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BrewDog’s evolution of benefits from dogs to unicorns to the environment

BrewDog, an independent Scottish brewery and pub chain, has always been known as a pioneer when it comes to employee benefits. From providing employees with pawternity leave - where employees receive a week of paid leave to spend time with a new puppy or rescue dog - to the unicorn fund - a profit sharing scheme where 10% of company profits are shared with their entire team each year - they have always been innovative with the benefits they provide to their employees.

But what makes them truly unique is the alignment of their benefits to the company’s mission, values (or what they call their charter) and culture. This was seen with pawternity leave as it aligns with their love of dogs (they were founded by two men and a dog), and with the unicorn fund, as it aligns with their commitment to their people.

And their latest benefit is no different, aligning with their mission to “make the earth great again”, doing their part by being the world’s first carbon negative brewery. As they say on their website “Our carbon, is our our problem”, which is why they launched a series of unprecedented initiatives to remove carbon from the atmosphere and to help the fight against climate change.

“Our senior leadership team had a real eye opener after attending a talk by Sir David Attenborough, and took the decision to do more, do it quicker and really make a difference” Karen Bates, People Director at BrewDog.

So, you ask, what kind of benefit could they possibly put in place to align with this mission? The answer this let me say that it is certainly something that is both unique and important, showing that benefits can do more than benefit the employee, they can also benefit the planet.

Here are the three parts of this benefit that is provided to their employees, or what they call their ‘Carbon Negative Crew’:

  1. The first part is double offsetting the pawprint (carbon footprint) of each crew member through gold standard carbon offset programmes that remove twice as much carbon from the air each year than what the team is responsible for. They’re doing this through a partnership with a company called ‘Pawprint’, who have an online tool that helps crew members measure, understand and reduce their carbon footprint.

  2. Next, because as Bates says “we want to do it in a very BrewDog way”, they also double offset the pawprint of their crew’s dogs.

  3. And finally, they launched a sustainability suggestion scheme where any suggestion that is implemented is entitled to double unicorn points through their unicorn fund.

“We want to set a new standard for sustainability and be a catalyst for the change that our world so badly needs” James Watt, CEO BrewDog.

This benefit truly shows BrewDog’s commitment to their mission, to their belief to “show that business can be a force for good”, and to their people. It transcends traditional benefits, one that I for one applaud and can’t wait to see more of in the future.


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