Independent craft brewer BrewDog announced that it will give away 20 percent of its profits every year; 10 percent will be shared equally among its staff, and a further 10 percent will be issued to charities chosen by the brewer’s 1,000-strong workforce and 57,000 Equity Punk investors worldwide.
BrewDog’s approach to business has followed an anti-establishment route over the past 10 years since its inception in 2007, and its Equity for Punks crowdfunding program is what has powered the brewer’s unprecedented growth.
“At BrewDog, we care about two things above all else: our beer and our people,” said co-founder James Watt. “We want to make the best beers on the planet, we want to be the best company to work for, and we want to build a radically new type of business that we can all be proud of. Giving away 20 percent of our profits – forever – is not about altruism. It is about impact. It’s not about profits. It is about purpose. This is the biggest community-fuelled, crowdfunded charity contribution in history.”
If the brewer achieves its projected targets, BrewDog will donate in excess of $58 million via the Unicorn Fund in the next 5 years alone. BrewDog also plans to inspire other businesses to follow suit, challenging the real potential impact of CSR policies.
“Outdated CSR policies have zero consideration for their real-world impact, existing merely for the purpose of an oversized check and an awkward photo shoot,” Watt added. “This is a call to arms for businesses to democratize the impact their charitable contributions can have on their community, their people, and the world.”
Of the total 10 percent of profits donated to worthy causes, five percent will go to charities chosen by BrewDog’s Equity Punk investors, and five percent will be issued to charities chosen by its global team of employees. BrewDog has also committed to reinvesting the balance of its profits back into the business for at least the next 7 years.
In order to allocate the Unicorn Fund, BrewDog’s teams and Equity Punk shareholders will be given access to an online platform where they can assign their portion of funds to charities of their choosing, comprised of seven ‘spotlight’ charities, and 13 additional charities.
“We’re hugely excited to launch the Unicorn Fund in the U.S. As we grow here in the states, each of our bars will have their own Unicorn Fund to give back to their local communities as well as worthy global causes,” said BrewDog USA Managing Director, Tanisha Robinson. “Right now, we’re 110-strong and growing our U.S. workforce daily, along with 9,000 newly recruited U.S. Equity Punks, all of whom will be responsible for the positive impact of the Unicorn Fund in the years to come.”
Any funds not allocated voluntarily by staff and Equity Punks from their allowances will be automatically distributed to the spotlight charities.
Watt added, “In our tenth year at BrewDog, we hope to inspire a new kind of business with the Unicorn Fund; one that doesn’t measure profit in purely monetary terms. Our mission for the next decade at BrewDog is not simply to redefine the beer industry, but to redefine industry itself.”
Since 2007, BrewDog has been on a mission to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as they are. From the Headliner series, which includes bold, uncompromising pack leaders like the flagship Punk IPA, to the Amplified range (beer, but turned up to 11), BrewDog creates beer that blows people’s minds and has kick-started a revolution. Cofounders James Watt and Martin Dickie shook up the business world in 2009 with the launch of pioneering crowdfunding initiative Equity for Punks, an initiative that has seen the company raise £40m since 2009, taking more money through crowdfunding than any other on record. The funds, and the army of punk shareholders (55,000) enabled the Scottish craft brewery to scale up without selling out. With almost 50 global bar launches, export into 60 countries, and a brand-new brewery in Ohio opening in 2017, BrewDog continues to take the craft beer revolution stratospheric, whilst continuing to push the boundaries, invest in people, put the beer first, and champion other small breweries in its venues.