Living a Spirit of Commitment

European Union
2021 > Ongoing
#C02Emissions #Packaging #WaterUse


By 2025: To achieve 100% engagement with direct farmers around regenerative agriculture practices.

By 2030: To reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50%; To source 100% of electricity from renewable energy sources; To achieve water balance for key watersheds; To integrate circular economy principles into business processes across the organisation; To make sure that 100% of primary packaging will be recyclable or reusable.

By 2035: 50% of logs purchased will be from proven sustainably managed forests.

By 2045: To achieve net-zero GHG emissions in their operations and supply chain.


Caring for natural resources and the climate is more than a business concern for Brown-Forman. From the fields that grow their grains, agave, and grapes, to the water they transform into spirits, to the oak for barrels, Brown-Forman depends on the earth’s bounty. They commit to: the environment that sustains us all; caring for the resources shared with the community and nurturing resources for those that come after us.

In fiscal year 2021, Brown-Forman established ambitious new sustainability commitments that are intended to align their efforts with industry best practices and the most current climate change science. Their environmental commitments serve as a roadmap in advancing sustainability, reducing the company’s environmental footprint, and increasing its positive impact on the community and environment. 

Environmental Goals

Climate Action

  • 50% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
  • Achieve net-zero GHG emissions in operations and supply chain by 2045.

To help make progress in this area, a strategic roadmap of key initiatives to achieve reduced GHG was developed; a detailed energy efficiency assessment of production sites was conducted and a programme with suppliers to better understand and reduce carbon footprint was launched. 

  • Source 100% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

To help make progress in this area, Brown-Forman is part of the U.S. East Fork Wind Project. They also installed a new rooftop solar array at Slane Distillery, approved a solar project at the Scotland bottling facility and are exploring solar projects in Mexico.

Water Stewardship

  • 100% of our high-risk and business critical watersheds to achieve water balance by 2030.

To help make progress in this area, Brown-Forman has set up risk measurement systems. They have also partnered with Waterplan to monitor water risk at the Casa Herradura and Sonoma-Cutrer facilities. They also developed a plan at Casa Herradura for expanding reuse of treated water to offset groundwater use and partnered on the Charco Bendito project to restore a critical watershed and natural area in Jalisco, Mexico.


  • Integrate circular economy principles into business processes across the organisation by 2030.

To help make progress in this area, Brown-Forman has developed new partnerships to drive reuse of glass and grain. They also began construction on a new anaerobic digester to convert spent grains from the Jack Daniel Distillery into renewable natural gas to help power the distillery and low-carbon fertilizer to help local farmers reduce their carbon footprint. They also launched a campaign with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission encouraging consumers to bring empty glass spirits bottles back to state-controlled liquor stores in exchange for a coupon. 

Sustainable Packaging

  • By 2030, 100% of primary packaging will be recyclable or reusable.

To help make progress in this area, Brown-Forman has created new initiatives to expand the use of recyclable and reusable materials. They have also worked to remove or replace materials that are not recyclable, such as single-use plastics from gift packaging. They also introduced a 50 mL bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey made with 15% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Sustainable Agriculture

  • 100% engagement with direct farmers around regenerative agriculture practices by 2025.

To help make progress in this area, Brown-Forman has engaged grain farmers to document their regenerative agriculture practices and encouraged grape farmers to achieve sustainability certification. They also co-hosted a Dendrifund gathering to discuss how to strengthen connections in small grain value chains and find solutions for growing rye varietals that meet distillers’ specifications. They also developed a roadmap to engage with 100% of direct agave farmers.

Sustainable Forestry

  • 50% of logs purchased will be from proven sustainably managed forests by 2035.

To help make progress in this area, Brown-Forman developed a working group to create new forestry commitments. They also planted white oak at the Old Forester Tree Nursery to study white oak sustainability and provide improved acorns for future white oak forest restoration.


Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER)




Fiscal Year 2023 Progress:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: Reduced by 14.8%.
  • Renewable electricity: 88% renewable electricity. Offset more than 95% of U.S. electricity usage through the East Fork Wind Project. The solar array at Slane Distillery will provide 5% of their electricity annually.
  • Water balance for key watersheds: Water efficiency projects include water recycling systems; use of fan-based systems and employee-led water saving programmes. The Charco Bendito project connected nearly 700 people to clean drinking water.
  • Engage with direct farmers on regenerative agricultural practices: 72% of farmers engaged.  The Dendrifund gathering had nearly 100 stakeholders across the Ohio Valley.
  • Source from sustainably managed forests: Funding to improve 2,000 acres of Tennessee woodlands, including 1,000 acres of white oak forest, in partnership with the Tennessee Forestry Association.  Planted five acres of white oak at the Old Forester Tree Nursery.  

Fiscal Year 2022:

  • GHG emissions were reduced by 27.8%.
  • Energy use was reduced by 10.7%.
  • Water use was reduced by 7%.
  • More than 99% of the waste generated by Brown-Forman’s facilities is diverted from landfills.
  • We created a Sustainable Packaging Council that meets regularly to discuss ways to improve packaging sustainability and glass use. As a result of this team’s work, sustainability considerations are now part of all packaging design briefs.

Fiscal Year 2021:

  • 84% of electricity was from renewable sources.
  • Brown-Forman is a founding member of the White Oak Initiative, which works to ensure the long-term sustainability of America’s white oak forests that are required in the making of our barrels. In Fiscal Year 2022, the White Oak Initiative completed an assessment and conservation plan that outlines threats to America’s white oak forests and the steps that can be taken to prevent their decline.

Measurement & evaluation

As part of our overall commitment to strong environmental practices, Brown‑Forman holds itself accountable to global aspirations like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The baseline for Brown‑Forman’s Sustainability Goals come from the 2020 Fiscal Year and reporting will follow the company’s fiscal year financial reporting.   

Brown-Forman’s climate action progress is evaluated by CDP annually. Additionally, we report in accordance with GRI and SASB on broader sustainability topics, which are publicly available documents. Our progress is also reported in an annual ESG Scorecard and Annual Report, both available on our website.




Sustainability Celebration

Photo gallery


Brown-Forman ESG Report 2022.pdf (pdf - 8.04 Mo)