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Posted: Saturday, 06 November 2021 10:28


ICWA targets Net Zero Emissions for wine Industry by 2050

Nov 06: Twenty-two CEOs and senior leaders of International Wineries for Climate Action (ICWA), founded by Miguel A. Torres Sr. (Familia Torres) and Katie Jackson (Jackson Family Wines) in 2019, including Sula Vineyards have appealed to wine trade CEOs to join the rigorous, science-based efforts to decarbonise the wine sector and start working towards net zero emissions by 2050, writes Subhash Arora who is an ardent supporter of Net Zero Emissions to save the planet from impending disaster

Net Zero Emissions refer to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and removed from the atmosphere, through natural means or by using the still-nascent carbon capture technology. After the COP26 World Summit in Glasgow last week, attended also by Indian PM Narendra Modi, the target of 2050 was accepted though India chose the target of 2070.

The climate emergency is the most severe threat faced by grape growers and wine producers. As world leaders convened at COP26 in Scotland to reaffirm their support for the commitments made in 2015 at the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, ICWA also recognizes the criticality for the wine community to voice support for the continuation of these efforts and take action within the member companies.

‘Although the magnitude of this challenge requires global action on a monumental scale, we believe that the wine trade has a key role to play in the decarbonisation efforts that are going to define the coming decade. For too long, sustainability has been treated as a PR or communications exercise. In order to respond to the environmental challenges, we need to bring sustainability into our operations. The way we respond to the climate crisis can act as a driver of transformational change and a way of future proofing not only our businesses but our agriculture-based sector as a whole. This therefore, must be our decade of action,’ says the open letter to the world wine community, signed by the 22 constituents and sent on November 2.

Exhorting them to join IWCA, the signatories said, ‘each of our companies joined IWCA because we believe it has established the gold standard for how a winery should measure and reduce its carbon footprint. IWCA also acts as a unified voice which can push for faster action throughout the wine supply chain and a support network for sharing best practices.’

As you cannot effectively manage what you have not measured, the core of IWCA’s approach involves:

* Conducting an annual end-to-end carbon emissions inventory that encompasses direct and indirect emissions sources, verified by an independent ISO-accredited auditor, and
* Committing to an emissions reductions plan and demonstrating consistent progress, aligned to science-based targets with the goal of achieving net zero emissions latest by 2050.

Standardised Methodology

One of the IWCA’s founding objectives is to develop a standardised methodology for wineries to account for annual greenhouse gas emissions. This is a key step for ensuring that small wineries and wineries who are new to carbon footprint measurements, can engage without prohibitive costs and resource requirements.

IWCA has developed a greenhouse gas calculator for US wineries, aligned with the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol and the ISO-14064 standard. IWCA plans to implement regional updates to the tool and make it widely accessible.

``We are proud that IWCA has joined the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, a global initiative to rally leadership and support from more than 6,200 non-state actors who are committed to halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions latest by 2050. IWCA was the first Race to Zero member representing the agriculture sector.

Business leadership today is inseparable from climate leadership. “We believe that we each have an obligation to do what we can, within our sphere of influence, to reduce our emissions. We believe that the wine trade can be a beacon of hope and action in the global response to the climate crisis, and serve as a model for other sectors. IWCA membership is the most effective way of accelerating an individual winery’s decarbonisation efforts, and by extension, the decarbonisation of the broader wine industry.’

IWCA was founded by Familia Torres (Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (USA) in February 2019. It is a collaborative working group that addresses climate change through innovative carbon reduction strategies with the objective for all members to commit to becoming Net Zero by 2050.

Membership in IWCA is open to any wine company which views climate change as a serious threat. The organization has three membership categories (Applicant, Silver, and Gold) with requirements that include becoming Net Zero latest by 2050, completing an annual third-party audit.

Sula Vineyards has been on the forefront of encouraging sustainability in wine making and is the only Indian company joining the movement. Rajeev Samant, Founding CEO of Sula tells delWine, ‘I am proud to be a signatory to this call to action by leading Winery CEOs and leaders from every corner of the globe, calling on the wine trade to decarbonise the wine sector and reduce emissions starting NOW! As you know we at Sula take our sustainability efforts very seriously and can today lay claim to being one of the most sustainable wineries in the world.’

Sula Vineyards is the only Indian winery to have joined the initiative so far.

To learn more about the organisation, how it plans to achieve the Net zero carbon transmission by 2050 and how a winery can apply to join these efforts, visit https://www.iwcawine.org/ .

Subhash Arora

22 Signatories for Net Zero Emissions by 2050

Indian Wine Academy and delWine support any initiative to save this planet. The goal of zero carbon emission by 2050 seems to be a distant goal but unless every individual and organisation does his or its bit, our future generation is doomed. We are glad IWCA has aligned its objective with the global commitment and Indian wineries will do their role to achieve the targets. We would encourage Indian wineries to come forward and join the movement to help achieve Zero Carbon Emissions- editor


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