The United Kingdom Vineyards Association’s sustainability policy (prior to the formation of WineGB) was adopted in 2010 following a Sustainability Symposium it held at the Said Business School in Oxford:

“UK wine production that increases in its quality, prosperity, safety and contribution to society, but without compromising the quality of life for future generations.”

The proposed programme was grouped against the “three pillars” of sustainability:

  • Economic – viable, high-quality UK wine production into the future;
  • Environmental – respecting and conserving the natural environment and contributing to national and global climate change targets;
  • Social – a safe and fulfilling industry to work in that is known and valued by our communities.

Full 2010 Policy Statement

Includes more detail about the areas where performance indicators could be developed. A helpful framework if you are developing a sustainability policy and approach for your own vineyard/winery.

Sustainability Symposium 2010

The (UKVA) Symposium was held at the Oxford University Said Business School on 22 Mar 2010, opened by Jonathan Porritt of Friends of the Earth and included speakers from Marks & Spencer, the Water and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), large French producer Yvon Mau and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, as well as UK organic producer Will Davenport. There were workshops on cross compliance, the UKVA’s sustainability work and the impact of climate change.
Official Programme with speaker details

Downloadable presentations:

1. Integrated Farm Management and LEAF

Powerpoint presentation from Stephane Becquet, Yvon Mau 

The practical steps that a wine producer can take to improve their working practices with respect for the environment, respect for the health of their employees – and respect for the desire to make better wine

Stephane Bequet of Yvon Mau, a large French producer who have joined LEAF, shows examples of the measures taken to promote sustainability in their vineyards and wineries, in canopy management, fertilising, disease monitoring and management, grass control, waste management, worker protection, HACCP, Energy and water management, Investment planning.

2. Impact of Climate Change – How producers can protect themselves

From the workshop on Climate Change Impact, pdf of a 2008 publication from the National Association of Cider Makers detailing probable impacts of climate change on their industry and measures producers can take to protect themselves and to contribute to mitigation. Much is relevant to wine production.

Details include the programme, speakers and two excellent presentations that remain relevant today, on integrated management practices in vineyards and wineries of the French producer Yvon Mau, and on how UK producers can protect themselves against climate change.

Sustainable Practice in UK wine production – 2012 report

The UKVA commissioned a significant report in 2012 to establish a baseline against which to measure future progress on sustainability in UK wine production. It sought to establish the current state of the industry against recognised good practice. It was commissioned from Laurence Gould Partnership Ltd, included contributions from wine production consultant David Cowderoy, wine business consultant Mike Paul and Jeremy Boxall of LEAF (Linking the Environment and Farming). It was supported by DEFRA and funded through the EU Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).Commissioned by the UKVA with EU and DEFRA support from Laurence Gould Ltd in 2012.

Read about the scope and headline findings, and link to full report: ukva_sustainability_benchmarking_project report 

Resources and Links

Includes links to UKVA and WineSkills work on sustainability and to other countries’ wine production sustainability schemes. Includes a summary of, and links to, the major sustainability benchmarking report commissioned by the UKVA in 2012.

WineGB is committed to supporting sustainable wine production but recognises that there is much more to be done. It aims to build up the resources listed here over time. Please email office@winegb.co.uk if you have links to information you think should be included here.

Wineskills Sustainability Guidelines

The WineSkills project based at Plumpton College (also funded through RDPE) did valuable work on sustainability from 2012-14 to start establishing good practice guidelines that are adapted to UK conditions, led by Dr Alistair Nesbitt, now of University of East Anglia. Some of the work was in collaboration with the UKVA’s Sustainability Group. The guidelines were at an early stage when the work ceased and are now several years old but still contain useful pointers to good practice and links to other relevant publications. Download WineSkills Sustainability Workbook D1.V2 030112

Visit the WineSkills sustainability website for more information  

 

Global Wine Producers Environmental Sustainability Principles (GWPESP) .

Developed by FIVS (International Federation of Wine and Spirits), the Global Wine Producers Environmental Sustainability Principles (GWPESP) seek to provide a framework to promote a coordinated, efficient and results-driven approach for the international wine industry’s environmental sustainability efforts. It offers strategies to guide those in the industry in integrating sustainability principles.

Downloadable pdf: (click to download Global wine producers environmental sustainability principles)

Other wine-region sustainability guidelines

– can provide useful pointers:

Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia includes guidebooks on sustainable viticulture, winemaking and winery hospitality.

Grape Growers of Ontario Sustainability Program includes a usefully concise Integrated Pest Management guide.

California Sustainable Winegrowing Program includes their sustainability workbook viewable online http://www.sustainablewinegrowing.org/swpworkbook.php

The Wine Institute (Calif) Sustainable winegrowing program includes a greenhouse gas calculator for wine production.

Long Island sustainable winegrowing program has a good 9 minute video and downloadable app about a small but passionate group of winegrowers developing a sustainability certification scheme.

New Zealand Wines Sustainability policy and programmes A big, well-developed, complex site, worth a browse.

Bioprotection NZ – professor Steve Wratten’s work on greening Waipara is here at Steve lectured for Wineskills on the importance of a biodiverse flora in reducing insect pests.

Useful resources

LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) promotes environmentally responsible farming and provides many useful management tools to promote sustainability in its wider sense.

WRAP -mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, resource-efficient economy by:

  • re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
  • re-thinking how we use and consume products, and
  • re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling .

Campaigning to reduce wine bottle weight and increase recyclable packaging.

Scotch Whisky Association Environmental Strategy

includes progress against targets in energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, packaging energy(especially bottles), water use, supply chain, waste management. Includes case studies.

Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol This was undertaken by a partnership of wine industry bodies in South Africa, the United States (California), New Zealand, and Australia.

Organic Vineyards