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Koskenkorva launches climate change fighting vodka to promote regenerative farming

Bob the Robot helps to promote ‘Koskenkorva Climate Action’ vodka made entirely from regeneratively farmed barley

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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With COP26 upon us, brands are starting to take action and are thinking of ways they can contribute to the sustainable agenda. One such brand is Finnish vodka, Koskenkorva, which has launched its climate change fighting vodka, Koskenkorva Climate Action, in Europe for the first time. The initial concept was first devised by creative company Bob the Robot, as part of its partnership with Koskenkorva. That work has led to a much larger collaboration with Altia, the parent company behind Koskenkorva, which was already working with Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) on carbon farming initiatives, as the brand commits further to its sustainability work. 

Koskenkorva Climate Action vodka is made entirely from regeneratively farmed barley, meaning it helps to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. With COP26 underway, the impact industrial farming is having on the environment will no doubt be a large part of discussions, and Koskenkorva hopes to play its part in helping to minimize this impact, leading the way in the shift toward regenerative farming. 

Industry change from within

At current, statistics around farming are bleak; figures warn that one-third of the planet’s soil is spent, unable to produce the food we rely on it to grow. Experts suggest that the most promising alternative to this is regenerative agriculture, which is how the Koskenkorva vodka is produced.

Regenerative farming draws CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it into the ground. At the same time, regenerative farming improves biodiversity, prevents eutrophication, uses less water and gives better yields. It is said that if all the farmers in the world transitioned to regenerative farming, 322 billion tons of CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere; 10 times as much as the world's annual emissions. The barley used to make the vodka has been farmed according to this definition of regenerative farming set out by BSAG’s Carbon Action platform. 

“We don’t want to do our work at the expense of our planet,” explained Pekka Tennilä, CEO of Altia. “Sustainable barley farming is one of the ways we aim to honour this goal, as barley cultivation is one of the major factors contributing to the carbon footprint of our products. Our collaboration with BSAG has given us access to the most up-to-date research findings and best practices.” 

Marketing sustainability

To support the launch of Koskenkorva Vodka Climate Action across Europe, Bob the Robot has also developed various film assets detailing the process of creating the vodka, which will run across digital and social channels. In order for consumers to be empowered to make sustainable choices, it’s important that these choices are marketed to them correctly and that they are well informed about the product they are buying into. 

Consumers are well aware of the gravity of the climate crisis and want to make the more sustainable choice, therefore simple, non-patronising communications are often the most effective. Paul Merisalu, Senior Creative at Bob The Robot explained, “the original brief was to communicate the facts behind Koskenkorva Vodka’s sustainability efforts. We wanted to show the impact of regenerative farming, scaling the knowledge to other farmers and making a real-world impact. Koskenkorva, Altia and the Baltic Sea Action Group have been making strides forward in the carbon farming space and we’re proud to be a part of this latest achievement.”

Purpose at the heart of proposition

For brands to communicate authentically around sustainability, ensuring that the mission statement they take on aligns well with their existing brand values is essential. For Koskenkorva Vodka, regenerative farming lies at the heart of the brand. Committing to more sustainable production methods is evidence of the brand’s wider commitment to combating the issue of industrial farming.

“Koskenkorva Vodka Climate Action is an important innovation for us, because it takes the brand another step closer to its goal of being the world’s most sustainable vodka,” says Suvi Reinikkala, Marketing Director of Spirits at Altia. “We want to provide consumers with more sustainable choices and show how we can create inspiring brand experiences while also protecting our planet.”

The climate crisis is high on the agenda for all businesses at present and so to best contribute to meaningful change, businesses need to look at their own assets and use them positively. Brands that put purpose at the heart of their proposition will be able to communicate the most authentically with consumers which in turn builds up consumer confidence. Sustainability is one of the biggest issues this generation faces and brands seen to be playing their part will not only gain favour but ultimately will be doing the right thing.