We’re proud to be a B Corp!
Blog by Sarah Driver, Rathfinny Co-Founder
Well, we’ve made it! We have become a B Corp business, one that aims to balance purpose with profit, taking account of our environmental and social impact known as the Triple Bottom Line.
It has been a real journey for us, asking us to question and think about every area of our business – governance, workers, the environment, customers and our community. I’ve said it before, but we are a complicated business in that we are agricultural in growing grapes, manufacturing, making wine, and hospitality with our wine tourism, and on top of that we have marketing, accounts and a growing worldwide business. That’s why we are the first sparkling wine grower-producer in the world to achieve this status.
As a business that has always strived to ‘do the right thing’ from the start, whether in terms of environmentally (putting in a wastewater plant, planting a green roof on our Winery), with our staff (being open about our decisions, trying to provide good benefits and wages) or with our community (inviting the village to plant vines back in 2012, hosting walks and donating to local charities), we felt well aligned with what B Corp is trying to achieve.
That said, the whole process has seen our business go to new levels, often in small but significant ways. I’ve just been putting our annual report together and it’s remarkable what’s been going on over the last year. Some of my highlights are all our senior managers agreeing to their job descriptions explicitly incorporating accountability for environmental and social performance as well as many of our staff agreeing to be on one of our new committees – Health & Wellbeing, Social and Diversity, Equality & Inclusion. We’ve formalised our charitable approach, giving to charities nominated by staff, who then manage the relationship. Staff from every area have contributed to discussions and panels, academic research and hosted students on-site to show them the Vineyard and Winery in action. Everyone is conscious of being mindful about waste – be it energy, water, or packaging and staff keep coming up with ideas like registering our defibrillator on a national site, and using our staff newspaper, The Grapevine, to upcycle things and give them a new lease of life.
Our staff have been the key to our success. We’ve not approached BCorp as a box-ticking exercise but have been focused on embedding it within our culture from the start. To do that, you need every single person to ‘buy into’ what we are trying to achieve. We have a dedicated and enthusiastic committee, representing staff from every part of the business, who act as our ‘champions’ on the ground. The hardest thing turns out to be, not making the changes we need to make, but recording that we’re actually doing it!
So, the work doesn’t stop, far from it. We have a new set of goals to achieve, on our way to being carbon neutral by 2030.