By Rob Pickard
Commitments to environmental and ethical issues have come to the forefront of business strategy over the last few years, with Corporate Social Responsibility a key area for company investment. Whether you feel these issues are important in the wine industry, or indeed whether eco-friendly wine production would influence the average consumer’s next wine purchase – many wine producers around the world believe in its importance, and are making big changes to production in order to do their bit for mother nature – and we salute them!
From reducing carbon emissions, the introduction of lightweight bottles, priorities on the health of workers, plus pest and wildlife management schemes - the tides have turned in the production of wine around the world. Going ever greener can surely only be a good thing for the wine industry. So to do your bit for this greener movement, support those wineries who invest in such important issues and give a big thumbs up to eco-friendly and sustainable wine production.
One such company that is giving these issues the time they deserve is South African producer, SAAM. Ethical and biodiversity commitments are important issues for the producer, as they work hard to build a legacy in the Paarl area, while preserving the land as much as possible. In addition to its 3,000ha of vineyards, it has 1000ha which are made up of wetlands, sand and mountainous areas – all adding to creating a stable natural environment and promoting further biodiversity in the region.
SAAM has also recently been awarded the Seal of Sustainability by Wines of South Africa, and as part of the IPW (Integrated Production of Wine), a voluntary environmental sustainability scheme established by the South African wine industry in 1998, SAAM has been audited and entitled to use the seal from its 2010 vintage as a guarantee to sustainable winemaking practices. The winery will be audited every year by the Wine and Spirit Board to make sure that sustainable practices remain in place all year round. I am a firm believer that schemes such as this will over time enrich the winemaking process, pushing wine making standards ever higher, while of course protecting the all important local environment.
Always keen to increase its green credentials, and decrease its carbon footprint, SAAM are also introducing lightweight bottles across their range. The current SAAM bottle weighs 460g when empty, whereas the new bottle will be 60g lighter, coming in at 400g when empty. This 60g reduction per bottle will enable a decrease of 1,058.4 kg per container, saving an amazing 8 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year!
I think you will agree initiatives such as these are fantastic additions to the world of wine. An increase in importance of environmental and ethical wine production, packaging and distribution across the globe, would be welcomed by many international wine markets.
Like SAAM, Bibendum views its impact on the environment as hugely important, and we work hard to minimize our carbon footprint in every aspect of the business. Our green team is called Vivid, and the team works hard overseeing all our green intiatives. Find out more on our Vivid page, plus read some of our previous Vivid blog posts – Bibendum’s Vivid team lead the green revolution and Carbon Zero wine production at Huia Vineyards.