Updated: Dec 7, 2022
6th Dec 2022
In November 2022 BrewDog lost their B Corp status less than two years after becoming certified. An investigation by B Lab UK followed a BBC documentary and an open letter from workers that alleged a ‘culture of fear’ that sparked months of controversy across the B Corp community, the drinks industry and beyond.
In an internal memo to staff, founder James Watt said: “We have decided to step aside from our B Corp certification for the time being,” He added: “B Lab had requested additional measures from BrewDog and the BrewDog board decided that these were not something we could do at this time”.
A spokesperson for B Lab has confirmed the removal of BrewDog’s certification but said: “B Lab does not comment on companies that are no longer in the B Corp community. I’m afraid I cannot share any further information.”
What we do know is that BrewDog will now be focusing on delivering objectives outlined in the 'BrewDog Blueprint', a series of values and projects that have been set by their internal team that include specific sustainability targets such as the Lost Forest project, the ramping up of their AD facility and becoming a carbon negative company.
When the allegations against BrewDog became public last summer there was understandably great concern within the B Corp community and the drinks industry. Here at Hattiers, we lobbied B Lab for an immediate response. Action was slower than I would have hoped, but in due course there was an announcement that an investigation would take place to ensure that Brewdog could still demonstrate an ethical commitment to the environment, community and staff. The investigation took time and was not as transparent than I would have hoped for, but I am thankful that it has taken place and that there has been a positive outcome, proving that the certification is fit for purpose.
I implore B Lab share its findings from the investigation with the B Corp community.
The lens of public opinion is firmly on both BrewDog and B Corp currently. The removal of their B Corp status should be seen as a confirmation of the B Corp certification, restoring our fellow B Corps to the robust set of standards that all B Corps must meet.
I sincerely encourage positive change and for BrewDog to aim for recertification in the future as the finest robust independent audited set of standards - the same standards that sparked all of this controversy in the first place.
I recognise that none of us are perfect, but we must continue to do our best.
Founder / CEO
Hattiers Rum (B Corp certified and proud)