Today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world demands an adroit focus on our global environment and its future, with consumers becoming more attuned than ever about where their favourite products come from and how they are made. When it comes to the source and methods used to grow our food, with the already familiar concept of organic produce, it is understandable that wine consumers and winemakers are also approaching their industry standards with an increasing eye for sustainability. Though, as with everything, there is a sliding scale to owning a decidedly more holistic approach to agriculture and it pays to know who is hitting the gold standard of a more progressive vision of sustainability.
Piper-Heidsieck needs no introduction as one of the founding fathers of Champagne itself, who, since 1785 has been bringing the best of the Champagne terroirs to the world with the mandate to innovate for the future as an inherent facet of their pioneering spirit. Fast-forward to today and their whole approach to sustainability encompasses a 360-degree perspective that not only strives to reduce resource use and mitigate negative impacts on the environment but also fosters the responsibility to care for the people behind the brand and the community at large. It is a non-negotiable path that celebrates transparency and accountability in tandem with nurturing impeccable quality in the bottle. “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,” says Piper-Heidsieck, CEO Benoit Collard.
This is why Piper-Heidsieck has taken the natural step in its evolution to become B Corp Certified, joining a growing community of like-minded companies who are leading a global movement for an inclusive, equitable and regenerative change. The new certification standards, developed by the non-profit B-Lab, are now widely recognised as the loftiest benchmark for social and environmental responsibility in business. “Achieving B Corp certification reflects our pioneering ethos and daring initiative to be a driving force of change within the Champagne industry. This certification not only recognises our environmental impact in the vineyards but extends to our entire winemaking ecosystem, our community and our workplace,” says Collard.
Attaining B Corp Certification is no mean feat, with the extensive certification process requiring an assessment of each brand’s social and environmental influence with in excess of 200 questions pertaining to governance, employees, communities and the environment. In fact, Piper-Heidsieck’s three houses, Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne have all become B Corp Certified, integrating a united purpose to “sublimate and share the best of Champagne.” To give an indication of the sustainability ambitions and targets of the iconic Champagne House, Piper-Heidsieck views this as just the first milestone of their plans to reinvent their global operations to create a material positive impact on society and the environment.
The initiatives that Piper-Heidsieck have already implemented toward a conscientious and sustainable future are several, including the areas of carbon footprint reduction, vineyard operations, social impact and supplier management. A snapshot reveals pledges of carbon footprint reduction by 46 percent per bottle by 2030, 40 percent less energy use by 2025 in eliminating completely, the use of fossil fuels in production activities and achieving net zero carbon emissions before 2050. Ahead of the curve, they have also used the lightest bottle on the market since 2010 and used 100 percent renewable electricity since 2021.
Attuned to the fact that the wine industry in particular is vulnerable to climate change and natural resource degradation, Piper-Heidsieck have also invested in the likes of Time for the Planet, the non-profit organisation whose purpose is to detect and finance innovations to tackle climate change. They are also a member of International Wineries for Climate Action to help decarbonise the wine industry and have held sustainable certifications with Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne and High Environmental Value since 2015. Leaving no stone unturned, Piper-Heidsieck is anticipating all of their wine growing partners to be certified VDC (Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne) by 2025 and all of their suppliers to be relocated to Europe by 2030.
The Champagne House’s Piper Lab sustainable practices also include ongoing experimentation in the vineyards in the realms of cover cropping, organic farming and agroforestry while preserving and enhancing biodiversity in planting 1,000 trees of local species and implementing beehives since 2015, as well as retiring the use of herbicides, pesticides and chemicals to treat rot. Honouring their responsibility to care for people and communities, Piper-Heidsieck have upheld their commitment to gender equity and parity at every level of their organisation, advocating for inclusion in engaging with diverse talents in both employees and collaborators across all campaigns while supporting local and international causes that speak to their values.
With their extensive efforts recognised upon becoming B Corp Certified, as Piper-Heidsieck continues to redefine success in business as a means of restoring, revitalising and regenerating ecosystems and communities, it also hopes to be an inspiration for other companies wishing to join the global movement to create a material positive impact on society and the environment. “Becoming a B Corp Certified marks a commemorative occasion in the history of Piper-Heidsieck,” says Collard, “Yet it also signifies that together, we are striving towards sustainable change and we hope to inspire others in the wine industry to implement similar initiatives.”
Find out more about Piper-Heidsieck here.