The Uncommon becomes UK’s first certified B Corp winery
English canned sparkling wine brand The Uncommon today announced its certification as a B Corporation – the first UK winemaker to achieve this status.
The unusual has been certified by B Lab, the nonprofit organization behind the B Corp movement, as having met rigorous social and environmental standards that represent its commitment to goals other than shareholder profit.
The Uncommon is a British wine brand founded in 2018 by Henry Connell and Alex Thraves, who conceived the brand after witnessing the canned wine boom in the United States and the growing popularity of English sparkling wine.
After starting 2018 with just 10,000 cans, the brand is set to double production for the fourth consecutive year in 2022, through national retailers such as Waitrose, M&S and Selfridges, as well as its e-commerce store.
The Uncommon is now part of a community of 4,000 B Corps certified companies worldwide, joining a community of 400 companies in the UK including The Guardian, innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop and Organic Food Pioneers Abel & Cole.
Henry Connell, co-founder of The Uncommon said db this morning: “We achieved a high B Corp score thanks to our all-domestic supply chain, commitment to local production, and support for local conversation projects and the environment.
“Our vineyards are all located in the South East of England, within 50 miles of our Sustainable Wine of Great Britain accredited vineyard. 5% of our income is then dedicated to UK based conservation projects. »
A third (30%) of the brand’s business is achieved through high-end English events, stadiums and aircraft, where the single-serving canned format thrives.
“We believe, at this time, that the can is not only the best container for aromatic young wines, but gives people the opportunity to enjoy a high-quality, single-serve wine without the faff,” Connell added.
“We will constantly review and strive to improve all areas and practices of our business. We know there is still a lot of work to do and we will continue to strive to do business the right way, putting people and planet first,” he said.
The canned wine brand is by no means the first in the wine world to achieve B Corp status. One of Portugal’s most established port and wine producers, Symington Family Estates has been in business for five generations. It became a B Corporation in 2019.
Viña Concha y Toro was also certified in January 2021, becoming the largest wine company to join the global movement.
“This certification is a major step forward in our commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance issues, which are fundamental to the strategic pillars of our company’s growth,” said Eduardo Guilisasti, CEO of Viña Concha y Toro.
The B Corp certification covers the entire operations of a company and covers five key impact areas of governance, workers, community, environment and customers.
The certification process is rigorous, with candidates required to achieve a benchmark score of over 80 while demonstrating socially and environmentally responsible practices in energy supply, waste and water use, compensation of workers, diversity and corporate transparency.
To complete the certification, The Uncommon has legally incorporated its commitment to a purpose beyond profit into its corporate bylaws. The canned wine brand scored 107.4 points, with 100 being considered “outstanding”.