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NZWC Achieves Carbon Neutral Recertification

carboNZero recertification provides a practical product standard for measurement of embedded carbon emissions in a bottle of wine

The New Zealand Wine Company (NZWC), makers of Grove Mill, Sanctuary and Frog Haven wines, has achieved carbon neutral recertification under the world leading carboNZeroCERT TM programme.

Since becoming the world’s first carboNZero certified wine company in September 2006 the NZWC and Landcare Research have been working at the forefront of this evolving environmental issue. The measurement of its greenhouse gas emissions has been aligned with the emerging British Standard PAS2050 for measuring the life cycle emissions of products.

The process has been developed by Landcare Research New Zealand and was independently audited by Deloitte (NZ) to ensure its integrity.

Professor Ann Smith, carboNZero Technical Manager for Landcare Research, says:

”Our collaboration with The New Zealand Wine Company has provided the perfect platform for ensuring that the carboNZero programme remains at the cutting edge in the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions associated with wine production. An important principle of the carboNZero programme is that we require companies to “walk the talk” and measure, manage and mitigate their emissions before going to market with carboNZero certified products.”

“This year they have gone further and added the life cycle emissions associated with the production of wine thus achieving carboNZero certification for both the organisation and the product. I commend the New Zealand Wine Company for their commitment”

Rob White, CEO of The NZWC, says the company has invested significantly in sustainability which not only encompasses the environmental aspect, but social concerns and financial imperatives:

“We view sustainability in its adopted meaning of “being able to do tomorrow, what we do today”. If the rate of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions continues as predicted by many observers we will struggle to grow grapes of the quality that Marlborough has become famous for. “

“Our position as a pioneer in this field has seen us garner huge amounts of media attention and business opportunities”, continues White. “The model of aligning our environmental and business aspirations was adopted by the board two years and we are beginning to see this come to fruition through significant sales growth.”

The NZWC has entered into business relationships with a number of large retailers on the back of its environmental positioning.

Roger Kerrison, Sustainable Development Manager for the NZWC, says that carbon neutral products are going become more prevalent in the near future.

“There are two projects that we have been involved in during the last year that indicate to us that retailers are beginning to ask their suppliers to provide carbon neutral solutions to consumers. Firstly we now trade with a number of retailers such as Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose who are actively looking for environmentally responsible suppliers. Secondly we have been selected by the Thresher Group to provide carbon neutral wines for their Origin ethical range.”

“I am aware of around 50 other wineries around the world that are undertaking carbon neutral certification. Proliferation of these wines will allow retailers to set up carbon neutral sections much like we have seen with organic produce.”

The carbon footprint for the NZWC for the financial year ending June 2007 was 809t CO2e. This is a significant increase on the previous year’s footprint, largely due to business expansion, inclusion of suppliers’ emissions and HFC’s.

Dave Pearce, Chief Winemaker for the NZWC, says that continued evaluation of emissions has uncovered some unexpected results:

“Continuing work from our first year’s footprint we designed our reduction programmes around energy use and distribution efficiencies. This year though we had a refrigerant leak in a compressor and this has driven our footprint back up. The leak which only emitted 113kg’s of refrigerant gas into the atmosphere had a global warming potential (GWP) of 3,300, adding 372t CO2e to our annual footprint! This emission source was 400% larger than electricity this year and is something that the refrigeration industry need to provide guidance and solutions on as a matter of urgency.”

The NZWC has put in place a number of emissions reduction programmes and is currently working with UK Government Agency WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) on their GlassRite project which will see adoption of lightweight packaging solutions into the UK marketplace from the 2008 vintage onwards.


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