Fetzer Vineyards becomes carbon neutral certified in 50th anniversary year

Californian organic wine brand Fetzer Vineyards has released a new sustainability report for the first time to celebrate the vinter’s 50th anniversary.

Over the past four years, Fetzer has managed to prevent virtually all of its waste going to landfills or being incinerated, helping to reduce the wine industry’s carbon footprint.

Fetzer diverted 99.2% of all waste from landfills or incineration in 2016, showing a continuous trajectory of improvement since 2013, when waste diversion stood at just over 97%.

Fetzer’s report cited several milestones for the drinks maker in 2016, including installing a regenerative wastewater system, and being awarded carbon neutral certification by regulatory organisation Natural Capital Partners.

“At Fetzer Vineyards, we know that transforming our future requires not just small, incremental steps toward sustainability, but rather an ambitious framework – like regenerative development – applied to every part of our business,” said Fietzer chief executive Giancarlo Bianchetti.

“We’re poised to take more bold steps towards this vision of a regenerative, Net Positive company, and to be part of the movement to redefine what responsible business is all about.”

The wine company is well-known in the industry for its environmental conscience. In 2015, Fetzer became the largest winery in the world to achieve B Corp Certification, an organisation that rewards companies for “using their business as a force for good”.

Only companies that meet B Corps’ standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability are awarded the accolade, which recognises those using their business to help solve social and environmental problems.

In 2016, Fetzer also installed a BioFiltro system which used millions of red earthworms to process wastewater from the 2016 harvest – around 15m gallons of water a year.

The chemical-free system is more efficient, Fetzer says, as it does not require constant electricity to pump and circulate water around aeration ponds, and will be capable of working constantly, regardless of seasonal fluctuations.

Part of global winery Viña Concha y Toro, Fetzer Vineyards exports wines to more than 30 countries worldwide. Most recently, the winery entered the ultra-luxury wine and spirits category by forging a partnership with Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. to sell its historic craft rye whiskey

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