Yealands Estate has been awarded a carboNZero™ certification by the world's first internationally accredited GHG (greenhouse gas) certification scheme. Our winery is the first to have been carboNZero certified since its formation which means Yealands Estate Wines has measured and offset all its greenhouse gas emissions since inception.
Achieving (and maintaining) carboNZero certification requires that we:
- Understand and measure our greenhouse gas emissions (commonly referred to as carbon footprinting).
- Make a commitment to manage and reduce our carbon footprint by implementing management plans to reduce emissions both within our organisation and more widely through our supply chain.
- Offset or mitigate remaining, unavoidable emissions.
Our recent carboNZero™ audit (October 2012) showed the following tangible reductions that Yealands Estate have made over the years:
- Average glass weights used for Yealands branded products over the years has reduced from 528g (in financial year 2010) to 468g (financial year 2012). This has resulted in a 11.5% reduction in carbon from glass emissions and a 11.5% reduction in carbon from transport emissions to customers.
- A reduction of 34.1 tonnes of CO2e between 2010 and 2012 financial years at Seaview Winery from LPG, because of installation of our new boilers.
- Reduced inland freight by shipping from ports closer to our winery, has resulted in a 0.228kg CO2e saving per 12 bottle case of wine.
Why we decided to pursue carboNZeroCERTTMcertification
Our goal is to become the most sustainable winery in the world. As we had measured our gas emissions since day one of Yealands Estate, it was a logical step to undertake an authoritative programme that provides independent verification of our carbon neutrality. The carboNZero certification is a complex and rigorous process - by being awarded this certification, we (and our customers) can have the utmost confidence in our carbon neutrality. Our certification through Landcare Research took eight months and was facilitated by Roger Kerrison from Aura Sustainability.
Monitoring and Measuring our Emissions
One of the key steps to achieve certification is measurement of our greenhouse gas emissions. We set up a system of measuring and monitoring our emissions through careful analysis of our monthly accounts over a financial year - this includes measuring use of: diesel, petrol, electricity, LPG, air travel, helicopter fuel, waste, fertilizer, packaging (including transportation, glass, and labels).
Managing and Reducing our Emissions
At our vineyard and state-of-the-art winery, a range of techniques have been implemented including solar and wind power, numerous high tech energy savings initiatives, the harvesting of storm water to irrigate the vineyards around the winery and developing more than 25 wetland areas to preserve native species and attract native birds.
To date our Emissions reduction programme includes:
Efficient use of Energy:
- All fermentation and storage tanks completely enclosed within an insulated building
- Installation of energy efficient equipment.
- Heat recovery technology
- Advanced refrigeration technology
- Temperature and energy monitors
- A recent survey of wineries in New Zealand showed the Yealands Estate winery operated twice as efficiently as the industry standard (energy consumed / litre of wine produced).
Alternative Power Supply:
- The winery currently utilises solar and wind power.
- Baling vine prunings as a energy source for the winery.
- A vertical axis wind turbine is being investigated to supplement the existing two smaller wind turbines currently utilised.
- The future installation is proposed for a large wind turbine, which will enable Yealands Estate to become self sufficient in power – with the goal of being able to supply surplus generation back into the national grid.
- The introduction of miniature Babydoll sheep to graze the vineyard year round will minimise / eliminate weed spraying and mowing (and therefore fuel emissions).
- Extensive vineyard monitoring ensures spray application is kept to an absolute minimum.
- Organic sprays are used wherever possible.
- The development of over 20 wetlands areas on the vineyard have resulted in the regeneration of native flora and fauna.
- Over 75,000 native trees and flaxes have been planted on the property to increase indigenous wildlife population.
- Participation in a breeding programme on-site for the near endangered Falcon to assist in bringing this native bird back from near extinction. Two falcons are currently resident with two more to be released.
- Over 400m3 of waste material from the construction of the winery was recycled.
- Water is collected from the winery roof and utilised for irrigation.
- Recycling of all winery by-products and water.
- Grape marc is composted and returned to the vineyard as fertiliser.
- Utilisation of recycled packaging material:
- Glass contains a minimum of 60% recycled content.
- Cartons contain 93% recycled content.
- Carton inserts contain 100% recycled content.
- Lightweight bottles utilised wherever possible.
- Working with sustainable producers to develop alternatives to wood pulp for wine labels (such as cotton).
Offsetting unavoidable emissions
CarboNZero certification requires us to purchase verified carbon credits to offset our remaining unavoidable emissions.
There are currently three types of credits that can be purchased:
- Regeneration of native forest’s
- Generation by wind farm
- Generation by Landfill gas
Some examples of how much off setting our emissions costs:
- 1 Carbon credit = offsetting 1 tonne of CO2e = $25 approx
- 1 tank of petrol = 60 liters = 0.138 T Co2e = $3.44*
- Flights from Auckland to London = 18340 km’s = 3.32t Co2e = $95.62*
*NB: costs based on rate of $25 per 1 tonne of CO2e
CarboNZero certification is time-limited and we continue to monitor and manage our emissions and resubmit the data on an annual basis.
To maintain our carboNZero certification we have to continue to be better year on year in managing and offsetting our emissions.
The benefit to you!
When you buy Yealands Estate Wines you can be utterly confident you are purchasing an environmentally friendly wine brand.