Symington family achieves B Corp status

The Symington family has announced that their business has become a B Corp based on its social and environmental performance and ethical business practices.

To become a B Corp requires companies to legally include social and environmental factors as equal priorities alongside financial objectives. 

Fellow B Corps include Patagonia, Danone, Kickstarter, Fetzer Wines, Ben & Jerry’s and Innocent Drinks among others.

Rob Symington, fifth generation family member responsible for sustainability, said: “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.”

“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 goals across renewable energy, solar panels, electric cars, water and electricity efficiency, forest regeneration, low-impact packaging and local community initiatives.

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.

Mission 2025 - 10 goals

1 – Renewable energy

100% electricity from certified renewable energy sources. 20% generated in-house.

2 – Electric vehicles

100% of new passenger vehicle purchases, by 2025, will be electric or hybrid.

3 – Carbon emissions 

35% reduction in CO2 emissions per litre of wine bottled (between 2015 and 2025).

4 – Energy efficiency

10% reduction in electricity used per litre of wine bottled.

5 – Water efficiency

10% reduction in water used in winery & bottling per litre of wine bottled.

6 – Biodiversity support

Support major ecosystem restoration / reforestation project in Portugal.

7 – Low-impact winery

Gold LEED (sustainable building) certification for our new winery.

8 – Volunteering scheme

80% uptake of new employee volunteering programme.

9 – Impact fund

Launch new Symington social & environmental impact fund.

10 – B Corp certification

Achieve certification for highest standards of social & environmental performance.