Heading The Right Direction

People have heard of the Auto Industry or the Electronic Industry or Entertainment Industry, but the Sustainability Industry still doesn’t have the same name recognition. Most of the time sustainability is implemented behind the scenes at companies looking to be environmentally responsible. I can attest it’s a lot of hard work, so it’s nice to be recognized for doing the right thing from time to time.

Last week Alex Dolginow, a postgraduate fellow at the Climate Protection Campaign, wrote an editorial about sustainability in the wine industry. The piece, “Boldness And Vision In The Wine Industry,” looked at Sustainability in the Wine industry.

Dolginow highlighted leadership and strong environmental work we’re doing at Kendall-Jackson. But he also pointed out the challenges and opportunities facing an industry that is sometimes challenged to make a positive impact on climate change. For example, he writes:

“Grape growers and vineyards produce greenhouse emissions in a variety of ways: through their electricity and fuel usage (to power tank heaters, water pumps and equipment and to package and ship wines), through fertilizer usage, and through land management practices.”

He makes a good point, but it’s important to remember that we’re in the business of making wine, not producing alternative energy, cleaning up chlorofluorocarbons or constructing green buildings. But these are things Kendall-Jackson has decided to make a high priority for our company because we believe in being responsible stewards of the land.

To that end we’ve implemented a comprehensive energy management strategy that led to a recent EPA Green Power Leadership Award. We’ve actively pursued Sustainability In Practice (SIP) certification and have a Leadership In Energy And Environmental Design (LEED) certified building.

I have to agree with him that driving impactful change “requires vision, entrepreneurial action and investment” since much of the sustainability work we do is out of view of the mainstream — people recognize our Chardonnay not our work with GE and Energy Industries in energy conservation.

We’re grateful that Dolginow took notice of the hard work we’re doing behind the scenes and expect to continue to provide the type of leadership that can effect real change.