Symington Family Estates becomes a B Corporation

The Symington family have announced that their family business has become a B Corp, joining a global community of for-profit companies assessed for the highest standards of social and environmental performance and ethical business practices.

Becoming a B Corp requires companies to change their company articles to legally oblige Directors to include social and environmental factors as equal priorities alongside financial objectives. Fellow B Corps include Patagonia, Danone, Kickstarter, Fetzer Wines, Etsy, JoJo Maman Bébé, Natura, Ben & Jerry’s, Triodos Bank & Innocent Drinks.

Rob Symington, 5th generation family member responsible for Sustainability said, “We are proud that our existing practices have earned us B Corp status. This is an important step in our ongoing commitment to maximise the positive impact we have as a company. Becoming a B Corp sets us on a journey of further changes to systematically transform our activity and ensure we are responding to the big shared challenges of our time.”

Alongside the new B Corp certification, Symington Family Estates has announced an ambitious CO2 emissions reduction goal following the measurement of their entire carbon footprint (Scopes 1-3) by Ernst & Young. Rupert Symington, CEO of Symington Family Estates, commented, “Climate change is a very real threat in the Douro Valley. Alongside our efforts to adapt in the vineyard, we are determined to play our part in the shift to a zero-carbon economy. Our first goal is to reduce our emissions by 35% between 2015 and 2025. We have already reduced them by 23% and are working on further reductions. We are committed to Portugal’s national goal of achieving carbon neutrality before 2050.”

Symington also revealed their new sustainability strategy – Mission 2025 – which includes 10 flagship goals across renewable energy, solar panels, electric cars, water and electricity efficiency, forest regeneration, low-impact packaging and local community initiatives. Four internal working groups have been formed covering 1) Viticulture & Biodiversity, 2) Water, Energy & Buildings, 3) Packaging & Waste, and 4) Team & Community.

Later this year, work will begin on a new winery at the Symington-owned Quinta do Ataíde (the largest organic vineyard in northern Portugal). Opening for the 2021 vintage, it will be the first winery in Portugal to achieve LEED certification (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) with environmental principles influencing all aspects of the design.

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Tags: B Corp, Symington