Strolling through the timeless vineyards of Champagne, it seems inconceivable that such a historic region, so deeply rooted in heritage, would embrace change. The great houses of the EPI Group – Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne – continue to blend grape varieties in the traditional way, harnessing diversity to bring depth, complexity, and structure to their wines. They build upon knowledge and experience passed through generations.
If you dig a little deeper, however, you’ll find ample evidence of a revolution in the making, with a renewed focus on sustainability and mindful use of resources. Piper-Heidsieck is playing an active role in this evolving story, having been awarded B Corp certification in 2022. As the first producer in Champagne to receive this accolade, the house wishes to inspire others to build a conscientious, sustainable future for all. Collaboration and friendship have always been the lifeblood of Piper-Heidsieck, founded in 1785 by Florens-Louis Heidsieck. This recognition is a vital step in the brand’s ongoing journey.
Rigour and self-awareness
The B Corp assessment process is both rigorous and rewarding. Created in 2006 to promote social and environmental responsibility across the global business community, B Corp maintains a strict set of criteria for judging potential new members. Its certification programme assesses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas: governance; workers; community; environment and customers. Piper-Heidsieck was required to reach a benchmark score of over 80 across all areas, providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy and resource efficiency, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. The house scored 91.9 points (out of 200) in the B Corp Impact Assessment, and was commended for its reduction of carbon footprint.
‘Achieving B Corp certification reflects our pioneering ethos and daring initiative to be a driving force of change within the Champagne industry,’ says Piper-Heidsieck CEO Benoit Collard. ‘This certification not only recognises our environmental impact in the vineyards, but extends to our entire winemaking ecosystem, our community and our workplace. This process began with the energetic spirit of our Chief Winemaker Emilien Boutillat, which propelled our entire team on a journey, to work together towards a shared mission.’
‘I am immensely proud to see this remarkable achievement brought to life,’ he continues. ‘Becoming B Corp-Certified marks a commemorative occasion in the history of Piper-Heidsieck, yet it also signifies that, together, we are striving towards sustainable change. We hope to inspire others in the wine industry to implement similar initiatives.’
An ongoing journey
The award of B Corp certification follows a series of important steps undertaken by the house, including converting to 100% renewable electricity sources in 2021; planting 1,000 trees and shrubs of local species and installing beehives; taking collective action to decarbonise the wine industry, and banning the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides in estate vineyards. This is all part of the house’s unwavering commitment towards a sustainable future and responsible Champagne production, implementing initiatives across a number of disciplines.
‘Bringing the best of the Champagne terroirs to the world since 1785, has meant our team is working meticulously each day to foster a healthy environment for future generations,’ says Benoit Collard.
‘Now more than ever, we believe in taking inspired action to pave a new path forward by constantly adapting to enforce strategies that better our Champagne production, whilst having a positive impact on the world.’
Today, B Corp wineries number in the hundreds. Piper-Heidsieck is proud to be a pioneering member of this global movement that displays a sincere commitment to ethical winegrowing. Buoyed by a unified focus and real investment – with proven results – the house is helping to transform our world for the better. Known for its iconic cuvées, Piper-Heidsieck has fostered its reputation for international wine excellence over the centuries, well beyond the borders of France, to reach Champagne lovers in every corner of the globe.