Sustainable Wines of GB Certification
On a day when we hear that, for the first time, the global average annual temperature has exceeded 1.5% (the theoretical ‘safe’ threshold) and when Labour has abandoned its spending commitment to green projects, I’m very pleased to announce that at Albourne we are sticking with our sustainability mission and keeping to our commitment to produce Carbon Neutral or even better Carbon Negative wines.
In January we received Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) Certification for both our winery and vineyard after completing our first audit. The audit and certification programme, established and run by WineGB, ensures that there is a rigorous and independently audited process for UK vineyards and wineries to make justifiable ‘sustainability’ claims.
“Greenwashing” is rife in this field, so I felt it was important that we went through an independently audited process such as this. We will be re-audited every 3 years to monitor our progress against specific objectives we have set within the process to improve further upon various sustainability metrics – from reducing waste to promoting biodiversity within the vineyard. I knew we had already travelled quite a long way down the sustainability path, this being an important part of our ethos from the beginning. For example, we installed a large solar array in 2011 and have run the winery and estate using 100% renewable energy ever since. However, I was particularly delighted that, on our first audit, we not only met all the criteria to PASS on all required ‘sustainable’ practices we also passed on 5 out of the 5 Best Practices in the Vineyard and 2 out of the 7 Best Practices in the Winery.
Our initial Carbon Footprint calculations also look really positive (or should I say ‘negative’!). Over all as a business, Albourne Estate was Carbon Negative i.e. over the last year, we removed more carbon from the atmosphere than we added. This is by virtue of the relatively low carbon footprint of our winery compounded by the considerable carbon sequestering achieved by our vineyard and estate. We will be working on this area in more detail over the coming year to ensure our numbers are as accurate as possible, but I’m pretty confident we were Carbon Negative as a business last year and will be again in 2024 when we tally up the numbers.
Meanwhile, lets hope those politicians make the right decisions for our children.