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Small World Spotlight: Whiskey Business with Noble Oak
Here at One Tree Planted, we’re lucky to have amazing business partners who support us each day in our pursuit to reforest the planet. Whether your business is big or small, we can customize our offerings to fit your giving goals. This month, we sat down with award-winning whiskey brandNoble Oak to learn a little more about their noble mission to give back.
Please, introduce yourself! Who are you, and what is your role over at Noble Oak?
Hello, my name is Jack Bauer and I am the Brand Manager for Noble Oak Whiskeys.
When did you begin working with One Tree Planted, and why did Noble Oak choose to support a tree planting organization?
It's a long story that has come full circle. I originally started working on the brand during its incubation in 2017. We wanted to develop a mission-driven brand that gave back to both our consumer and whiskey communities. In the same year, we were introduced to One Tree Planted, and the partnership felt like a great fit due to our shared ambition & passion. In 2018, I moved off the brand, to another in our portfolio, The Macallan, but I have recently returned to my roots and I am excited to continue to build on the success of Noble Oak and our partnership.
Back in 2017, we chose a tree planting organization to partner with because trees, especially white oak trees, are essential to our planet and the whiskey making process. The interaction between the whiskey and the wood accounts for 70% of our whiskey’s flavor and 100% of its color. As whiskey makers we are very thankful for trees, and we have a goal of giving back to the planet and our consumers, more than we take away.
How has Noble Oak partnered with One Tree Planted?
Over the past five years, we are fortunate that we have partnered with One Tree Planted in a number of ways. Mostly we work with One Tree Planted through our every bottle plants a tree model, where we donate the funds necessary to plant at least one tree for every bottle we sell. This past year our teams have also been able to get our hands dirty, attending tree-planting events in San Francisco and New York City, as well as branching out to support urban reforestation projects in Cincinnati. We also supported the One Tree Planted team during Climate week, where we partnered to host a fundraising happy hour.
How many trees have you planted with us so far, and what is your goal for the future?
Tree planting began in 2017 and to date, we’ve committed to planting 754,564 trees through our partnership with One Tree Planted. Approximately 468,523 trees are in the ground while an additional 67,500 are committed to planting projects currently in progress and 218,541 trees are committed to projects planned but not yet started. According to our sales projections, we are on track to reach 1 million trees committed by the end of 2023!
What is the response you’ve received from customers regarding your One Tree Planted partnership?
Overall, we have received positive responses from consumers regarding our partnership with One Tree Planted. Normally consumers first want to understand why we are partnering with One Tree Planted, and after we educate them on the whiskey process, the importance of wood, as well as our brand mission, feedback is very positive.
Where have you planted trees with us so far?
We have committed to planting trees throughout the United States, in over 15 states from coast to coast. We like to participate in projects close to where our consumers are located so they can see the impact in their local community. Anyone who is interested can find out more about where we have planted trees and the impact made by visiting the mission page on the Noble Oak website.
Aside from planting trees, how does your brand strive to become more sustainable, now and in the future?
As an organization, this past year, Edrington made a significant shift in our environmental responsibility by moving from our existing commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 in our own operations and travel commitments to making a full Net Zero commitment by 2045. We are very proud of this as we have committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Corporate Net Zero Standard.
Noble Oak, meanwhile, is continuing to take all the steps we can to be a more sustainable brand. We are very close to our packaging being 100% recyclable, which will hopefully happen in the next year or two. When developing any branded items, we take into account the purposefulness and reusability of items, opting for FSC-certified or plantable paper when printing, and partnering with like-minded vendors like Woodchuck and Tentree. As a brand team, and an organization, we are starting to trace our carbon footprint to make sure we are paving the way to net zero by 2045.
As you know, the holidays are coming up — and we know you have something special in store. In your own words, can you tell us what your Gift a Tree initiative for the holidays is all about?
Yes, absolutely! This holiday season, in addition to the usual tree-per-bottle donation, Noble Oak is giving consumers a chance to gift a second tree to someone special via a website we built in collaboration with One Tree Planted. The site can be reached through QR codes on seasonal displays and bottle neckers. We are very excited for consumers to get involved and give a tree in the name of a loved one or friend. With One Tree Planted, they will know that the tree (or trees) they gift will have a lasting impact on nature, habitats, and communities for years to come.
Do You Have One Top Noble Oak Gift Recommendation?
There are many things that pair well with Noble Oak. Whether it is enjoying a Bourbon around a Solostove or at home with a Rye cocktail & cosmic green candles. You can purchase Noble Oak Bourbon and Rye online or find retailers in your area via this link.
What sets your brand apart from other whiskeys?
There are two primary differences, the first being that we are truly in this to give more in the glass and back to our communities. Noble Oak’s parent company, Edrington, was founded by a charitable trust, and it is in our nature to give back whenever we can. Secondarily, we finish all of our whiskey through a proprietary finishing process with our partners at BrainBrew to deliver a unique liquid. Our bourbon is finished with sherry oak staves, and our rye is finished with port wine oak staves.
Do you have a festive cocktail recipe you’d like to share for upcoming gatherings?
Yes, we are loving this Maple Chai Punch recipe right now! It just reminds me of the holidays and pleases everyone’s taste buds!
8 cups chai, chilled
4 cups apple cider
2 cups Noble Oak Rye
1/4 cup maple syrup
Cinnamon sticks for serving
Star anise for serving
1. Combine chai, apple cider, Noble Oak Rye, and maple syrup in a large punch bowl. Stir well, until maple syrup is dissolved.
2. Add large ice cubes and serve. Garnish glasses with cinnamon sticks and star anise.
This sounds delicious — we’ll be adding the Maple Chai Punch to our must-try list! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Jack.
Would you like to learn more about working with One Tree Planted? Set up a zoom call or fill out our form to let us know how you’d like to get your business (or employer) involved today!
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