L’entreprise au service du bien

Business as a force for good

Today we'll tell you more about the final goal of Oé's new mission: to bring about transformation by making agriculture, consumerism and business a force for good.

After sharing the secrets of our winemakers and their vineyards, and our commitment to changing consumer mentalities, it's time to take a deep dive into the third component of our vision: using business as a force for good.

We've already written extensively about the reuse of bottles, so here we'll take an in-depth look at other aspects of production.

B Corp as a force for good

We're proud that Oé has been B Corp certified since 2017. Over the past five years, we've constantly challenged ourselves to push our limits and do more. 🚀

B Corp is the world's most demanding certification of corporate social responsibility. Today, more than 5,000 companies are B Corp certified worldwide, including nearly 300 in France. To be certified, applicants must obtain a score of at least 80 points on assessment and be audited every three years to maintain the status.

In 2017, we obtained certification with 82 points. Since then, we've pushed our actions and commitments even further, allowing us to be re-certified in 2020 with a score of 97.9 points.

We look forward to seeing what recertification has in store for us in 2023, thanks to our progress on zero-waste logistics and the reuse of bottles, and our day-to-day social initiatives.

Beyond being a label, B Corp brings together a community of companies who are fighting together for a fairer and more sustainable future. And no, aiming for the stars doesn't scare us.

This certification has allowed us to go further than we could have ever believed, taking steps that once seemed impossible. Among them: seeing success with the return and reuse of bottles, implementing zero waste in our warehouses, and setting in place many actions to help our winemakers to go beyond organic farming thanks to the Oé Biodiversity Program.

We see many companies around us taking interest in B Corp certification. As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together”.


A mission-driven company since 2021

A year and a half ago, we became an "entreprise à mission". This French certification denotes a company that has a social, societal and/or environmental goal.

Our initial mission was to promote sustainable agriculture and drinking with care. This gave us a compass that constantly pushed us to do more as we worked towards reaching our commitments.

Our ambitions quickly grew and we decided our goals should evolve. Our new mission to bring about transformation by creating a positive impact on agriculture, consumers and the wine industry.

These represent three very different areas of focus, each encompassing many subjects. We're constantly challenged and inspired as we reflect on everything we can change to build a better world with respect for the environment.

Spearheading zero waste at Oé

Two years ago, we relaunched the reuse and return of wine bottles in France. Many people told we were on the wrong track and our idea wouldn't work, that the wine sector "just isn't structured to allow for it". And yet, our program has now been rolled out across France. It's been a long journey and we still have some mountains to climb, but the first and hardest step has been taken.

Now this part of our strategy is in place, we're looking to do more. Right now we're working on zero-waste logistics. In 2021, we reduced the plastic in our warehouse by 50% and we divided the weight of our waste by a factor of 25 over 2 years. We also offset the emissions related to our shipments to our customers. We're not perfect, but we're doing our best every step of the way. 

This means that we receive our wines in paloxes (reusable stainless steel pallets). We've cut our packaging waste from 25% to 15% on our 3-bottle cases, and we've been shipping pallets with returnable crates for a year now. We also bought a machine in April 2022 to transform all the paper and cardboard from the office into filler to protect bottles in their cases during shipping.  

Everyone plays a role

At Oé, we're genuinely delighted to work together every day and strive to create an inclusive working environment.

As one of our team members has a cognitive impairment, we've improved our organizational systems to facilitate his work as an order picker. His arrival prompted us to improve signage, be stricter on storage and reduce the processes that relied on memory and deduction.

Today, we're delighted to celebrate his one-year Oé birthday. Happy "Oéversaire"! We consider it a real strength to have team members with a disability and find it encourages us to take a little more time and be a little more considered in our actions. In France, we encourage you to check out the company Connect, a subsidiary of ADAPEI, which introduced us to our fabulous colleague.

Supporting a diverse workforce

As we move towards completely zero-waste logistics, we've chosen to limit our use of cardboard boxes as much as possible.

Our bottles are delivered in large reusable stainless steel pallets, aka paloxes. Sometimes labels can become slightly damaged, but we want you to enjoy your wine with the bottles looking as good as they taste. 

To help us to remove and re-affix these labels, we work with a local ESAT, a French organization dedicated to helping those with disabilities back into work, and with students that have special educational needs at a nearby technical college. As we reuse our bottles, we use a water-soluble glue so that the labels are easily peeled off during cleaning. A splash of water, a beautiful new recycled paper label and it's a brand new bottle!


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