Champagne’s first B Corp certification granted
Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne, all part of EPI Group, have become the first houses in Champagne to achieve B Corp certification, receiving a score of 91.9 points.
B Corp certification, granted by the non-profit B Lab, is granted after a through assessment of a brand’s social and environmental impact. In total, more than 200 questions are asked of each brand, covering everything from the office to the vineyard.
The houses have made several commitments in order to meet the standards of the qualification, including a drastic energy saving programme (which aims for a 40% reduction in usage by 2025), no use of herbicides, pesticides or chemicals to treat rot, and a culture of inclusive employment.
Damien Lafaurie, CEO and president of Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne, said: “We are very proud to join this community of pioneers who are driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good and transforming the global economy for the benefit of all individuals, communities as well as the planet. We are honoured to be the first producers in Champagne to achieve Certified B Corporation status and are fully committed to B Lab’s vision of working towards an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system.”
Lafaurie also explained the rationale behind pursuing the qualification: “…we share B Corp’s premise that the company must create value for all stakeholders and not just for shareholders. While most certifications or standards focus on the operational impacts of a CSR approach, B Corp questions the place of the company in society and challenges its business model. This is what interests us in the approach, and it has led us to question our ‘raison d’être’ and to adopt a mission that guides our actions in both the short and medium term.”
“I don’t have any particular expectations in terms of business, but I hope that our approach will be understood by our consumers. But above all, I hope that it will inspire other major wine producers and Champagne houses to join the movement.” he added.
B Corp certification is becoming increasingly desirable for brands across the drinks industry. Earlier this month, the former CEO of Bacardi achieved the first B Corp certified Tequila brand.