|Wairau River winery, |
in Marlborough region.
"- They say that in some decades the climate in Finland
will be suitable for producing wine!
- Well, we will see. On the other side, I really hope
the weather in France will still be suitable for cultivating grapes!"
France sees its wine production changing slowly. Today
the grape-picking is performed three weeks earlier compared to 1945. Climate
change definitely has something to do with it. New Zealand is also one of these
places where excellent wines are produced…
carbon footprint of the industry
The winery Wairau River, in New Zealand South Island,
is a family run business. Since 2007 the winery has been carbon neutral. What does this mean? The activity of any company generates
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which
contribute to climate change. To be carbon neutral means to cancel (or offset)
these emissions, by avoiding other emissions somewhere else on the planet. For
instance saving trees or using renewable energies avoiding GHG emissions.
|Wairau River has implemented
several actions to reduce their
emissions: producing lighter
and smaller glass
which use smaller cardboard
cartons, allowing the shipping of
cases per container;
acquiring new fuel efficient
used for frost prevention,
with wind machines.
On a voluntary basis, companies can decide to offset
their emissions. Doing this, they can declare that they do not contribute to
the on-going global warming.
In 2007 Wairau River winery decided to measure, reduce
and offset its unavoidable emissions of greenhouse gases. This initiative
allowed them to obtain the carboNZero certification. The offsetting is done through the investment in wind energy
projects. Each ton of carbon costs around 25 US dollars.
In order to know about carboNZero certification we
went to the office of the company. Ann Smith, General Manager, and Chris
Thurston, Sales Executive, explained to us a bit more.
Ann has been working on the certification programme
from its very beginning. She explains : “the carboNZero programme results from
a research initiative by the New Zealand government, initiated in the early
2000’s. Initially the research programme was interested in restoring
biodiversity in New Zealand. To achieve this goal they used unproductive land
to regenerate forest. Later on it went further and the programme started to
offer financial compensation to farmers so that they would stop using the land
for cattle grazing, and continue to regenerate forest. This was the beginning
of a carbon trade system in New Zealand.”
|Together with Alan Carnaby,
Marketing Advisor, |
and Chris Thurston,
in the office of carboNZero, in Auckland.
Since then, and with the support of the private
sector, it has evolved to become an internationally accredited greenhouse gas
certification programme, offering two certification options for businesses.
“In 2009 the carboNZero certification was complemented
with the CEMARS (Certified Emissions
Measurement And Reduction Scheme) certification with the objective of
covering larger companies”, says Chris. “CEMARS certification does not include
the offset step of carboNZero certification, but still requires companies to
measure and reduce their emissions the same as carboNZero certification.
CEMARS certification is suited to larger organisations where offsetting is not
really financially viable, but allows companies to understand their impact on
the environment and help them work to reduce that impact.”
Businesses must measure, manage and reduce,
and offset their
greenhouse gas emissions.
Businesses must measure, manage and
reduce their greenhouse gas
The path to the low-carbon economy
Besides wineries, many other organisations are finding
benefits from achieving certification. When we were at Christchurch airport, we
could also see the carboNZero certified organisation logo : in January 2008,
the airport became the first airport in the Southern Hemisphere to obtain certified
carbon neutral status. To help decrease their GHG emissions, the airport implemented innovative paving techniques
and used solar energy.
In Wellington, the carboNZero certified service logo can
be found on the city’s taxis. The taxi company reduced their emissions by
turning from petrol to more eco-friendly fuel options, by ensuring low emission
vehicles to enter the fleet and by promoting fuel-efficient driving practices to
Other companies that are carboNZero certified include Toyota New Zealand, Bridgestone NZ,
Antipodes (a water company) and Ricoh
NZ. Westpac NZ Bank, BMW NZ, New Zealand
Rugby Union, Auckland Museum and the
University of Canterbury are CEMARS certified.
Besides the potential economic benefits - for instance
by being more energy efficient - these companies acquire a better image for consumers
who demand eco-friendly products and services.
New Zealand provides a good example of how the private
sector can go faster than legislation. United Kingdom, Australia and New
Zealand have established themselves as leaders to promote carbon policies in
Nowadays more and more airlines, like Qantas, Air
France or Easy Jet, offer their customers the opportunity to offset the GHG
emissions from their flights at a reasonable cost. Another way to offset is by
buying the service of a specialized company. One Climate One Challenge project
has offset the emissions resulting from the flights with EMCO2 Solution.