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Cape Byron Distillery gains B Corp accreditation

Cape Byron Distillery, the Australian maker of Brookie’s Gin, has joined the global movement of certified B Corporations or 'B Corps', organisations that aim to set the benchmark for sustainable and ethical business practices.

Cape Byron is now one of just two Australian distilleries to have secured this accolade. The demanding process evaluates a brand’s ethics using 350 criteria concerning operations, employee treatment, community and environmental impact.

Eddie Brook, co-founder of Cape Byron Distillery, said: "I am incredibly proud of our team in achieving B Corp certification. It is in our company DNA and at the very core of everything we do here to support local communities, the environment and our people. We see business as a force for good.

"We have invested in creating production processes that minimise our impact on the environment, such as our off-grid water system, worm farms to consume green waste on-site, bottle crushers for all glass waste, and our composting systems whereby we repurpose our liquid whisky waste products into [soil conditioner to] spread under our Davidson plum orchard."

Cape Byron Distillery was founded in 2016 on a now regenerated 95-acre family property. In 1988, Pam and Martin Brook purchased the property, which was then a cleared, run-down dairy farm. The Brook family then set about planting 4,500 macadamia trees and 40,000 native rainforest plants.

Today, the property is home to a thriving ecosystem with countless self-seeded rainforest trees that serve as essential habitat for native wildlife such as the koala.

"Cape Byron Distillery has implemented several goals to ensure we continue to improve what we already do with sustainability," said Alex McManus, the distillery’s sustainability manager. "These goals include improving our rainforest regeneration and biodiversity protection and eliminating negative impacts from production."

The success of Cape Byron Distillery’s application for B Corp certification came down to several factors. These include a custom composting system using Black Soldier flies to consume waste without producing gas and chemicals, the whisky-waste mulch reused in the Davidson plum orchard, and the creation of an extensive waste monitoring and data collection hub.

Another milestone for the distillery was a 30 per cent decrease in landfill waste over the period of January 2019 to December 2021 – from an average 3.3kg per 100 bottles down to one of 2.1kg.

B Lab is the nonprofit responsible for the B Corp initiative. There are currently more than 4,600 certified B Corps in over 70 countries and across 150 industries.

8 April 2022 - Bethany Whymark