The B Corp system is designed to measure the impacts of what a company does and give a score, inspiring them to work towards improvement. In May 2020, when we certified as a B Corp, we scored 83.2 points out of a possible 200. So we’re eager to make more progress.
We are targeting 4 ‘sustainability pillars’; here’s a quick summary of what we managed year one, unto May 2021.
For energy and emissions – We’ve been exploring potential solutions to the infrastructure challenges we face, since we are located on a remote island. We saw a 5% drop in emissions, Scope 1 and 2, from switching to renewable electricity. The Hyladdie project began.
Islay and Community – It was a year in which everyone was heavily affected by COVID. We started a staff “Thrive” programme including counselling, a wellness day, improvement to staff benefits, learning and training, with a 150% increase in our people development budget.
Agriculture and Biodiversity – You may already know that we are 1 of only 2 Islay distilleries that work with local growers. Buying locally is an important diversifier to our island economy. We work closely with our farmers, increasing the flexibility around normal growing parameters to make island growing viable, and we work with one farmer to grow rye, a rotational croft that improves the soil.
Our Botanist Foundation grants increased by 100% last year [See more on The Botanist Gin.com >] . On our own croft at the distillery, we dedicated an area to biodiversity and trialled and failed 67 grain varieties, contributing to our learnings of what’s needed in future. With added expertise from our academic partners, we will continue planting different varietals, developing agricultural expertise, and rotating crops, until we flourish.
Packaging and Waste – We started the One Tin Lighter initiative to reduce secondary packaging, partnering with Flexi-hex instead, with 46% uptake – thanks to you! We’ve increased production while keeping landfill ratios down, though we’re aiming for 0 to landfill so there’s still a lot to do.
We’re only going to achieve real systemic change when we all work on this together. We want to thank our farmers, our suppliers and hauliers in what was an unprecedentedly trying year, the inspiring team we have at the distillery, The Botanist Foundation’s independent directors – Tony, David Webster & Neil Baker, our multi-sector partners Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the James Hutton Institute, the University of Highlands and Islands Agronomy Institute, the International Barley Hub, The Bread Lab, our customers and clients, the community on Islay for their continued support.
Pour a dram and delve into the full report now!