Consideration for the environment is an important aspect of CSR for Arcus.
Our operations affect the environment through both the production and distribution of our products. We follow a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, and work systematically to reduce the impact our business has on the environment.
Arcus’ environmental goals are:
- To increase the energy efficiency of our production processes
- To increase the percentage of renewable energy used in the operation of our buildings
- To reduce the amount of water used during production
- To reduce the amount of waste generated during production
Arcus has its own treatment plant, where water is continuously sampled and, if necessary, the natural salinity adjusted. The water used by Arcus comes from local sources. It is piped all the way to the bottling plant, so does not entail the use of polluting transport. We aim to reduce overall water use.
Our geothermal systems deliver 70% of the total energy consumed by Arcus. These geothermal systems draw surplus heat from the ground. They are therefore, classified as clean energy and do not contribute to global warming. Natural gas, which is a relatively clean energy source, makes up the remainder of the supply.
Environmentally friendly plastic bottles
Every year, Arcus fills 2.5 million polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, which makes up around 23%of all the bottles we fill. These PET bottles can be recycled, just like other plastics, and weigh very little (in fact a PET bottle is just 14% of the weight of an equivalent glass bottle). With such a significant weight saving, transport is easier and less resource intensive. PET bottles also bring advantages to consumers – as they are easy to carry and won’t smash.
Environmentally friendly boxed-wine
Boxed-wine (also known as Bag-in-box or BiB) was first introduced to the Nordics in the 1980s and now accounts for approximately 60% of Swedish and Norwegian sales. BiB brings several practical advantages, including its low weight, its large volume, the fact that it is unbreakable, and its ability to keep wine fresh for up to six weeks after opening, without comprising the its quality. And, of course, Bib brings significant environmental benefits. For example, the wine is poured into large flexi-tanks in the country of origin and then transported to Arcus, where it is bottled – a form of transport which brings much lower weights and larger volumes per load compared to ordinary glass bottles.
Locally produced spirits
Every year, to produce its spirits, Arcus uses some two million litres of rectified spirit of 96% alcohol by volume (ABV). This is produced using low-grade Norwegian potatoes, which would otherwise have been discarded, and delivered to Arcus by a firm of hauliers called HOFF. Tanker trucks from the HOFF plant at Gjøvik transport the potato spirit to our main production facility at Gjelleråsen. The ecological aquavit manufacturer Snälleröds uses locally produced potato spirit.
High quality spices
To create high quality products, Arcus is particularly careful about the raw materials we use and where they are sourced from. Caraway, which is the most important spice used in Norwegian aquavits, is produced exclusively in Norway. The wild caraway we use is entirely natural and has not been genetically modified. In this way, we are able to maintain a high concentration of the essential oils that contribute to the aquavit’s distinctive, spicy flavour.
Tradition and craftsmanship
Arcus uses some 8,000 oak casks in the production of our aquavit. Each of these casks was originally bought from either a Spanish sherry or Portuguese port producer, and is used time-and-time again. The oldest of the casks date back more than 100 years, and all of them are maintained on a regular basis. The two coopers at Gjelleråsen who maintain the casks represent a traditional Norwegian craft, which was widespread until the 1930s but had largely died out by the 1960s when most domestic barrel production had ceased. Through its coopers, Arcus ensures that a traditional craft lives on, and that the 8,000 oak casks can still be used to produce and store aquavit.