An Aberdeen drinks firm which is said to be the UK’s oldest bartender-owned spirit business has successfully achieved certification as a B Corporation (B
The House of Botanicals based at The Arches on Palmerston Road was awarded the certification late in December. It is the first Aberdeen business to achieve it and is the fourth spirits firm in the UK.
It is also the eighth spirits business to do so worldwide.
Home to three brands of gin, cocktail bitters and an aperitivi and a digestivo, The
House of Botanicals 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.
What is a B Corp?
A B Corporation reinvents business by pursuing purpose as well as profit.
The certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas of Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.
It is a rigorous process with applicants required to reach a benchmark score of more than 80 while providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency.
The House of Botanicals
The House of Botanicals, which was established in 2009 by founder Adam Elan-Elmegirab, scored 102.1 and has legally embedded their commitment to purpose beyond profit in their company articles of association.
It is a family-run business and operates with a zero-waste ethos. It also ethically sources all its raw materials and it is now part of a community of 4,200 businesses globally who have certified as B Corps.
Adam started the certification process in March 2021 and received the accreditation within nine months.
To receive certification the team had to provide evidence and the process looked at how the firm operates from an internal and external point of view. Their supply chain was scrutinised looking at if they buy locally and from ethical/fair-trade businesses.
Adam said there was little the business had to change to qualify, though they had to legally embed their commitment to purpose beyond profit within the firm’s articles of association which was done via Companies House.
He said: “It is really an affirmation of everything we’ve set out to do with the business since it’s inception. We’ve never followed the traditional route and have largely centred on growing organically, eschewing the typical way that businesses grow by putting profit at the heart of everything. That to me is partly why the world’s in the mess it is.
“As we continue on our path of organic growth we realise we will need to take on some form of external investment, somewhat exacerbated by the impact of COVID and Brexit.
“Ultimately we wish to have a business our partners, suppliers, customers and clients are proud to be associated with, and so the recent certification along with our pending Carbon Neutral accreditation is the best way to prove we’re doing things the right way, along with the many awards our products and business have won over the years.
“This year our sole focus is on continuing to build a business that people want to buy into and invest in.”
Other spirit industry B Corps in the UK are Sipsmith Gin, Bruichladdich and Hattier’s Rum.