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Orange grove

Cointreau & sustainability – from the orange grove to the cocktail glass

Conceived in 1849 by the creative mind of a visionary, Édouard Cointreau, Cointreau orange liqueur has endured for centuries whilst remaining true to itself. The excellence of  Cointreau would not be possible without concrete action in the field of corporate and environmental responsibility, from the orange groves through to the cocktail glass.

Every day since the House’s creation, the same techniques have been passed down and repeated. From the selection of orange peels, chosen for the organoleptic qualities of their essences; to the harmonious blending of ingredients to achieve the ideal aromatic balance; to the grand finale, the distillation in 19 custom copper alembics just like those used by Édouard Cointreau over a century ago.

“My main goal is to perpetuate the original flavour of Cointreau liqueur, the one created by Édouard Cointreau.”
Carole Quinton, Master Distiller.

Squeezing the orange skin

The raw material, peel from sweet and bitter oranges, which are each peeled by hand, grows within a complex and sensitive ecosystem that the House has decided to protect to ensure that the excellence that Cointreau holds so dear endures. By supporting producers, by helping them to adopt more soil-friendly farming practices and by encouraging research into new solutions, the House of Cointreau is committed to protecting the very essence of its terroirs. This ambition and drive involve practical steps set out in its 2025 plan, Sustainable Exception.

Closely connected to Rémy Cointreau Group’s objectives, this plan is based on three pillars: preserving our terroirs and biodiversity for future generations, respecting the value of time by combatting climate change, and committing to people by encouraging them to consume our products responsibly.


By supporting our sweet and bitter orange tree producers, by helping them to adopt sustainable practices and by encouraging research, we are committed to protecting the very essence of our terroirs.

Today, our sweet and bitter orange trees cultivated for the House of Cointreau are “Global G.A.P” (Good Agricultural Practices, promoting safe and sustainable farming practices throughout the world) or “Rainforest Alliance” certified. Rainforest Alliance certification means that our orange trees are produced by farmers and/or companies working together to protect nature and create a more sustainable world. Our aim is to achieve 100% certification in 2025.

This initiative also includes investments in two research programs in collaboration with the public research institutes INRAE[i] and CIRAD[ii]. This research relates to the protection and adaptation of sweet and bitter orange trees in response to climate change, their resistance to new diseases and the preservation of plant diversity.

By protecting its terroirs, the House of Cointreau ensures the conservation of balanced soil and guarantees that the sweet and bitter orange trees necessary for the production of Cointreau liqueur remain healthy, today and for future generations.


[i] Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’alimentation et l’Environnement (French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment). In Corsica, INRAE, coupled with CIRAD, represents one of the most important centers of expertise on citrus fruits in the world.

[ii] Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research and Development).


Cointreau’s expertise is handed down from one generation to the next – a heritage that requires us to lead by example both in conserving natural resources, and in combatting climate change with an ongoing effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To protect this expertise and tackle current challenges, the House of Cointreau relies on the principle of the circular economy[i]: reduce, reuse, recycle.

On the production site, this particularly includes several initiatives such as conserving water resources.

Since 1997, water consumption has been reduced by 45%iv. At that time, 1.8 litres of water were needed to produce 1 litre of liqueur; today, the ratio is 1 litre of water for 1 litre of liqueur.


[i] The circular economy is a new business model that includes the concepts of the green economy, efficiency in use and design, efficiency in performance and industrial ecology. Its objective is to move away from the notion of waste to producing goods and services whilst significantly limiting the consumption and wastage of raw materials and non-renewable energy sources.
Excluding process water (water used in industrial plants for the operation of a process or the manufacture of a product.) vCf lexicon


  • 100% green electricity

    100% green electricity

    Since 2017, our Angers site has functioned entirely using green electricity, and since 2021 the gas boilers used for distillation have been fuelled by biogas derived from anaerobic digestion. Opting for renewable energy has enabled us to reduce our CO2 emissions in our bottling and distillation operations by almost 90% since that time.


    100% of waste recycled

    100% of waste (glass, cardboard, wood and plastic) produced each year at our Angers site is sorted and recycled. In terms of the fruit, we collect the peel, 60% of which is now recycled by our partners to produce orange juice and candied fruit. It can also be turned into animal feed. All the peel used during distillation is composted.

    Lastly, a proportion of the terpenes V – the molecules with fragrant properties present in orange essence – are re-used by the perfume industry.

  • Transportation with fewer Green House Gas emissions

    Eco-designed bottle with fewer Green House Gas emissions

    The House now systematically opts for the lowest impact transport options – maritime transport, followed by rail, and lastly road transport, with air transport eliminated.

An eco-designed bottle

An eco-designed bottle

An eco-designed bottle

The iconic Cointreau bottle is eco-designed and made up of two-thirds recycled glass, which is a genuine technical challenge given the limited availability of recycled glass in France.

Using the sum of these measures, we want to contribute to the targets set by Rémy Cointreau Group to reduce carbon emissions per bottle by 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

Committing to the people

Alt margarita

Committing to the people

Seeking to promote responsible and moderate drinking, as well as addressing numerous consumer demands and expectations, the House of Cointreau has begun revisiting its range of recipes to create a new category of “Alternative” cocktails, with a maximum alcohol content of 8% and whose proportion of 40% spirits does not exceed 25ml per glass (or equivalent). Alternative cocktails now make up 10% of our cocktail menu and we aim to increase this to 20% by 2025.

Being a pioneer of cocktail culture and leader in the traditional liqueurs category [6] involves a certain responsibility. While many measures still need to be implemented, we are currently doing all we can to embrace the role that we must play.

Fanny Chtromberg
International Brand Director

To carry our story forward, we are amplifying the responsible commitments guiding our practices. Cointreau is committed to an ongoing improvement drive in collaboration with Rémy Cointreau Group and all stakeholders.

We preserve terroirs. We cherish people. We respect time.

Today and for tomorrow, from fact to acts, we distill our actions in a positive and honest way, drawing on our core values to implement change. From the orange grove to the cocktail glass, every step we take seeks to preserve and extend the remarkable legacy of Édouard Cointreau by helping to ensure a more sustainable future for all.  

[4] Excluding process water (water used in industrial plants for the operation of a process or the manufacture of a product.)

[5] Cf lexicon

[6] IWSR2021/2022