Our B Corp story so far
Since our resurrection in 2001 our vision has been to create the world’s most thought-provoking spirits. At the same time, we want to fulfil a purpose that is bigger than our business and benefits many more people, communities, and the environment.
In 2020, we were the first Scotch whisky and gin distillery in Europe to receive B Corp certification - meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance. The B Corp movement was established to help mission-driven businesses protect and improve their positive impact over time, and we’re proud to be part of this growing, global community of organisations using their business as a force for good.
To maintain certification, it is mandatory for B Corps to recertify every three years, and we are extremely proud to have not only retained our B Corp certification, but significantly improve our overall Impact Score.
It is another milestone on our sustainability journey, and a chance to recognise where we are now – but also how much more we can do to drive change and leave a lasting, positive legacy on Islay and beyond.
To become an accredited B Corp, businesses must attain a minimum of 80 points out of a possible 200 to qualify. We achieved an inaugural Impact Score of 83.2 points when we first certified in 2020, increasing this to 100.7 points in 2023 – a score improvement of 21%.
We will continue to be recertified every three years, with our impact measured across five categories: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. We improved across multiple areas, contributing to our 17.5 point increase. But we can always do more.
We are committed to increasing our Impact Score year on year and are continuously striving to do things better across every facet of the business, making improvements for our valued team members, the wider Islay community, and the planet.
DOING BUSINESS DIFFERENTLY
Since our resurrection in 2001, Bruichladdich Distillery has existed as an antidote to tradition. Our purpose has always been bigger than making and selling single malt Scotch whisky and gin.
The commitments we have made to our community and remote island home have shaped the way we do business. Islay is the bedrock of our business, and our refusal to outsource our warehousing and bottling functions contributes to us employing over 80 people on site – making us the largest, private employer on the island. The partnerships we have established with our farming community now sees over 50% over our annual barley requirements for total production grown across multiple Islay farms.
These actions may sound simple, but they are not the norm. Nor are they an exhaustive list of our proudest achievements. Being B Corp certified means that we are part of a global movement of changemakers, and we will continue to push our priorities forward across our four key sustainability pillars: Energy & Emissions, Agriculture & Biodiversity, Packaging & Waste and Islay & Community.
PROGRESS TO BE PROUD OF…
+ Accredited Great Place to Work® and named among the UK’s top Best Workplaces for Women and Wellbeing
+ Implemented Islay Cost of Living Allowance for team members on the island, with 66% of our valued workforce benefiting
+ Our annual Community Day sees the full distillery team support local projects on Islay
SENSITIVE LAND MANAGEMENT
+ From one farmer in 2004, we currently work with 20 local farming partners on Islay, growing and harvesting over 50% of our barley annually for total production
+ We own 30 acres of land at the distillery, known as Shore House Croft, which plays a crucial role in crop research, grain development, soil health, regenerative agriculture, soil health and wildlife conservation
+ Have invested in a long term Genesis soil mapping project, evaluating several farms on Islay to learn best practice and find tangible solutions to reduce input and nurture the land
REDUCING OUT CARBON FOOTPRINT
+ We are committed to decarbonising distilling operations by 2025
+ Redesigned and removed secondary packaging from our signature Classic Laddie single malt, reducing packaging CO2 emissions by 65%
+ Exploring the feasibility of using green, hydrogen energy on site, with the aim of installing a multi-fuel, hydrogen firing boiler
As a manufacturer, we are acutely aware of our energy consumption and are tackling our usage head on. Our aim is to decarbonise distilling operations by 2025 and we are researching the feasibility of using green, hydrogen energy on site. We’ve also switched to 100% green electricity, are reducing diesel consumption by moving to a fleet of fully electric vehicles – including forklifts, cars and transporter vans – and exploring new water cooling systems to reduce our water consumption.
We are immensely proud of our work in agriculture, land management and conservation. Whether on the Scottish Mainland, with heritage varietals, organic batches, biodynamic or modern-variety single field, single vintage Regional Trials, we’ve experimented with an impressive back-catalogue of barley. We’ve also released the first ever whisky made predominantly with Islay grown rye. An island and distillery first, The Regeneration Project is a whisky which is not only delicious, but supports our vital agricultural community, reduces input, and champions soil health.
The global waste crisis means we must transform our throwaway economy into one where waste is eliminated, and resources are circulated. As part of our commitment to use less and use better, we have made significant changes to our packaging – the most notable being our signature Classic Laddie single malt. Still in our iconic aqua, The Classic Laddie has been redesigned with sustainability in mind, with the new-look bottle reducing packaging CO2 emissions by 65%. With no secondary packaging, containing an average of 60% recycled glass and coated in organic ink, the redesign is 32% lighter compared to the previous bottle – reducing our global environmental impact with the ability to transport more bottles per pallet, meaning fewer distribution vehicles on the road.
We’re immensely proud of our B Corp recertification and new Impact Score. It is humbling to be part of a global network of progressive businesses, all with the same mission to evoke positive change. Our job now is to keep moving forward. It is a moment to share the successes of our fellow change-makers and continue to provoke our restless curiosity – improving each day for our people and our planet.