Eighty Acres – Taking Up the Carbon Neutral Challenge
Tue, 01 July 2014
The thing about a passionate and dedicated family business like Taylors is that we love a good challenge. A good example of this is achieving the 100% carbon neutral standard on our Eighty Acres range of wines. We were actually the world’s first winery to succeed at meeting this globally recognised ISO standard. Some out there might question why we’d bother to put the time and effort into meeting the exacting ISO14044 markers required for this goal. Well, to understand a bit about this journey and why we know it’s important, first let’s put this achievement into the context of what we do day in and out.
Respecting what you love
Basically, we’re pretty blessed to be able to grow grapes and make our wines from vines grown across some of the most beautiful valleys and hillsides in Australia.
The way we look at it, caring for this environment is like caring for our families – both deserve our focus and stewardship for their ongoing wellbeing. We reckon it’s basically about respect, and facing up to the reality that you tend to get out of things precisely what you put in. As a result, here at Taylors we’ve worked hard over the course of the last 10 years at putting a raft of environmentally-sound practices in place under our extensive Environmental Management System. This includes a range of efforts aimed at reducing waste , managing energy, and improving efficiency across both our wineries and corporate sites.
Back to basics
Our 100% carbon neutral Eighty Acres range is now a proud part of this push.
This robust little crop of wines has been a delight since its creation in 2007, even before the ISO standard was achieved. High quality development, down-to-earth flavour integrity and reasonable prices have made our Eighty Acres wines firm favourites since their introduction. The quirky name comes from the Clare Valley eighty acre blocks that were first planted back in 1969. The very first of these blocks was imaginatively called – you guessed it – ‘Eighty Acres’. We like to think our grandfather Bill Taylor was so busy getting those historic first vines into the ground in order to make outstanding wine that he didn’t waste time on fancy paddock names! And so to honour that basic integrity, plus the roots of our down-to-earth wine-making heritage, we’re proud of the name given to the small but mighty Eighty Acres range.
A challenge? Bring it on!
Getting back to our Environmental Management System (also a proud recipient of ISO certification) including the suite of practices that we’ve been putting in place, Taylors began to look at the possibility of working towards 100% carbon neutrality within our business. We knew it wouldn’t be easy – no other winery had achieved this to date! Yet as we mentioned above, we at Taylors really do love a challenge. First of all we started looking for a business section to work on for this goal. Not surprisingly, the honest and earthy Eighty Acres range pretty much leapt out at us as the perfect place to start our journey. We then began researching the requirements of the ISO 14044 lifecycle assessment standard. It meant taking a long hard look at our processes and practices in the vineyards and at the winery, across issues as diverse as water usage, transport, recycling and packaging. Slowly but surely we altered and replaced systems so as to improve efficiencies across the life cycle of the products we created. In 2009 we also began offsetting our carbon emissions through other sustainable projects. And there’s no chance of businesses being able to fudge these international standards for a cynical bit of ‘greenwash’. All of our reports and figures were analysed at RMIT, being rigorously assessed by an independent auditor before the ISO14044 could be applied.
That extra bit of special
But the average enjoyer of our fine Eighty Acres range might shrug and say, well – does it change anything in the wine? Maybe not officially…But as you know, we think a lot more goes into good wine beside the ‘official’ ingredients. For a start there’s passion, innovation and of course there’s integrity. We reckon by working so hard to make our gorgeous Eighty Acres range of wines 100% carbon neutral, there might be just a little more of those ingredients in each bottle. You can drink a glass of our Eighty Acres wine knowing that stewardship of the environment has front and centre during all steps of creation. And you wouldn’t be alone in admiring these wines – they were showcased by invitation at the 2009 Climate Change Conference, and continue to be loved across the world for their pure drinkability.
Our bigger environmental dream
Also, Eighty Acres world-first achievement of the 100% carbon neutral ISO lifecycle standard is just one part (and ok, we think a pretty impressive part!) of Taylor’s overall Environmental Action Plan. Along with best practice viticulture and leading-edge water and energy conservation initiatives, we also ‘act locally’ by working on regeneration of the Wakefield River, the lifeblood of our beloved Clare Valley estate. Plus, we’re tireless in our efforts towards further developing organic vineyard care involving mulching, composting and pesticide reduction. Add to these our innovative work towards better, lighter and more environmentally sound packaging and you can start to get a feel for how seriously we take our environmental credentials.
Green for the future
Whether it’s on our rural operations or over in the cities where our larger offices are situated, our green-friendly approach is woven into who we are. Sure, the ISO accreditation for our 100% carbon neutral Eighty Acres range is something that puts a smile on our faces. But even beyond acknowledgement of our efforts, it’s just great to know that such a likeable wine range as Eighty Aces also has the added bonus of hitting well above its weight on the green front. And that’s something we hope the great-grandkids can one day truly celebrate.