In 2007, Climate Smart and other programs like it came on the global scene as a tool to teach businesses about measuring, reducing, and offsetting their corporate carbon footprint. This is what’s so smart about it: the measuring.
It’s challenging to know if what we’re doing is effective…if we don’t measure our process before, during, and after. Climate Smart gives us the tools to identify our contribution to the carbon problem; better yet, they show businesses like us how to reduce that footprint and what we can do to help offset it.
We calculate greenhouse gas emissions produced by the winery as a whole, not just parts of it. Then, we target areas to cut emissions – with the goal of being 100% carbon neutral. Where we can’t avoid using energy or generating some waste, we do as many beneficial things as we can, where we can.
The result: Canada’s first carbon-neutral winery. Now it’s time to go a step further.
Our farm truck and tractors run on biodiesel. In fact, we were so early on this one that we couldn’t find a regular supplier. So we installed a holding tank at our Diamondback vineyard. There still aren’t many of us operating with biodiesel, but we hope that will change soon.
Our compost pile has increased while our landfill trips have decreased. This might not seem exciting to many people, but it gets us going. The bigger – and healthier – our compost pile, the more nutrients we have to feed our vines and the fewer items heading to the landfill. In fact, our compost area is part of our vineyard tours.
85% of our bottles are lightweight glass. This is a huge percentage for a winery making 35,000 cases each year. Between the locally sourced bottles (within 400kms, approximately) and the reduced weight, we use less fuel to get the wine into the bottle and onto your table.
As a business, we need to get the word out on what we’re selling. It’s the way we survive. Traditionally, tourism and sales based companies often use media to help generate traction in print, and online. One of the biggest challenges with spreading the word about our product is that it needs to be tasted and experienced.
Instead of always travelling to media – or bringing them to our winery – we started host web-tastings rather than rack up mileage. We’re still developing this, and measuring its efficiency.
We’ll continue to measure ourselves and target more areas to cut emissions. If you have a suggestion for us, we’d love to hear it: send us an email.