Baileys becomes world’s biggest B Corp spirits brand

Image: Baileys

Baileys achieved the certification late last week, it told media representatives, and has today (18 October) begun publicising the milestone.

To be certified as a B Corp, brands must prove they are implementing best practices in managing their impact on consumers, communities, the environment, workers and customers. They must also evidence having strong governance structures in place.

B Lab, the certifying body, needs to give a brand an overall score of at least 80 points out of a possible 200 for certification to be approved. Baileys scored a total of 83.3 points. The worker category and environment category are the areas where the brand recorded the highest scores, contributing and 29.4 points and 21 points respectively.

On worker treatment, Baileys attributes some of its points to its benefits package, which includes six months of paid annual leave for parents. It also noted that it has made strong progress on improving diversity and inclusion in senior-level roles, with women now accounting for three-quarters of the leadership team at the firm.

On environmental sustainability, Baileys is working towards net-zero operational emissions by 2030, along with the wider Diageo portfolio. It has already converted to 100% renewable electricity for use in its operations, first achieving this milestone in 2008.

Efforts are also being made to cut emissions in the upstream supply chain, while supporting dairy workers’ livelihoods at the same time. Earlier this year, the brand launched a ‘sustainable farming academy’ in partnership with Glanbia Ireland and University College Cork. The academy will provide 20 farmers each year with a fully funded and accredited diploma in sustainability and climate.

B Corps need to recertify every three years and, as such, Baileys’ global brand director Jennifer English has noted that “there is more [the brand] can do” in all five areas of B Corp assessment. The area in which it picked up the fewest points this time around was engagement with consumers, so we can expect enhanced work on responsible drinking and other ethical issues in marketing alcoholic beverages.

English added: “As the largest global spirits brand to join the B Corp movement, we are looking forward to working with the B Corp communities across global markets and ensuring that we are using the scale of our business to deliver positive impact.”

The global B Corp community passed the 5,000 business mark earlier this year. The UK is regarded as having one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing B Corp communities, with other certified beverage brands including Brewdog, The Botanist, Sipsmith, Brewgooder and Toast Ale.

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