own borehole in the garden. The business uses a substantial amount of water for their production and the borehole provides fresh, clean water for the greenhouses, garden and distillery using a natural, on-site, sustainable and self-sufficient resource that will contribute to a 9% annual reduction in Scope 3 carbon emissions for the business.

Imogen Armstrong, one of the directors at Secret Garden Distillery said: “Thanks to this funding, both our stills and our 7.5-acre garden are now supplied with water pumped from our very own borehole. We may be biased, but we believe it tastes better than Evian! By reducing our carbon footprint, we have not only achieved our environmental goals but also enhanced the flavour of our gin. It’s a win-win situation.”

Waste Reduction

The team at Secret Garden Distillery have also implemented a comprehensive waste management system. Waste from the garden is composted and returned to the earth, while other waste materials are meticulously recycled.

The business has been participating in a Net Zero Nation (NZN) Business Accelerator Programme funded by Business Gateway Midlothian’s Expert Help Programme alongside 12 other Midlothian businesses. Not only has this programme provided invaluable learning and support to help Secret Garden Distillery progress their sustainability agenda but also collaboration opportunities with the other participants.

One such collaboration from the NZN Programme is the Secret Garden Distillery’s decision to switch  their waste solutions provider to fellow Midlothian business, Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. This Midlothian based sustainable waste company are also focussing on reducing their own carbon impact with plans to build their own Material Recycling Facility  to avoid using 3rd parties and reduce the vehicle mileage currently required for waste transportation. This will help companies like the Secret Garden Distillery to reduce their Scope 3 emissions.

Currently the only plastic used in Secret Garden Distillery’s production is plastic wrap for pallets of products however, this is looking to be eliminated by 2025.

Secret Garden Distillery BeesSustainable Agriculture

The distillery employs regenerative farming techniques, promoting biodiversity and soil health. Crop rotation, composting, and natural pest control methods are standard practices, contributing to a healthier ecosystem and more resilient plant varieties. This commitment to sustainable agriculture not only enhances the flavour profile of their products but also supports local wildlife and reduces carbon emissions associated with chemical farming inputs.

Their head gardener has also implemented a ‘no dig’ method to their plant beds. The garden team repurpose waste cardboard from production activities and lay this on the beds to stop light reaching the weed seeds in the soil. With mulching on top, this creates the perfect natural and nutrient rich environment for their plants to thrive using less water to conserve more carbon.

A Green future

This isn’t just a tick box exercise on green initiatives for this family-owned business. Their unwavering focus on sustainability will continue with plans to eliminate all plastic wraps used on their pallets, moving all their products to the new recycled glass bottles, offering refilling options for customers, introducing energy efficient stills and switching their commercial fleet to electric vehicles.

As more and more businesses recognise the importance of sustainable practices, Secret Garden Distillery serves as a shining example of how dedication to the environment and business success goes hand in hand.

Find out more about this brilliant business and the incredible work they’re doing to be as sustainable as possible on their website.

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