Sustainability success as Isle of Wight Distillery in high spirits after achieving B Corp status
from Isle of Wight Distillery
The Isle of Wight Distillery, producers of high quality and hand-crafted spirits, Mermaid Gin and Mermaid Salt Vodka, is delighted to announce today, that it has received B Corp certification from non-profit organisation B Lab. The distillery is the first business on the Isle of Wight to achieve B Corp status and earned an overall score of 88.6, ranking it the highest scoring gin distillery in England to date. The home of Mermaid Gin is the 27th distillery in the world and the 13th distillery in the UK to achieve B Corp status.
The distillery achieved B Corp Certification by meeting and exceeding rigorous benchmarks across five categories of the B Impact Assessment: Community, Customers, Environment, Governance and Workers. This involved working with its employees and customers to reach a high level of inclusion and working with its supply chain to achieve a high level of transparency and accountability. The distillery met these criteria independently and unusually, without guidance from external consultants.
“Since our inception in 2014, the team at the Isle of Wight Distillery have been committed to the environmentally friendly production of spirits and the preservation of our island and marine environment,” comments Xavier Baker, co-founder, Mermaid Gin. “We want to use our brand as a force for good within the local community and are delighted to join a community of B Corp businesses that have been recognised for their commitment to operate in a way that has a positive impact on the planet”.
The company’s B Corp certification comes three years after the distillery relaunched Mermaid Gin in a strikingly sculpted, plastic-free and fully recyclable bottle. The distillery is now in the process of setting its near-term science-based targets, to eliminate and reduce its emissions.
One of the key efforts recognised as part of the scoring and certification is the dedication of the distillery to reduce its impact on the environment by minimising waste and preserving resources. The Isle of Wight Distillery has engaged in a number of local and global initiatives that reinforce its commitment to sustainability including:
- Seagrass restoration – Mermaid Gin is working with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to monitor and restore seagrass meadows in the waters surrounding their island home. It is estimated that 92% of these seagrass meadows have been lost over the last 100 years. As well as financially supporting the project, the team take part in surveys and beach clean-ups, working as ‘Marine Champions’ for the Trust.
- Mermaid Gin is working with Surfers against Sewage (SAS) a national marine conservation and campaigning charity tackling plastic pollution and protecting the UK’s coastline for people to enjoy safely and sustainably.
- The iconic Mermaid bottle is crafted from 100% natural materials, designed to be reused and plastic-free. The glass bottle is decorated with biodegradable paint and features an all-natural cork with a wooden top. The neck tag is recyclable and the tamperproof seal is crafted from corn and potato starch, which composts in food waste in 6-12 weeks. The cases of Mermaid Gin fit six bottles which do not require bubble wrap for protection and all tape has been replaced with metal staples.
As well as putting environmental sustainability at the core of its operation, the distillery has a strong focus on the community. The majority of employees live locally and it uses local suppliers where possible.
“Our mission when we founded Mermaid Gin and Vodka was not only to create great quality spirits but also install responsible practices in everything we do. We are a small team, the majority of whom live and work on the island and I am so proud of what we have all achieved. To be considered as a company that holds some of the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability in the world of business, is a great honour. Not only are we passionate about making people’s lives better and considering the well-being of our planet, we are proud of our Isle of Wight heritage and hope this achievement will give other local businesses the inspiration to become B Corp companies as well.” adds Xavier.