After a 14-month validation process, Enniskillen spirits maker, The Boatyard Distillery, has recently earned B Corporation certification, making it the first distillery on the island of Ireland to achieve this.

The certification signals a huge milestone in the brand’s ethical, sustainable, and environmentally-conscious mission, as B Corp certification rewards the achievement of the highest levels of social and environmental performance, public transparency and accountability.

Boatyard has excelled in meeting each standard as a leader in social and environmental preservation, and now joins more than 6,000 companies globally across 150 industries.

The B Corp movement started in America in 2006, and is a grouping of like-minded businesses such as Patagonia, Aesop, and Ben & Jerry’s, to name but a few brands.

Locally, the initiative was led by one of the Boatyard Distillery’s key team members, Rebecca McGorty, who herself has just been nominated for ‘Young Sustainability Champion’ at the NI Sustainability awards at the end of February.

Commenting on the announcement, Boatyard’s Chief Executive Officer, Joe McGirr, said: “The certification is a real testament to our team having a continuous improvement mindset and to lead positive change in our industry.

“Over a year of intense examination into our business, we are very excited to join the B Corp community, and to be the first distillery on the island of Ireland to become part of the global movement.”

Declan McGurk, Commercial Director, added: “I came across B Corp several years ago, and at home [thinking about its ethos] it started dictating domestic purchases, from our toilet roll, to even our peanut butter!

“This inspired me to think, ‘We at Boatyard should take the challenge to achieve certification’.

“What I love about it is that it is a culture of measureability on initiatives such as sustainability, which sometimes can be sweeping statements acting as marketing jargon.

“The movement is still young, and we plan to help inspire others to attempt to achieve certification.”

The certification comes less than six weeks after the Boatyard Distillery was named by Drinks International’s annual report as one of the top ten trending global gin and vodka brands.

Boatyard plan for their B Corp-certified spirits to be the first-choice ingredients for any cocktails around the world.

The certification also encapsulates a range of sustainability initiatives undertaken at the Boatyard Distillery, which has eliminated single-use glass bottles in the distillery visitor centre, and created a bottle refill programme, allowing customers to take their own bottle back to the distillery for refilling with a newly-designed eco refill station.

More recently, they have launched a refill pouch for use in bars and restaurants, which uses 84 per cent less packaging than a conventional bottle.

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