The Whisky Exchange launches sustainability search function

Online retailer The Whisky Exchange has launched a search functionality that allows customers to shop for spirits, wine or Champagne based on sustainable credentials.

The launch, which includes filters such as Certified Fair Trade, Plastic Free, Certified B-Corp and Carbon Neutral, includes a feature page designed to champion brands displaying best sustainability practices.

The Whisky Exchange said the aim of the function is to “lead the industry in encouraging brands and producers to do the best they possibly can when it comes to social and sustainable commitments”. All suppliers have been presented with a set of criteria – a mixture of recognised certifications and defined criteria – against which all products are to be tagged on the website.

The system is currently in its early stages, with around 10% of products tagged, but TWE said it will eventually cover every product featured on thewhiskyexchange.com.

Head buyer Dawn Davies MW said: “This is very much stage one of an ongoing effort to encourage the best from our industry. It’s no secret that consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before. The vast majority of us have a desire to change the planet through the way we live our daily lives, and most importantly in the way we shop. By tagging products in this way, we not only offer the consumer an easier way to shop sustainably, but we also encourage change among those producers not currently meeting the expectations of an environmentally conscious society.”

The full list of search filters and product tags are: Certified Fair Trade, Plastic Free, Certified B-Corp, Certified Organic, Certified Biodynamic, Sustainably Sourced, Sustainably Produced, Carbon Neutral,  Net Zero and Socially Conscious.

For the categories without formal accreditation, such as ‘Sustainably Produced’ or ‘Socially Conscious’, TWE said producers and brands are required to “illustrate multiple actions they are taking to fulfil such a definition”, as the retailer looks to avoid greenwashing.

“Some producers are doing amazing things but simply don’t get the chance to shout about it,” added Davies. “Many cannot afford accreditation or sometimes there is no accreditation for what they are doing. We need to be able to hero their efforts as well.”

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