Based on the island of Islay, on the west coast of Scotland, Bruichladdich Distillery have today announced their success in becoming a certified B Corporation (B Corp).
After a rigorous, year-long submission process, Bruichladdich are the only whisky and gin distillery in Europe to meet the organisation’s detailed standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
Following a period of closure, Bruichladdich Distillery was re-opened with zeal in 2001 by a group of private investors. Over the next two decades they would revolutionise the Scottish spirits category by leading the foraging movement in gin and reinventing their Victorian distillery to focus the majority of operations on their island home. Unusually, the distillery produces four different spirits under one roof; including the first ever Islay dry gin, The Botanist, and three single malts -Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore.
One of nine distilleries on the island, they are the third smallest producer but the largest private employer. This is a direct consequence of their commitment and pursuit of an all-Islay operation.
For over 19 years, the distillery has focused on realising their vision -that raw ingredients should connect with liquid and that terroir should exist in spirits as it does wine. These notions, contrary to popular belief at the time, are much more common place in the industry today –perhaps as a result of Bruichladdich’s ideologies. It has taken commitment and tenacity to hold the course.
Developing career opportunities for 80 permanent Islay employees, improving benefits packages and training programmes as well as a focus on using local suppliers where possible, are just some of the elements involved in being a community-oriented business. Looking to the future, the distillery has placed a renewed and ongoing emphasis on their sustainability agenda. Encapsulated within this is the purchase of 30 acres of land, set aside for research and development on sustainable agriculture. The distillery is also on a mission to de-carbonise their operations by 2025.
While many beer and wine producers have achieved B Corp certification, Bruichladdich is the first whisky and gin distillery in Europe, and one oftwoworldwide, to adorn the stamp of commitment to a greater purpose.
Commenting on the news, Chief Executive Douglas Taylor states:
“After 15 months of intense work and rigorous examination we stand here, not only as the first Single Malt Scotch Whisky distillery to be B Corp certified, but as the first whisky and gincompany in Europe to attain B Corp status.
I’ve been asked what the benefit is to us, but that’s not important. Being a certified B Corp business is validation that the transparent, sustainable,community minded business we’ve been running since 2001 is a worth while project.
“We are excited to now be officially part of a global movement of leaders using business as a force for good, standing shoulder to shoulder, and working together to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”
Further information on Bruichladdich Distillery and each of its four brands can be found online. Specifically, www.thebotanistgin.com for The Botanist Gin and www.bruichladdich.com for the distillery’s three single malts brands. During this time of economic uncertainty, the distillery asks that independent stockists are considered wherever possible.