International Wineries for Climate Action call on all wine trade CEOs to decarbonise the wine sector

Familia Torres Press penned an open letter urging wine industry CEO’s to embrace sustainable practises and decarbonise the wine industry. It reads as follows:

The climate emergency is by far the most severe threat that we face as grapegrowers and producers.

As world leaders convene this month at COP26 in Scotland to reaffirm their support for the commitments made in 2015 at the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, we recognise now as a critical moment in time for the wine community to voice our support for the continuation of these important efforts and take action within our own companies.

Without rapid and decisive emissions reductions, our future will be defined by almost unimaginable levels of disruption – with devastating consequences for the wine-producing regions that we love and the wines we produce for people all around the world.

Although the magnitude of this challenge requires global action on a monumental scale, we believe that the wine trade has a key role to play in the decarbonisation efforts that are going to define the coming decade.

For too long, sustainability has been treated as a PR or communications exercise.

In order to respond to the environmental challenges we face, we need to bring sustainability into the heart of our operations.

The way we respond to the climate crisis can act as a driver of transformational change and a way of futureproofing not only our businesses but our agriculture-based sector as a whole.

In short, this must be our decade of action.

Each of our companies joined International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) because we believe it has established the gold standard for how a winery should measure and reduce its carbon footprint.

IWCA also acts as a unified voice which can push for faster action throughout the wine supply chain and a support network for sharing best practices.

As you cannot effectively manage what you have not measured, the core of IWCA’s approach involves 1) conducting an annual end-to-end carbon emissions inventory that encompasses direct and indirect emissions sources, verified by an independent ISO-accredited auditor, and 2) committing to an emissions reductions plan and demonstrating consistent progress, aligned to science-based targets with the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, at the latest.

One of IWCA’s founding objectives is to develop a standardised methodology for wineries to account for annual greenhouse gas emissions.

This is a key step for ensuring that small wineries and wineries who are new to carbon footprint measurements can engage without prohibitive costs and resource requirements.

IWCA has developed a greenhouse gas calculator for US wineries, aligned with the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol and the ISO-14064 standard.

Our plan is to implement regional updates to the tool and make it widely accessible.

We are proud that IWCA has joined the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, a global initiative to rally leadership and support from more than 6,200 non-state actors who are committed to halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050, at the very latest.

Collectively, these ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries, representing nearly 25 per cent of global CO2 emissions and over 50 per cent of GDP.

IWCA was the first Race to Zero member representing the agriculture sector.

You can read more about our efforts in our inaugural annual report here.

We are faced with the unavoidable imperative that business leadership today is inseparable from climate leadership.

We believe that we each have an obligation to do what we can, within our sphere of influence, to reduce our emissions.

We believe that the wine trade can be a beacon of hope and action in the global response to the climate crisis—and serve as a model for other sectors.

And we firmly believe that IWCA membership is the most effective way of accelerating an individual winery’s decarbonisation efforts, and by extension, the decarbonisation of the broader wine industry.

We encourage you to join us.

Yours sincerely,

Amy Prosenjak – CEO, A to Z Wineworks
Pedro Ruiz Aragoneses – CEO, Alma Carraovejas
Mike Jaeger – President and CEO, Cakebread Cellars
Aymeric de Gironde – CEO, Château Troplong Mondot
Sam Glaetzer – SVP, Global Operations and International Sales, Constellation Brands
Jen Locke – CEO, Crimson Wine Group Ltd.
Vanya Cullen – Managing Director and Owner, Cullen Wines
Carlos Moro – President, Emina Ribera
Miguel A. Torres – President and 4th Generation, Familia Torres
Mayacamas S. Olds – General Manager, Gloria Ferrer Winery
Rafael De Haan – Owner, Herència Altés
Suzanne Hunt – Co-Owner, Hunt Country Vineyards
Katie Jackson – SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility and 2nd Generation Proprietor, Jackson Family Wines
Julie Rothberg – President, Medlock Ames
David J. Amadia – President, Ridge Vineyards
David R. Duncan – Proprietor and CEO, Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars
Beth Novak Milliken – President and CEO, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery
Rajeev Samant – CEO, Sula Vineyards
Rupert Symington – CEO, Symington Family Estates
Barbara Wolff – Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, VSPT Wine Group
Nick Waterman – CEO, Yalumba Family Winemakers
Tiffani Graydon – CEO, Yealands Wine Group


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