Kendall Jenner’s 818 Snags B Corp Status
The Kendall Jenner-owned tequila brand 818 Tequila was B Corp-certified Thursday, joining thousands of businesses.
To certify as a B Corp, a business has to earn at least 80 points out of a possible 250 points (the Los Angeles-founded business received 81.3 points overall). The average scorer receives just 50 to 55 points, according to certifying firm B Lab, and the assessment spans environment, employee well-being, community impact and supply chain conduct among its rigorous score card.
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The 818 brand excelled in areas such as “mission locked,” (racking up 10 points for its business model approach, though not reflective of the total weighting metric) and “supply chain poverty alleviation,” earning 9.3 points though its community partnerships. It scored lower on areas of air and climate (the company currently has no public emissions-reductions targets, earning a score of 0.2), as well as worker health, wellness and safety.
In a statement, Jenner, who founded the brand two years ago, expressed her pride in the achievement. “I founded this company with sustainability at its core, and to be recognized for this commitment motivates us to continue building on these goals. This is just the first step, we will continue to work hard to make 818 as sustainable as possible.”
The company touted its B Corp status on its website, alongside its 35 tasting awards at 12 international spirits competitions, among them Best Reposado at the World Tequila Awards, and a potentially risky green claim, if measured by the EU’s recent directive or FTC green guides, of “Made in Harmony with the Earth.”
In the news, the company detailed its supplier commitments, such as sourcing only Forest Stewardship Council-certified packaging, and philanthropic aims, including its 1 Percent for the Planet membership and “Buy a Bottle, Give a Brick” campaign. From April through June 30, every bottle of 818 Tequila purchased equates to one brick donated through its Bricks Program, up to $25,000. The brand is partnering with Saving Agave for Culture, Recreation, Education and Development to fund infrastructure builds in Mexico.
WWD asked if 818 looks to set science-based targets, or to address prior cultural appropriation backlash to the company, to which 818’s chief operating officer and president Mike Novy responded. The company is working to establish its emissions baseline, citing progress like its distillery which taps solar and biomass energy. Any formal targets will be “reflected in our ongoing updates to our B Corp certification as a member of the community,” per Novy.
On the latter, he added, “818 aims to be a true advocate for the Mexican spirit industry which is demonstrable by the scale of the community work that we are doing with our nonprofit partner, SACRED and the unique sustainability practices of our distillery partner, Grupo Solave. Each community project we are working on with SACRED in rural Mexico has been proposed and led by the respective community and we are participating as collaborators. Additionally, we carefully select suppliers and partners that have been certified by third-party organizations such as FairTSA, and also ask that any supplier with operations in underserved regions signs a supplier code of conduct ensuring fair wages, working conditions and more.”
To date, 818 Tequila has donated almost $400,000 in support of the Bricks Program, funding community library, small business and office projects in Mexico’s Jalisco, Oaxaca and the like. As with many of the entrepreneurial Kardashian-Jenner family businesses, Jenner’s business reported strong growth — with 1.5 million bottles sold as of 2021.
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