BrewDog achieved accreditation from B Lab, which assesses companies seeking B Corp status and monitors member compliance, in February 2021 becoming one of a small number of hospitality business to do so. However, the company says it has now 'stepped aside' from the certification because it can't meet new measures required for the accreditation.
“With our focus on delivering on the objectives contained in the BrewDog Blueprint, which is unique to us and built hand in hand with our team, we have decided to step aside from our B Corp certification for the time being," says a BrewDog spokesman.
"B Lab had requested additional measures from BrewDog and the BrewDog board decided that these were not something we could do at this time. Though we remain committed to the values upheld by B-Lab, we believe our business is currently best served by focusing on the Blueprint, as well as very specific sustainability targets related to our Lost Forest project and the continued ramp-up of our AD facility.
"To that end, we were delighted that last month, to have been awarded certification as a Carbon Negative Company by Positive Planet, highlighting the huge work we are doing in this area, and which is central to our ethos as a business.
"The current crisis has taught us that we need to be laser-focused on those areas of our business that deliver the most real terms value – that means the Blueprint and all that entails, in particular our commitment to our three core pillar of people, beer, planet, but also on making the operational changes that will enable us to get through the current financial crisis, while maintaining our commitment to demonstrable sustainability initiatives.”
The loss of the accreditation follows negative publicity around the business over the past few years. At the start of the year BrewDog CEO James Watt was accused of abusing his power in the workplace, with more than 15 former members of staff speaking out against him. It followed a letter signed by 300 former and current BrewDog staff accusing Watt of presiding over a toxic culture of fear.
More recently, it was accused of hypocrisy for its ‘anti-sponsorship’ campaign of the Qatar World Cup after the group said it would continue to show matches at its bars.
Force for good
Speaking at the time of receiving B Corp accreditation, Watt said: “After decades of inaction we have a climate crisis on the horizon, and our certification as a B Corp business is another huge part of BrewDog’s commitment to considering the impact of our business decisions on the global community.
“B Corp is the future of business and we are proud to join an aspirational group of businesses like Patagonia and Allbirds in achieving B Corp status.
“Through the certification we have committed to joining the community of business leaders, who want to use their businesses as a ‘force for good’.”
Only a small handful of hospitality businesses in the UK have B Corp status, including Azzurri Group backer TowerBrook; Stroud Brewery; and Hawksmoor, which attained the status in September this year.