Maker’s Mark gains B Corp statusBy Alice Brooker
Beam Suntory-owned Maker’s Mark Bourbon has become a certified B Corporation, and claims to be the largest distillery in the world to achieve the title.
The B Corp certification is awarded to companies that meet high standards of inclusivity and sustainability.
Maker’s Mark said it had secured the B Corp status by exceeding the benchmarks set in the following categories: Community, Customers, Environment, Governance and Workers.
“Since 1953, my grandparents instilled a sense of responsibility here at Maker’s Mark that started with the way we make our Bourbon, and extended to the way we impact the lives of our teams, our customers, our communities and our shared environment,” said Rob Samuels, managing director for Maker’s Mark Distillery.
The company promotes a mission to ‘Make Your Mark. Leave No Trace’, and is responsible for implementing environment-focused programmes, such as a zero-landfill initiative at its distillery at Star Hill Farm, Kentucky, in order to preserve natural resources for whisky making.
Other initiatives include an on-site recycling programme and setting up a natural water sanctuary.
Samuels added: “That commitment to a higher purpose continues to live on, both here in Kentucky and beyond. I am so proud of our team’s tireless efforts that have earned us B Corp certification, and I’m even more excited to continue pioneering social and environmental initiatives that benefit the future of Bourbon and greater good for all.”
The Bourbon producer is also said to have also invested millions of dollars in the hospitality industry since its founding 65 years ago. During Covid-19, Maker’s Mark and industry charity The Lee Initiative worked together to feed more than 1.5m hospitality workers in cities across the US.
In 2021, Maker’s Mark debuted the second release of its Community Batch Bourbon, with 100% of the proceeds going to The Lee Initiative.
Maker’s Mark has introduced more sustainable projects for the spirits industry, including partnering with the University of Kentucky to explore the DNA of the American white oak trees. This was to “help this vital species thrive long into the future”, according to Samuels.
Earlier this year, Calvados brand Avallen also became a certified B Corporation due to its social and environmental credentials.