Certified B Corp
As of Monday 4th May 2020, some 3,327 companies, in 150 industries, across 71 countries are certified B Corp. We are immensely proud to be part of this global network.
On Monday 4th May, Bruichladdich Distillery officially became B Corp certified. On this day, 3,327 companies, in 150 industries, across 71 countries, were independently verified by the B Lab as ‘using business as a force for good’. This means adhering to the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and accountability, or in other words, balancing profit and purpose.
In 2006, the B Corp certification process was organised to help mission-driven businesses protect and improve their positive impact over time. Acknowledging that governments and non-profits can only go so far in driving change, we join numerous for-profit businesses helping to tackle some of the challenges our modern societies face
We volunteered ourselves to be validated, and we’ll continue to do so every three years from now. This is the time for us to celebrate all the achievements we have managed, but it’s also an opportunity to pause and recognise where we are now, knowing that we must push ourselves to make our business better each year. We are incredibly proud to be in this network of change-makers.
Since our resurrection in 2001, Bruichladdich Distillery has existed as an antidote to tradition. Our purpose has always been bigger than making and selling spirits.
The commitments we have made to our community and our island have shaped the way we do business. Our refusal to outsource our warehousing and bottling sees us employ 80 people, making us the largest private employer on the island of Islay. Our local farming community’s partnerships now see 50% of our annual requirements grown locally across 21 different farms.
These actions may sound simple, but they are not the norm, nor are they an exhaustive list of our proudest achievements. Regardless of what we have conquered to date, we will continue to push our priorities forward across our sustainability pillars; in Islay and Community, Agriculture and Biodiversity, Packaging and Waste and Energy.
We have worked hard to share the benefits of our booming industry in our rural economy.
We have reached several milestones that have helped us achieve B Corp status. To qualify, we have to reach 80 points under headings of workers, governance, community, environment and customers.
This is just the start of our B Corp journey – we have plans to increase our score year on year.
80 people now work for Bruichladdich on the island of Islay, with a further 23 based in Glasgow. By basing typically ‘mainland’ functions on Islay, we are able to offer varied career opportunities to our workplace. Roles offered in human resources, design, hospitality, customer services, bottling and communications are not the norm on Islay, but they add vibrancy to our distillery.
The benefits we offer also helped us qualify. Living Wage employment, a 5% bonus scheme available to all our staff, annual cost of living adjustments as well as private healthcare, life assurance provisions and 34 days paid annual leave are all standard.
For the fitness fanatics, we offer an optional cycle to work scheme, corporate gym membership, health & wellbeing day and come together for a staff sports day once a year. In other team days, we were paid for 500+ hours of community volunteering last year and we know it doesn’t really count but our staff Christmas party alone is worth working the year for!
We’re also a diverse employer with a sound training and development program that’s seen 41 of our staff either promoted internally or transferred to departments that better suited their work/life balance. 8 of our 18 senior management are female, and we have an age range represented from 19 to 75 years of age.
Bruichladdich will build our commitment to protecting the environment in the coming years. We are extensively researching the feasibility of greener energy to reduce our carbon emissions. Thus far, we’ve installed a hot wastewater system that circulates the heat from our condensers to keep our office, bottling hall and visitor centre warm. In May 2020, we switched to 100% green electricity. We’ve even tried and failed at using anaerobic digestion as a source of energy in the past. Undeterred, we’ve learned from the process and will explore alternative sources with enthusiasm.
We will continue to support biodiversity and conservation on Islay and beyond through The Botanist Foundation. We’re proud of all we have accomplished over the last four years, including our pollinator projects, juniper conservation and support of Islay’s young people.
We’ll turn our hands to introducing reusable packaging and reducing waste over the next year. We are confident that great things can be achieved here, especially with other B Corp businesses’ inspiration to look to. We have to think big, start small but start today!
Becoming certified B Corp is a massive achievement for us. We are delighted to be among other businesses that contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Our role now is to share our fellow pioneers’ successes and continue to provoke our restless curiosity, improving each day for our people and our planet.