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Champagne houses announce ‘first’ with B Corp certification

Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne have said they are the first producers in the region to achieve B Corp certification – a rigorous assessment of the companies’ social and environmental standards.

The Champagne houses, part of the family-owned EPI Group, announced their B Corp certification after scoring 91.9 points in the assessment by B Lab, a non-profit network founded in 2006 with the aim of improving corporate performance in the spheres of social and environmental issues, plus accountability and transparency.

The certification involves an assessment of the social and environmental impact of each brand through more than 200 questions concerning governance, employees, communities and the environment.

Companies are tested on their accountability to all stakeholders – not shareholders alone – and must display continuous improvement and transparency by allowing their performance to be publicly available on the B Lab website.

Damien Lafaurie, president and CEO of the Champagne houses and of EPI’s wine division, said, ‘We are honoured to be the first producers in Champagne to achieve Certified B Corporation status and are fully committed to B Lab’s vision of working towards an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system.

‘My hope is that our particular approach will stimulate collective initiatives within the Champagne appellation concerning both social and environmental issues.’

Actions and commitments undertaken by Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne include strong reductions in their carbon footprints in-line with the Paris climate agreement, as well as energy saving measures, such as the elimination of the use of fossil fuels in production activities, and using 100% renewable electricity.

The houses use no herbicides, pesticides, harmful CMR products or chemicals to treat rot in the vineyards they own, and support the VDC (Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne) conversion of all winegrower partners by 2025.

The companies have also introduced sustainable development objectives for all employees, and are committed to gender parity, inclusion and the hiring of young employees from diverse backgrounds.

To date, more than 5,000 businesses around the world have achieved B Corp status, including more than 20 wine producers – among them Concha y Toro in Chile, Château Maris in the Languedoc and Symington Family Estates in Portugal.

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