At Taylors we understand that green is as important as red and white. As a family owned wine company operating in both rural and urban settings for over 40 years, Wakefield Wines we're committed to ensuring we operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. Our goal is to be Australia’s best wine company applying best practise principles in environmental management to enhance sustainable business activities and products. We favour the use of the most innovative techniques available to improve energy efficiency, water conservation and packaging. We take all measures available to prevent or eliminate as far as possible the production of waste or pollution. Through this holistic approach to environmental management we aim to achieve sustainable land and biodiversity management outcomes for the present and future.
To meet these commitments we’ve adopted a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) and an innovative Strategic Plan.
We're committed to demonstrating leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility, recognising the important connection between environment, good business and the community. In 2011 Wakefield Wines produced its first Sustainability Report.
Our Environmental Management System – ISO 14001 Certification
In March 2009 we received ISO14001 certification for our Environmental Management System (EMS) at both the winery in the Clare Valley and our Head Office operation in Petersham, Sydney. Since December 2011, certification has been also been achieved for all of our State Sales Offices including South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland. We are very proud of the ISO 14001 certification as it demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship.
Our Environmental Management System (EMS) assists in the identification and control of environmental impacts across the business whilst providing a framework for continuous improvements in environmental management. The EMS translates our environmental policy into action at every employee level and encourages similar efforts with our suppliers and trading partners.
Wakefield Wines Environmental Policy
Click here to see the Wakefield Environmental Policy
The use of Eco-Mapping™ since 2006 has directly led to the creation of a series of environmental best practices across the business and provided the framework for Wakefield Wines' Environmental Management System.
Through the creation of a series of visual ‘mud-maps’, Eco-mapping™ enables us to audit the environmental impact across a number of key measures:
- Water consumption
- Noise and air emissions
- Soil and storage management
- Environmental risks
The system is endorsed by the South Australian Environmental Protection Agency and allows us to effectively analyse and manage our environmental performance.
Greenhouse Gas and Energy Management
At Wakefield Wines we recognised the environmental challenges of the future and have put in place initiatives to manage and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. We have implemented various strategies to reduce our carbon footprint and enhance energy efficiency, including:
80 Acres Range
The Eighty Acres range of wines was the first range of wines to have its carbon footprint assessed using the international standard for life cycle assessment (ISO14044) and then offset, using legitimate, high quality carbon offsets. The life cycle assessment process enabled our winery to identify our ‘supply chain’ hot spots and implement changes including reducing the packaging weight.
Wakefield commenced offsetting the 80 Acres range carbon emissions in August 2009 and plan to continue this commitment into the future. As at December 2011, 2700 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been offset through Government Greenhouse Friendly accredited projects.
Click here to visit the Eighty Acres site
Ammonia Refrigeration Plant Upgrade
For most wineries a significant cost and environmental impact in the production of wine is refrigeration, estimated to be 60 to 65% of annual energy costs incurred in the winemaking process. To reduce our energy consumption we have embarked upon a project to replace 50% of the refrigeration plant with energy efficient ammonia refrigeration. This new refrigeration plant will be put to the test in vintage 2012, with significant energy savings expected.
Barrel Hall Partition
Our barrel hall was divided during the second half of 2011 separating a space of some ~ 25000 cubic meters into two zones of ~ 15000 and 10000 cubic meters. The smaller zone will become our cold storage area for premium wine maturation. The larger zone will be our working barrel area where wines will undergo fermentation, particularly malolactic fermentation (MLF). MLF is a difficult fermentation as it occurs in the middle of winter and is performed by selected bacteria which need to be maintained at between 18-22 degrees. Thus this zone needs to be warmed with gas heating to facilitate MLF in our premium red wines. The Barrel Hall partition will reduce our heating space by ~ 40% from 25000 cubic meters down to ~ 15000 cubic meters. The challenge now is to find the most environmentally efficient way of chilling and warming the two barrel hall zones. This work will be a part of our planned energy audit with the aim of achieving the desired temperatures with minimal power utilisation.
Adoption environmentally friendly light weight glass bottles
Wakefield Wines was amongst the first winery in Australia to introduce OI’s innovative Lean+Green™ lightweight glass. This was introduced first into our 100% Carbon Neutral Eighty Acres range of wines and subsequently into our Promised Land and Wakefield Estate ranges. This glass was almost 40% lighter than the original glass (OI-30570 & OI-30571 vs OI-30163) used in our Eighty Acres range of wines and equals a reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per bottle of 15%.
Land and Biodiversity Management
Regeneration of the local Wakefield River
The Wakefield River flows in a southerly direction through Auburn in the Clare Valley before turning west to flow through Balaklava and into the Port Wakefield estuary. Seven kilometers of the Upper Wakefield River meanders through the Wakefield Wines vineyard estate in Auburn, Clare Valley.
Through the formation of the Upper Wakefield Catchment NRM Community Group, we continue to champion several restoration projects within the catchment through the control of weed species and the planting of local indigenous vegetation to enhance biodiversity.
Biodiversity Assessment – Auburn
We're committed to assessing and managing site wide biodiversity on our property. A baseline biological survey is scheduled for 2012, to provide the basis for a structured Biodiversity Action Plan.
Minimisation of Pesticides
We strictly follow the guidelines published annually by the AWRI, titled 'Agrochemicals Registered for Use in Australian Viticulture'. Insecticide application in the vineyards is minimised at all times with no broad spectrum insecticides in use. Continuous vineyard monitoring ensures that targeted spraying only takes place in the worst affected areas. For all spraying activity - air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed are monitored regularly during any spraying operation.
Organic cultivation Practises – sheep in the vineyard
In 2009, we reintroduced sheep into our vineyards for the first time in 25 years. The sheep, which are allowed to roam free within specific vineyard blocks, have been introduced as a means to keep winter grasses and weeds under control. This has led to an immediate reduction in the requirements for herbicides to control weeds and associated diesel fuel to run the tractors for spraying and slashing. An associated benefit is also that the manure waste from the sheep is used as a natural fertiliser and soil conditioner for the vines.
Drip irrigation and storage
All irrigation is carried out using computer controlled ‘need-only’ dripper lines to each vine. Two lined dams eliminate water loss from ‘seepage’. Soil moisture is closely monitored using continuously logging EnviroScan probes to assist with applying the right amount of water at the right time.
Since 2001, we’ve used organic matter to mulch the soil under the vines on our estate. This provides the benefits such as superior root growth near the soil surface to utilise water and nutrients, enhanced earthworm and soil microbe activity for healthier soils and reduced weed growth (which lowers herbicide use). Materials used for mulching include straw from farmers in surrounding districts and recycled organic waste purchased from local third party suppliers.
Onsite Wastewater Recycling Facility
In 2005 we commissioned a state-of-the-art water recycling facility. This facility recycles 100% of the waste water generated by our winery and bottling hall for re-use on our vineyards. In addition to the recycling of waste water, all of the storm water and associated run off from the winery buildings is also harvested.
Waste and Pollution
Wakefield Wines advocates waste minimisation and pollution prevention for all site operations. We continue to explore opportunities to reduce, recycle and reuse waste produced from our operations. We aim to minimise waste to landfill, implementing numerous recycling and reuse practises, including:
- glass waste
- cardboard and paper
- organic solid residuals including marc and diatomaceous earth,
- winery wastewater
- scrap metal
- take back arrangement with suppliers for various packaging waste
Organic winemaking solid residuals
Wakefield Wines have adopted a cost effective and environmentally sustainable solution to the disposal of organic winemaking residuals. Grape marc is recycled by to extract grape alcohol, tannins and other compounds via a steam distillation process. The spent solids are combined with other production concentrates to form a product called TPR, which is returned to the Estate in equal volume and applied to the vineyard as a soil conditioner.
Other solid winemaking residuals, such as filter cake, are also processed. Calcium tartrate is extracted, from which Tartaric Acid is produced for use by the wine industry.
Awards and Achievements
Wakefield Wines have proudly received a number of major environmental awards for the initiatives our winery has undertaken:
- Winner of the Leading in Sustainability Award - 2010 Banksia Foundation Environmental Awards
- Winner of the Environmental and Energy Management Award - 2010 NAB Agribusiness Awards
- Winner of the Best Green Launch - 2010 The Drinks Business Magazine Green Awards
- Carter Holt Harvey Sustainability Award - Silver Medal - 2010 Australian Packaging Awards
- AS/NZS 14001:2004 for the environmental management system
- EntWine Australia Certification
To view a summary of Wakefield Wines corporate sustainability achievements in 2010/2011
click here to see our Sustainability Report
Voluntary Membership & Reporting
Wakefield Wines is committed to supporting industry and community environmental initiatives. We actively participant in the following environmental programs:
In May 2010, Wakefield Wines achieved EntWine Australia membership for the Auburn vineyard and winery operations. Entwine Australia is a voluntary environmental assurance scheme developed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, that allows winemakers and wine grape growers to receive formal certification of sustainable environmental practices according to recognised standards. Wakefield Wines is required to annually report on environmental performance indicators.
Wine Industry Sector Agreement: Climate Change and Greenhouse Emission Reduction
Wakefield Wines are participants of the Wine Industry Sector Agreement: Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction. Participants are encouraged to measure and report their carbon footprint annually. The agreement forms part of the South Australian Wine Industry response to achieving emissions reductions, in line with the South Australia Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act (2007).
National Pollutant Inventory (NPI)
Wakefield Wines have been reporting on pollutant production as part of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) since 2004/2005. As grape growers and wine producers we are responsible for reporting on substances including ethanol and Total VOC emissions on an annual basis.
Australian Packaging Covenant and Mentoring Program
The South Australian wine industry is a leading contributor to the economic success of the State, which gives it a high public profile. Accordingly, the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) and its members are committed to being proactive and demonstrate leadership in the participation of environmental initiatives such as the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC). In 2002, SAWIA established a Mentor Program to support members in meeting their packaging waste obligations under the National Packaging Covenant (NPC). The Program has continued to grow and strengthen in line with the Covenants objectives.
Wakefield Wines are proud signatories to the Australian Packaging Covenant along with being a member of the Mentor Program.
South Australia Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) Environment Committee
In Dec 2010, Wakefield Wines joined the SAWIA Environment Committee. The committee provides a forum for the exchange of information, development of policy and new ideas in relation to environmental management.