Nc’nean hits industry target 19 years early

Whisky brand Nc’nean has announced its certification as a B Corporation (or B Corp), a verification of its social and environmental performance.

This doubles the number of Scotch whisky distilleries in the UK holding the certification and joining a growing group of companies reinventing business by pursuing purpose as well as profit.

Nc’nean 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.

Nc’nean achieved an extremely high score of 135.6, with major points received in the environmental impact area, reflecting the brand’s stellar efforts to exist in harmony with the planet.

In July last year, it became the UK’s first whisky distillery to be certified net zero for its own operations (scope 1 and 2), beating the Scotch whisky industry target of 2040 by 19 years. This B Corp certification bolsters the brand’s commitment to setting industry standards and leading the way in sustainable production.

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 meticulous, with applicants required to reach a benchmark score of over 80 by providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. In the UK, the average score is 88, with the median score of an ‘ordinary business’ currently at 50.9.

Nc’nean founder Annabel Thomas

Nc’nean founder Annabel Thomas said: ‘I‘ve long admired the B Corp movement and many of its members so I’m very proud to finally be able to call ourselves a B Corp. Here at Nc’nean, we are very familiar with certification processes, but B Corp is by far the most comprehensive and rigorous process we have been through.

‘And partly for that reason, I’m extremely pleased with our very high score of 73.3 under the environmental stewardship section, reflecting our long-standing commitment to championing the most sustainable production processes.’

Nc’nean’s mission, ‘Made by nature, not by rules’ is driven by a small team of passionate, skilled and adventurous people who are pioneering sustainable production and doing things differently. The distillery is powered by 100% renewable energy and is certified organic, sourcing barley exclusively from Scotland. Nc’nean whisky is bottled in a 100% recycled clear glass bottle – highly unusual for a premium spirit.

With more than 130 Scotch whisky distilleries in operation, Nc’nean is leading the way by setting standards for the future of production and how things can and should be done. It is currently one of only two Scotch distilleries to achieve B Corp accreditation (alongside Bruichladdich) pioneering notable steps forward for the whisky industry.

Nc’nean is now part of a community of over 4,400 businesses globally who have certified as B Corps. The B Corp community in the UK, representing a broad cross section of industries and sizes, comprises over 600 companies and include well-known brands such as The Guardian, innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole. An estimated 0.011% of UK businesses holding this honourable certification.

Chris Turner, executive director of B Corp added: ‘We are pleased to have B Corps of all shapes and sizes as part of our community – from startups to multinationals and across many different industries. Business is a powerful force and B Corps demonstrate that you can do good in any sector.

‘Welcoming Nc’nean is an exciting moment because they have an opportunity to lead the way within the whisky industry. We and the rest of the B Corp community are really pleased to support Nc’nean in paving the way for a new way of doing things.’

Find out more about Nc’nean HERE.