Green Awards 2018: the winners revealed

The Renewable Energy Implementation Award

Chile’s VSPT Group has embraced a range of renewables from biomass, hydro and solar to ensure 60% of this company’s energy is now from renewable sources, with the aim to reach 100% by 2021

Winner:
Viña San Pedro, VSPT Wine Group

This year’s winner has been focused on developing initiatives to improve its sustainable development for the past 10 years. Chile’s VSPT Group has already proposed a goal to using 100% renewable energy by 2021, a pledge which started in 2016 with the opening of Viña San Pedro winery, which benefits from the first Biogas Plant in the wine industry. Using organic waste from harvest as the only fuel, the facility is capable of generating 1 MW power each month, providing 60% of the winery’s energy consumption. The group also introduced a mini hydroelectric plant at its El Rosario estate in 2016, enabling it to harness the water flow from the Maipo River to generate 250 KW of electric energy, providing 60% of the winery’s energy consumption. To meet its 2021 goal, the group plans to install solar panels at all of its estates, with energy generated used to power technical irrigation and a smaller winemaking operation at Viña San Pedro in Cachapoal. This project will allow it to generate a further 2.6 MW per month – equivalent to the consumption of 1,844 homes. In addition, a further solar panel project will be implements at Viña San Pedro in 2019, capable of generating 1.3 MW electric power for the winemaking operations at the winery. Our judges were impressed by the level of investment made by VSPT, which was done so with a clear goal in mind. Most importantly, the strategy employed by VSPT was practical in its approach, with the company not choosing to hitch its wagon to just one technology, but across biomass, hydro and solar, which judges noted to be a wise move when operating in a country that can periodically be impacted by both El Nino and La Nina climactic cycles.

Commendation:
Australian Vintage Ltd

A commendation goes to Australian Vintage, which in the past year has accelerated its environmental agenda across its wineries with a raft of sustainability initiatives as part of a significant investment, having installed major solar energy projects at three sites across Australia. In February 2018, we completed the final phase of our 1.65MW solar installation at our Buronga Hill facility, which is the third largest winery in Australia. The investment means Australian Vintage now has one of the largest privately-owned solar parks at an Australian winery. Solar power panels now supply approximately 30% of the winery’s annual electricity usage, with significant savings in CO2 greenhouse emissions. Solar panels have also been installed at its Merbein packaging facility, which has cut electricity usage by 10%, and it is in the process of installing further panels at its Hunter Valley winery and McGuigan Cellar Door, due to be completed in December. Thais will cut electricity usage at that site by up to 40%. The company has also stepped-up its waste-water management system, using the nutrient-rich water from its winery operations to irrigate a 50-acre wood and a newly established 50-acre vineyard at the winery. While the breadth of its efforts were applauded, it was the size and scale of the company’s solar panel installations that most impressed judges, demonstrating significant investment and dedication to long-term sustainability.

Shortlist:
Altia Plc
Australian Vintage Ltd
Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Viña San Pedro, VSPT Wine Group

The Water Management Award

Jackson Family Wines has reduced its water consumption by more than one third since 2008, despite a significant increase in production over the same period

Winner:
Jackson Family Wines

Passionate about making wine in the most responsible manner, Jackson Family Wines has shown an impressive commitment to valuing precious water resources. It has reduced its water consumption by around 34%, saving around 31 million gallons of water a year since 2008, while simultaneously boosting production. This admirable feat has come through tracking water usage, boosting efficiency, and utilizing new barrel washing and other technologies, such as vertical reverse osmosis membranes, to recycle water up to ten times. Investing in vineyard water conservation, it also captures rainwater for the cooling towers and reuses winery water for irrigation, measures that have enabled the company to use only 3.9 gallons of water to produce a gallon of water – around half the amount of the US industry average. It also supports local tributaries, working with the National Marine Fisheries Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect salmon habitats, and supports the recharging of local groundwater aquifers.

Commendation:
Chivas Brothers

Scotch whisky producer Chivas Brothers was highly commended for measures that will see it achieve a net reduction in water consumption of 20% by 2020. Annual water mapping at its Dalmunach distillery have minimized its impact on its water source, the River Spey, while collecting rainfall from site roadways alleviates high flows and ensures no pollution enters the river from the site. It is also sponsoring research by a PhD student from Aberdeen University into water catchment and hydrological models at The Glenlivet.

Shortlist:
Chivas Brothers
Jackson Family Wines
Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain

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