Taylors Wines in Clare has become the first independent Australian winery to become a signatory to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
The family winery has set a target to achieve a 50 percent reduction in its scope one and scope two greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, in line with the more ambitious target of limiting climate change to 1.5°C under the Paris Agreement.
The 2030 target provides a clear pathway for the winery to show it is on track to becoming net-zero by 2050.
Taylors joins 31 other leading Australian businesses including Woolworths, Telstra and Bank Australia who have committed or set specific targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
“As viticulturists we’ve always been intimately connected to the climate and changes in the seasons,” managing director Mitchell Taylor says.
“Our industry has seen first-hand the significant impacts of climate change on wine regions around the world.
“As a multi-generational family winery, creating a sustainable business is essential to the future of our industry and to the planet.
“The targets we’ve set with the SBTi touch on many aspects of our winery operations and vineyards. We hope our commitment to this initiative inspires others in the Australian wine industry to set Science Based Targets to reduce their emissions.”
Taylors’ announcement comes as the Australian industry outlines its goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 within the Australian Grape & Wine and Wine Australia’s ‘Vision 2050’ plan.
SBTi is a collaboration between CDP Global, the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The initiative advocates science-based target setting as a practical and powerful tool that brings the world’s organisations together to set verifiable emissions reductions targets in an effort to transition to a low-carbon economy.
Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF-Australia, says, “We congratulate Taylors Wine for taking a leadership role within the Australian wine industry and forging a pathway for the industry to build resilience into their business.
“Being the first in the industry to take this step means Taylors will also be the first in line to seize the opportunity presented by a world looking for suppliers who take climate seriously.
“Climate change is a serious issue for Australia’s wine sector, which will need to step up to deal with the consequences of changing growing seasons, more extreme weather events, and future-proofing their business for generations to come.
“While adaptation is a fundamental challenge for the industry, setting Science Based Targets is an important step on the journey towards long-term sustainability of the sector.”
At its Clare Valley vineyard and winery site, Taylors has maintained its ISO 14001 Certification for its Environmental Management System (EMS) for over a decade.
This EMS assists in the identification and control of environmental impacts across the family’s business whilst providing a framework for continuous improvements in environmental management.
Taylors has implemented a number of sustainability initiatives including:
• Energy-efficient tank refrigeration and barrel hall temperature control;
• Regeneration of the local Wakefield River catchment area;
• Organic cultivation practices in the vineyards including the use of sheep to manage winter grass and weed growth;
• Water management through the use of its onsite wastewater recycling facility, lined dams, computer-controlled, need-only drip irrigation lines and mulch under vines to reduce evaporation; and
• Becoming a member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia – a collaborative initiative for Australia’s grapegrowers and winemakers to demonstrate a continued improvement in sustainability in viticulture and winemaking.
By setting its emissions reduction targets with SBTi, Taylors will annually report its company-wide scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions inventory and progress against published targets.
The winery is working with consulting group Edge Environment to implement the first of its identified capital investments to reduce its emissions, while also exploring new projects and efficiencies within the business.
Mitchell Taylor says, “Climate change is a significant threat to the sustainability of the global wine and grapegrowing industry,” Mitchell says.
“All wineries big and small should consider the impact we have on the environment and make serious decisions on what changes we can make to ensure Australian wine can thrive for many years to come.”
Photo: Taylors viticulture manager Peter Rogge inspecting the smart irrigation system.