With Industry-Leading Environmental and Community Focused Efforts, Iconic Kentucky Bourbon Joins a Growing Global Movement of Companies Using Business for Good
LORETTO, Ky., Jan. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Maker's Mark has earned B Corporation Certification, making it the largest distillery in the world and the first in Kentucky's famed Bourbon Country to achieve the distinction, which recognizes companies working to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. The B Corp Certification affirms years of industry-leading efforts by Maker's Mark intended to benefit the greater good and signals a major milestone on the brand's environmentally conscious mission to "Make Your Mark. Leave No Trace" – now and for the future.
"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, 8th Generation Whisky Maker and Grandson of the Founders at Maker's Mark. "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."
Maker's Mark achieved B Corp Certification by meeting and exceeding rigorous benchmarks across five categories of the B Impact Assessment: Community, Customers, Environment, Governance and Workers. Key efforts recognized as part of the scoring and certification include the following:
- Maker's Mark is a spirits industry leader in its environmental practices, implementing innovative programs at its property on Star Hill Farm to preserve the natural resources that go into making its whisky and better the world around it. Initiatives include a distillery-wide zero landfill initiative; an onsite recycling program that is the first in Marion County, Ky. and open to community members; the establishment of a natural water sanctuary protecting the watershed at Star Hill Farm; and the implementation of a solar array that powers the extensive Maker's Mark warehouse complex.
- The bourbon producer is renowned for its community and philanthropic efforts, having invested millions of dollars in the hospitality industry, local Kentucky causes and the arts since its founding more than 65 years ago. In recent years, Maker's Mark has acted as a principal partner to The LEE Initiative, which aims to address issues of equality and diversity in the restaurant industry. During the COVID-19 global pandemic, Maker's Mark and The LEE Initiative have worked together to feed more than 1.5 million hospitality workers in cities across the United States.
- Maker's Mark has earned a decades-long reputation as an employer with workplace opportunities that exceed the industry standard. The company offers generous benefits and compensation, including the highest wages in its community; opportunities for advancement, job training and tuition assistance for employees; and six months paid maternity leave.
B Corp Certification is just one step Maker's Mark is taking to "Make Your Mark. Leave No Trace," as part of its long-term environmentally-focused mission which couples bold, regenerative actions with comprehensive efforts to leave nothing harmful behind. Beyond the initiatives assessed as part of B Corp Certification, Maker's Mark has introduced several innovative efforts to create a more sustainable future for the spirits industry, including the establishment of the world's largest repository of American White Oak trees for research purposes; a first-of-its-kind genome mapping project of the American White Oak species; and regenerative farming practices to enrich soil for more robust and flavorful varieties of grain.
Maker's Mark joins more than 4,000 Certified B Corporations around the world – including Patagonia, Allbirds, Burton Snowboards and Sipsmith® Gin – that meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. Aspiring to use the power of business to address social and environmental issues, B Corps become certified through rigorous verification by B Lab and undergo verification every three years. The Certification is designed to help consumers identify companies with a mission that align with their values.
About Maker's Mark® Bourbon
In 1953, in Loretto, Ky., Bill Samuels, Sr., fulfilled his dream to create a handmade and delicious bourbon. He decided to make his whisky in small batches, using soft red winter wheat to enhance the softness and sweetness. He then rotated each barrel by hand for consistency and, finally, aged each barrel to taste. Bill Samuels, Sr., transformed bourbon from a "commodity" into a premium handmade spirit, and today Maker's Mark continues to make its bourbon the same way. That time-tested approach seems to still be working just fine 60+ years later, as Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon was awarded a Double Gold medal at the esteemed San Francisco Spirits Competition in 2021. In recent years, Maker's Mark has introduced thoughtful, super-premium innovations to its portfolio, including Maker's Mark 46, Maker's Mark Cask Strength and Maker's Mark Private Selection, the brand's first-ever custom barrel program. For more information, visit www.makersmark.com.
About B Corporation
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. There are more than 4,000 certified B Corporations from over 150 industries and over 75 countries, representing a diverse multi-billion-dollar marketplace with 1 unifying goal.
About B Lab
B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, tools, and programs for business, and we certify companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. To date, our community includes 280,000 workers in over 4,000 B Corps across 77 countries and 153 industries, and more than 150,000 companies manage. To learn, visit www.bcorporation.net.
WE MAKE OUR BOURBON CAREFULLY. PLEASE ENJOY IT THAT WAY.
Maker's Mark® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, 45% Alc./Vol. ©2022 Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc., Loretto, KY.