Hella Cocktail Co. is a mixology company started by three friends in Brooklyn, NY. As a
company rooted in integrity, they wanted to learn more about their carbon footprint and what
they could do to become carbon neutral and, eventually, carbon negative. The company
reached out to SUMA Net Impact for help. During the fall semester of 2020, six students from a
variety of backgrounds teamed up to conduct a life cycle assessment and provide
recommendations to Hella Cocktail.
The Hella Cocktail Project Team conducted a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA) of
two products from Hella Cocktail Co.’s most popular line: Dry and Spritz Bitters & Soda. From
this LCA, the team wrote a detailed report about the findings and recommendations and created ideas for marketing materials to educate consumers on the LCA process.
Hella Cocktail provided some initial data about ingredient sourcing and the process of creating
their products. Using this information, the team reached out to various suppliers to work out the production process details: the path ingredients took to reach the canning factory, the different retail stores in which products are sold, the rate of recycling of their products, etc. They calculated the distances between suppliers and final products to their desired locations. Two team members then calculated the greenhouse gas emissions of the two products. Although the final carbon footprint calculations are estimates given the substantial number of assumptions made, the results give Hella Cocktail Co. an idea of focus areas within the products’ life cycles to create a more environmentally friendly product.
The main challenge the team faced was the lack of primary and secondary data. Although they
reached out to all suppliers, some responses were never received or were received late in the
process. Because of this, the team was unable to calculate the exact carbon footprint of the
products. However, the estimated carbon footprints can still be extremely beneficial to the client.
Conducting an LCA is a complex and tedious task. Through this project, the team gained
first-hand LCA experience outside of the classroom. They learned about the substantial
research and data collection involved to complete the LCA as well as some challenges. The
team members now have the opportunity to apply the quantitative and qualitative skills acquired through this experience in the real-world.