It's March, so as new traditions dictate, it's officially B Corp Month. But what's a B Corp? And how do we and the B Corp community go beyond business as usual?
With so many preconceptions around English wine and cans, it’s not enough for us to be ‘good’. To dispel myths, we need to be ‘unbelievably good’ in everything we do. But first things first...
WHAT IS A B CORP?
What does the B even stand for? Big Corporation? Bigger Corporation? Bloody Good Corporation?
It’s actually ‘Benefit for All' Corporation. It means we value the planet, and those who live on it, on equal terms with profit.
It’s not all "blah blah blah". It’s legally binding and written into our Articles of Association. It means we are a part of a community using business as a force for good.
THE UK’S FIRST B CORP WINEMAKER
When we started, our aim was to create a wine that had as little impact on the planet as possible. From field, to format, to flute.
In 2021, we became the first B Corp winemaker in the UK. To be certified, we needed 80 points. We hit 107.6. Which is better than any grade we got in school.
Our journey to creating positive impact started with the can.
IMPACTING WASTE, NOT TASTE
11,500 tons of glass bottles end up in landfill each week from the UK hospitality industry alone. That’s the weight of The Shard each and every week. On average, our cans will be recycled and back on shelf in 60 days.
Our cans also have a carbon footprint 79% lower than a glass bottle (per ml of wine).
That’s before considering wine waste. UK households pour the equivalent of 17 million bottles of wine down the sink each year, unfinished. Our cans are single serve.
And yet, cans mean no compromise on taste. Our wines are made to be enjoyed fresh, not aged in a cellar. Jancis Robinson, FT wine critic, recently tasted a canned and bottled version of the same 2017 wines, remarking that the canned wine was "infinitely fresher".
When we took tradition out of the equation, they make a lot of uncommon sense. But as we said, the can was just the start.
We are committed to keeping things local.
Our sparkling white is England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc. Dry, fresh and aromatic. So why import from New Zealand when we make wine just as delicious right here?
It’s 11,665 miles to New Zealand. The furthest our wine travels is 700 miles. And that’s only if you happen to live in John o’ Groats.
We celebrate what’s possible right outside our doors.
We have reduced our impact where possible at every stage of production.
Our vineyard in Kent uses only organic products on the land. We also plant wildflowers between the rows to increase biodiversity and have beehives in the vineyards to support the waning UK population of pollinators.
Beyond the vineyard, our winery is SWGB (Sustainable Wines of Great Britain) accredited, our grape skins are reused as compost in the vineyards and our canning process is carbon positive, with on-site renewables giving back to the grid.
Everything has been considered.
We have no interest in greenwashing. Instead, we aim to create positive change in our local area, developing a long-term partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust.
As part of that, we helped welcome wild bison back to the UK for the first time in 6000 years. These magnificent mega-herbivores have even made national news and Leonardo Di Caprio hasn’t stopped tweeting about it.
The bison are ‘eco-system engineers’ and will transform dense commercial pine forests in West Blean into a vibrant natural woodland, creating a more climate resilient landscape.
BEYOND B CORP MONTH
Looking ahead, we are will continue our work with Kent Wildlife Trust, working towards their 2030 targets.
We have committed 2% of our revenue to support Kent Wildlife Trust’s mission to wild 30% of the county by the end of the decade.
We will also support the reintroduction of 2 more missing species over the next 5 years.
We truly believe that when we act locally, we can impact globally. We have a responsibility to go beyond good, and aim to be unbelievably good.