The Uncommon becomes first B Corp certified UK wine company
Canned English sparkling wine brand The Uncommon has announced today its certification as a B Corporation – the first UK winemaker to achieve this status.
The Uncommon has been certified by B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, as having met rigorous social and environmental standards which represent its commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit.
The Uncommon is a UK wine brand founded in 2018 by Henry Connell and Alex Thraves, who conceived of the brand after witnessing the boom in canned wine in the US and the rising popularity of English sparkling wine.
Having started in 2018 with just 10,000 cans, the brand is set to double production for the fourth year running in 2022, through nationwide retailers including Waitrose, M&S and Selfridges, as well as its E-commerce store.
The Uncommon is now part of a community of 4,000 businesses globally who have certified as B Corps, joining a community of 400 businesses in the UK including The Guardian, innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole.
Henry Connell, co-founder of The Uncommon told db this morning: “We achieved a high B Corp score due to our fully domestic supply chain, commitment to local production, and support of local conversation projects and the environment.
“Our vineyards are all in the Southeast of England within 50 miles of our Sustainable Wine of Great Britain accredited winery. 5% of our revenue then goes towards UK based conservation projects.”
A third (30%) of the brand’s business is achieved through premium English events, stadia and planes, where the single-serve canned format thrives.
“We believe, for now, that the can is not only the best container for young aromatic wines but gives people the option to enjoy high quality single serve wine without the faff,” Connell added.
“We will be constantly reviewing and striving to improve all areas and practices of our business. We know there’s still a lot of work to do and 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. Symington Family Estates, one of the most established Port and wine producers in Portugal has been in business for five generations. It became a B Corporation in 2019.
Viña Concha y Toro also became certified in January 2021, becoming the largest wine business to join the global movement.
“This certification is a major step forward in our commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance issues, which are a fundamental part of our company’s strategic pillars of growth,” stated Eduardo Guilisasti, CEO of Viña Concha y Toro.
The B Corp certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas of governance, workers, community, environment and customers.
The certification process is rigorous, with applicants required to reach a benchmark score of over 80 while providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency.
To complete the certification, The Uncommon has legally embedded its commitment to purpose beyond profit in its company articles. The canned wine brand scored 107.4 points, with 100 being considered ‘Outstanding’.