Maker's Mark Distillery Named KAEE's 2019 Outstanding Business for Excellence in Environmental Education
At Maker’s Mark, the team utilizes their property in a unique way to spread the word on environmental sustainability.
Jason Nally, Star Hill Farm Environmental Champion at Maker’s Mark, says the “most impactful educational experiences we have been working on this year are our outreach opportunities for our employees, consumers, and customers. During most weeks, I lead groups to our lakes and through the forest discussing water quality, watershed management, native plants, importance of pollinators, forest management strategies, invasive species, and wildlife conservation.”
These groups typically include Maker’s Mark brand ambassadors, members of the media, bartenders, store owners, sales reps, and distributors. “By highlighting the work we are doing,” Nally says, “these folks can utilize the narrative as tools to help promote bourbon, thereby engaging in a conversation about the natural resources necessary for the creating our product.”
In his role, Nally also leads staff trainings at “some of the best cocktail bars in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago, he says. “These bartenders and distributors can now not only discuss the rich history and heritage of bourbon but also the resource sustainability measures so necessary to ensure the maintained growth of bourbon.”
During the distillery’s employee “Town Halls,” employees are also taught about sustainable forestry, benefits of recycling, and negatives of single use plastics; the goal of these sessions is an increased culture of sustainability not only at work but in employees’ homes as well.
And this fall, Maker’s Mark will welcome all of the teachers from Marion County High School for an in-service day, where they will complete a Project Leopold workshop. “We hope to make this an annual event that will reach all of the local and regional schools and provide them with age appropriate EE curriculum to take back to their schools,” Nally says. “I think it would be pretty awesome if every kid who graduates from Marion County High School has read The Sand County Almanac!”
See the complete list of 2019 KAEE Excellence in EE Award Winners here.