It’s the final day of B Corp month 2022, but what does it mean & how can you drink more sustainably?
It has been a busy month for the 4,000+ B Corp certified businesses around the world as we shared inspirational stories and insights into our inner workings, revealed initiatives that are having a positive impact on communities and the planet and spread the word far and wide about B Corp and what it represents. Throughout March Hattiers has partnered with fellow B Corps such as Bruichladdich, The Botanist Gin and Vita Coco, attended Sipsmith's sustainability panel talk and were on the shelf at B Lab's first ever pop-up, the Good News store in London. Our wonderful design team Kingdom & Sparrow also partnered with Nice and Serious and Innocent following a collaborative day with the Hattiers team at Fruit Towers to deliver the global assets for the Behind the B Campaign - but why does this all matter?!
Sustainability has reached a tipping point. As consumers increasingly embrace social and environmental causes and begin to actively seek brands and products that align with their values, they hold a supreme power by supporting the causes that are important to them with their purchasing decisions and are often happy to pay a premium for more sustainable products. But how do you choose which products to buy?
We lift the lid on why you should look for the B Corp logo next time you’re topping up your sustainable drinks cabinet.
B Lab is the non-profit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.
It seems that almost every brand nowadays has some form of sustainability pledge or socially responsible mission to shout about, and the waters can get somewhat muddied with false or misleading claims and greenwashing, so to find a drinks brand that you can trust, as well as one that makes the best products within their category can be somewhat mind boggling.
Most consumers fall into one of two segments: Value-driven consumers, who are primarily concerned with getting their money’s worth and select brands based on price and convenience; and Purpose-driven consumers, who select brands based on how well they align with their personal values and who are willing to “walk the talk” when it comes to sustainability, changing their behaviour, and paying more for brands that get it right. Deloitte found last year that ethical and sustainability issues remain a key driver for consumers, with 1 in 3 also claiming that they have stopped purchasing certain brands due to related concerns. Over the last 12 months, depending on the category, certain brand values have shown themselves to be particularly significant when deciding to shop sustainably or ethically. Waste reduction (68%) or sustainable packaging scores highly (69%) when grocery shopping; and a reduced carbon footprint is also valued highly (48%). For those who haven’t adopted a more sustainable lifestyle, 34% claimed that a lack of information and trust was the reason for them to not choose brands that have ethical practices and values; so, who should you pay attention to?
Image Source: Deloitte
Customers have been able to buy ethically produced products certified by the likes of Fairtrade, Soil Association, Biodynamic, FSC and so on for many years and we’re all familiar with their standards now, however these certifications focus only on the products themselves and not the bigger picture. This is where B Corp comes in. The highly coveted B Corp certification goes above and beyond all others by scrutinising a company’s entire social and environmental impact to the finest detail, from the product itself to how they treat their workers, communities, customers, stakeholders and the environment, and motivates them to continuously improve. The last 20 years have been about good products, the next 20 years will be about good companies.
Above: The 5 impact areas that all B Corps are measured against.
B Lab (the non-profit who created b Corp) have been incredibly successful at building a network of highly engaged organisations since its launch with an ever-growing cohort of over 640 B Corps being certified across 55 industries in the UK alone. The fact that only 4,500 B Corps have been certified globally from well over 100,000 applications (a number which is increasing by the second) is somewhat reassuring as you know that the organisations proudly displaying their B Corp logo have worked extremely hard to achieve it and it doesn’t matter who you are, you can’t just a buy your way in. It’s not just a logo, it really means something.
"At the heart of the B Corporation Movement is a special community of like-minded, purpose-driven companies. By achieving hard-won B Corp Certification and verifying that they meet high standards of social and environmental performance, these businesses are proving to the world that it’s possible to be commercially successful while benefiting people, communities and the planet.” - Chris Turner, Executive Director at B Lab UK
All B Corp certified organisations regardless of their industry are unified by the same goal – to change the landscape of business, the wider economy, and communities for the better by adopting the B Corp ideals. This might seem like a head in the clouds mentality (how can one business really have an impact on the world?) but by changing the rules of the game and not only adhering to but going beyond the standards, policies, tools and programs set by B Lab there has been a noticeable shift in the behaviour, culture and structural underpinnings of capitalism. Not bad, eh? By moving away from independence and towards interdependence, B Corps are shifting the global economy from a system that profits a few to one that benefits all by balancing purpose and profit.
So how can your favourite tipple have a positive impact on the world? From creating incredibly tasty beer from discarded bread to gin that benefits plant conservation, this shortlist of some of the best B Corp drinks brands in the UK are more than worthy of a place in your sustainable drinks cabinet.
Back in 2018 Toast Ale were the first UK brewery to become a certified B Corp. Their business has people and the planet at its heart and being a B Corp gives them a way to measure and demonstrate this. Like all B Corp businesses, they are required to recertify after 3 years to ensure they continue to meet the highest standards across Governance, Team, Customers, Community and Environment. In their last assessment (in 2020) they became the highest rated UK Brewery with 111.8 points.
One of the first drinks brands to pioneer the use of upcycling unwanted food, Toast estimates it has saved nearly 2.5 million slices of bread from going to waste since the business began in 2015, equating to 42 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and nearly 258,000 litres of water saved. Its range of four beers are brewed using the end slice of bread loaves which is often discarded by the sandwich making industry.
It would be remiss of us to not include ourselves in the mix here wouldn’t it?
Since our conception, Hattiers has existed as a benchmark of where great rum should be, all while being uncompromising in our mission to use business as a force for good.
Sustainability is at the very core of our business and as the UK's first (and happily now not the only) B Corp certified rum we aim to lead by example, showing that it is possible to balance purpose as well as profit, while at the same time becoming the fastest growing independent rum brand in the UK, and use this position to become thought leaders within the spirits industry. By being plastic free from day one and partnering with 1% for the Planet and Ecologi we are true to our values, but we are also true to rum with transparency and authenticity being paramount.
Firmly at the pinnacle of rum production and openly turning traditional rum blending on its head, Hattiers carefully sources fine tropically aged rums that are already exceptional and elevate them to create a blended rum that is extravagant, inspiring and truly unique to the global rum market.
The Hattiers Rum range includes; Egremont Premium Reserve, Eminence Blended Aged White Rum and Resolute Blended Aged Navy Strength Rum. Sign up to our newsletters to receive updates on some incredibly exciting and rare releases currently in the pipeline.
Self-described as progressive, Hebridean distillers, Bruichladdich are proudly nonconformist and socially and environmentally conscious; often choosing a path which is more challenging, or difficult to implement, or less profitable, because they believe it is the ‘right thing to do’. This focus and determination to do the right thing resulted in Bruichladdich becoming one of the only distilleries in the world to achieve B Corp certification in 2020.
Buichladdich produce four brands; Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Port Charlotte, Octomore and The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, the latter of which prompted the creation of The Botanist Foundation with the aim of which to work with the people of Islay and beyond to further the understanding and conservation of the island’s biodiversity.
London-based gin brand Sipsmith have always wanted to champion a better way of crafting gin, and in doing so have pioneered positive change within the industry. Their sustainability strategy ‘Crafting a Better Future’ focuses on five missions with which they strive to be better for the planet, people and to be champions of progress, including the responsible sourcing of raw materials, doing better than net zero across its value chain, and working on resource circularity.
If you’re looking for a sustainable alcohol-free drink that is not only delicious, but sugar also free and great for the planet then look no further than Dash.
Launched in 2017, sparkling water company Dash Water began after friends Alex Wright and Jack Scott, both from farming backgrounds, wanted to do something about the waste they were seeing. No farmer wants to see their hard work go to waste and with 40% of fruits and vegetables grown in the UK being rejected due to their appearance alone, Dash accepts the misfits that others say no to and make drinks that taste delicious while raising awareness about the big issue of waste. They have also partnered with Feedback, a charity which is focused on reducing food waste, and connects farmers with excess supply to people who want it.
Brewgooder was founded on a belief that the beer we enjoy together can be a force for good. Since day one, every Brewgooder beer has been brewed on purpose; to create waves of people-positive change. For every can or pint of beer enjoyed, they are committed to ensuring that 100 times that amount will be provided in clean water on projects undertaken by their trusted impact partner, Charity Water. Alongside their efforts within clean water, Brewgooder are passionate about building a better beer industry and use their position as the first Scottish brewery to have achieved B Corp status to do this and were also awarded 'Best for the World' by B Lab, joining brands that include Patagonia and TOMS as one of the highest rated B-Corp brands in the world.
Thirty years ago, making fine wine in England wasn’t possible, but times are changing and now The Uncommon produce wine that even our French neighbours can’t say no to. Every stage of production is controlled, from grape growing within 50 miles of London to sustainable packaging, using cans instead of bottles to lower their impact on the planet and become carbon positive in their canning process. The Uncommon are relatively new being only three years old but that didn’t stop them from gaining an outstanding 107.4 points out of 200 and becoming the UK’s first B Corp certified wine. They have also set out ambitious plans for the future that promote biodiversity, rewilding, and to become a carbon positive producer.
Let’s be honest, we all want to be better and do better so perhaps buying your favourite tipple from some of the most progressive, environmentally and socially conscious drinks brands in the UK is a fantastic place to start. To find out more about UK B Corps and what sets them apart from the rest, take a look back at the #BehindTheB campaign on social media to read some inspiring insights into some of the most sustainable businesses in the UK and beyond.