Hill-Smith Family Estates achieves International Wineries for Climate Action silver membership

Photo: Hill-Smith Family Estates

Hill-Smith Family Estates has announced that it is the newest ‘Silver Member’ of International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA).

The organisation is the first Race to Zero member representing the wine and agriculture sector, and membership signifies a winery’s commitment to adopting emissions reduction strategies and becoming net zero by 2050.

As a Silver Member, Hill-Smith Family Estates has committed to actively pursuing a carbon neutrality target by 2050, as well as reaching considerable reduction targets by 2030.

Hill-Smith Family Estates first became an Applicant Member of IWCA in October 2021 and has since undergone activities to improve energy efficiencies and land management, including major upgrades to lighting and winery refrigeration systems; implementing drone and remote sensor technology to better monitor soil and irrigation; and development and protection of insectariums and native vegetation on winery-owned land.

The six-generation family wine company has long been recognised for its sustainable innovation, having installed in 2016 what was at the time the largest solar system at an Australian winery, which today provides 23% of the power required for its winery operations.

Sustainability committee leader and head of winemaking, Louisa Rose, applauds the work of IWCA.

“Becoming a member of International Wineries for Climate Action has helped us focus and prioritise our efforts, particularly regarding greenhouse gas emissions and carbon neutrality,” said Rose.

“Partnering with like-minded individuals is a great motivation. We are not going to solve the issues of climate change on our own, and joining with companies who are driving and affecting real change such as IWCA brings us hope that if we all do our bit, we can make a difference.

“Our next step is to work toward Gold Membership where we can demonstrate a consistent reduction of emissions year on year. We hope and encourage other Australian wineries to do the same and we are happy to share our learnings across the industry.

“We’ve been forging this path because we believe it’s the right thing to do, but in the last few years, people have wanted to hear about it. Audits, certifications, and upgrades are expensive, and we are asked how we can afford to do it. But as a multigenerational family business and as a winemaker, we can’t afford not to.”

IWCA is a membership-driven effort, open to any winery that views climate change as a serious threat and is committed to reducing its own emissions. IWCA membership is multi-tiered and rigorously vetted to ensure that all members are accountable for their commitments and demonstrate tangible progress towards carbon neutrality by 2050.


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