Close Menu

Spirits giants receive poor sustainable ranking

Hennessy, Belvedere and Smirnoff were among the most poorly rated products for sustainability in The Good Shopping Guide’s ethical ranking of spirits brands.

The spirits brands were ranked out of 100 for their eco practices

The ranking of 36 spirits brands, based on their ethical and sustainable practices, was carried out by The Good Shopping Guide’s independent company research.

The brands were rated out of 100.

LVMH-owned Belvedere vodka and Hennessy Cognac received the lowest ethical score of the spirits brands assessed, each scoring 32.

These two brands received bottom ratings in the organic, animal welfare, vegetarian/vegan, political donations, and public record criticisms criteria. The two brands were also marked down in the public record criticisms-plus criteria, which includes companies with a high volume of criticisms.

Diageo-owned brands were also given low scores, with Smirnoff vodka, Gordon’s gin and Captain Morgan rum each scoring 42.

Two brands shared the top spot of the sustainable and ethical scoreboard, Nc’Nean whisky and Juniper Green gin, each with a score of 92.

“We are really pleased to see some high ethical ratings within the spirits sector, especially from the most recent brand launches,” said Kat Alexander, director of The Good Shopping Guide.

“There is still work to do from some of the more established spirits brands, especially regarding environmental impact. In the near future, we hope to see progress across all the ethical criteria we research.”

‘Cut through the greenwash’

The purpose of the ranking is to ‘cut through greenwash’ and present the most ethical brands, as well as those that appear least ethical.

Bacardí rum, Hendrick’s gin, Whitley Neill and Bombay Sapphire gin all received a score of 62, while Absolut vodka, Havana Club rum and Malibu rum trailed behind with a score of 46.

To measure the brands’ ethics and sustainability ratings, The Good Shopping Guide looked at the spirits brands’ environmentalism, which included reviewing its environmental report (which had to be dated within the last two years for a brand to receive a top rating), as well as a brand’s relationship with nuclear power, genetic modification, organic farming, fossil fuels and sustainable materials.

The brand’s animal welfare policies, and whether it works with vegetarian and vegan products, were also investigated.

Additionally, the Guide looked at how the brand works with people, ensuring brands were not funding political parties or involved in controversial investments, such as of armaments or tobacco, as well as whether the brand was a part of an ethical trading scheme.

Earlier this year, Koskenkorva Vodka owner Anora Group revealed its sustainability strategy, with an aim to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

In December last year, the drinks business revealed the winners of its Green Awards 2022.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No