At Oé we don't like pointing fingers, you know that. But we make an exception when we talk about what we could improve.
Being a committed brand does not mean that everything we do is perfect or that we know everything.
On the contrary, it is one of the particularities of being a B Corp. Contrary to the majority of labels, we can't keep it if we haven't improved since our last label - And… what do I see coming from far, far away?
"But after a while, you can't do more"“And the company that has all the points, what is its next step?”
Pigs could fly before any of these situations occur. Not because it's impossible, but because like anything or anyone on earth, a business can't be perfect. And that's also why the questions of the BIA - Business Impact Assessment (the B Corp certification questionnaire) is also constantly evolving. So, if one day a company achieved the incredible and fabulous score of 200/200 points, the B Labs - the B Corp certification bodies - would evolve the labeling process to allow the company of our dreams to improve.
Well, in any case, time will fly before this moment because the company with the best score in the world is called South Mountain Company and obtained 184/200 at their last certification. To give a little more context, on average a company that is not labeled B Corp obtains an average score of 55 points against 92 points for B Corp (you must obtain 80 points to be labeled).
All that to say, that today we are here to talk about our limits, the subjects on which we are not yet at the top, the projects on which we are working to always go further. Being committed and transparent also means saying what's wrong and being open to criticism.
The Oé Program
As you know, in 2020, we started the Oé program for biodiversity. The idea is very simple. Each year we allocate 1% of our turnover to financing projects with our winegrowers to help them go beyond organic.
We explain the program in detail here: The Oé Program for Biodiversity
We love this program, and we want to do great things with it. And although we are a major player in commitment and surely the first brand of organic wine in your hearts (in all objectivity of course), we do not produce a turnover worthy of the major groups of the CAC 40.
And even if we want to make money, of course, we never do it to the detriment of our values, our commitments and our mission.
Even if we would like to do everything and consider everything, we must remain pragmatic and be aware that today, 1% of our turnover does not yet allow us to do everything we would like.
This is the limit of the Oé program for biodiversity: it depends directly on the financial health of the company. Last year we asked you to help us with our first MiiMOSA campaign with Franck and Véro, the Oé winegrowers who produce our red Bordeaux.
Thanks to you, Franck and Véro were able to plant agroforestry hedges, install birdhouses, and generally re-establish a biodiversity lost over time. To see the results, it's in our Featured “wine growers ” story.
And this year, we want to do it again! But we can't do it without you. We hope that one day our 1% will be enough to finance our daydreams of biodiversity, but in the meantime, we'll give you an appointment on our social networks to learn more about the MiiMOSA campaign of 2022.
Top cap and deposit of the crémant
On a bottle of wine, the cap is the metal part on the bottle neck that is of no use. No really.
Since June 2019, the seal affixed to the bottle caps, or “the Marianne” for the experts, is no longer a legal obligation as long as a document attesting that the taxes on the bottle have been paid is attached when the bottle is in transit to your home.
Thanks to this order, we were able to permanently eliminate the use of caps on all our wine bottles.
This has two advantages:
- Less waste, especially because the capsules are made of a mix of aluminum, PVC and absolutely non-recyclable and non-degradable glue.
- Allowing the deposit - just that… The absence of the cap is very important because it makes it possible to wash the bottles much more easily. Theoretically, it is not impossible to wash a bottle where a cap is affixed, but the process is much more complicated because an extra step would have to be added to the washing process to remove the caps. Knowing that they are useless - apart from perhaps an aesthetic advantage according to some, you might as well remove them, right?
Plus, our bottles without caps are pretty, aren't they?
Unfortunately we had to reinstate it on our bottle of Crémant. Not by choice, but because it is a European directive that imposes it...
Why sparkling wines and not wine? Very good question, we also ask ourselves.
It's not a question of hygiene nor tax. Neither security, because the muzzle and the aluminum cap do this job. So apart from a tradition that we find a little outdated, we don't see why we should keep it. However, the current reality means that we cannot offer you a 100% zero waste range of Oé because our bottle of crémant is covered with a cap.
This is a subject that is close to our hearts and we are keeping our sights set on our desire to overturn the traditional system in favor of more responsible European directives. You can imagine that at such a level, it will take a lot of arms to move the mountain. And maybe you'll step in to help us move the lines in the near future.
If you have any ideas to help us make a difference, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. We're thinking of starting a petition, we're interested in your opinion on the subject :)
It's no secret these days that our computers and smartphones, those extensions of our hands and brains, have a cost that goes beyond the financial cost.
They have a human cost because like most of our goods, they are mostly imported from developing countries. Generally, if not always, workers are poorly paid and work in terrible conditions, which most Westerners would consider unbearable. Even before the assembly of our computers and tablets, the mines in which the rare materials and minerals that we need for them to function are extracted, are at the root of geopolitical conflicts and crimes that we would not even dare to imagine. All of this to take control of precious raw materials.
They also have an environmental cost, these same mines are not renewable resources. Like all the others, one day the pot will be empty and we will have to do well without it. The only problem with precious raw materials is that we don't know how to recycle them. It's problematic when you know the amount of digital technology that uses it and how much we depend on it.
We will not dwell on the subject of the carbon impact in this article, but if you are interested, we have dedicated an article to it: Carbon neutrality, the best of greenwashing?
If you want to know more about the invisible costs of the digital transition, here is an article from the Verdo Mano blog that we find relevant.
Like the overwhelming majority of other French companies, we are 100% dependent on these technologies. The proof, I couldn't tell you all that without using a computer. And just last week my computer wouldn't start and the only feeling I got was panic of losing "my whole life".
All that to say that on this subject, we are absolutely no better than the others. The only thing that we have put in place is to have all of our devices (which includes all the computers distributed to employees on permanent contracts of the company) completely refurbished. Obviously, they contain all those rare materials that we were telling you about just before, but to a lesser extent. Today, refurbished is the closest thing to recycling for all our digital tools and household appliances. Contrary to common belief, they work just as well as a new tool.
Team travel to our partners
What makes Oé, Oé is also and above all the relationship we have with our entire ecosystem. All these companies, grocery stores, restaurants, and winemakers that allow us to be what we are today. However, this entire ecosystem is not limited to the Lyon region (where Oé was born and based). We are present throughout France, which allows us to delight more and more taste buds but also sometimes makes us travel long distances. Our sales people make rounds to make sure everything is going well with our grocery stores and that they don't need any help. This face-to-face human connection will never be replaced by a videoconference. We all felt it during the Covid crisis, a camera will never replace the feeling of meeting in 3D - and we want to keep this bond at all costs.
In the same way, we often visit the Oé winegrowers. And we love that. Whether it's to take content to share their adventures with you on our networks or to organize the next crowdfunding campaign. To get news and also better understand their daily work. All these things cannot be done without being there.
This is our limit, and we realized it when we saw our carbon footprint. Traveling through France has a cost that cannot be denied. Although we try as soon as possible to take the train (or our legs when possible), the car remains essential to get to our countryside. Where a large part of our ecosystem is located - mainly the winegrowers. All we can hope for is that over time, public transport and other “soft” transport will develop to take us abroad.
For our part, we continue to do our best to optimize our trips and do less and less. But we remain aware that we will not always need it.
The final word
But despite all this, we continue to believe that nothing can stop us. We are convinced that we will soon exceed most of these limits. To motivate us all together, nothing better than a little music, right?