Energy and Water Efficiency Efforts Save Vineyard $42,500 Annually

by | Mar 29, 2010

TinhornCreekVineyardOne year after attending a Climate Smart seminar that helps businesses measure their carbon footprint and implement strategies for reducing emissions, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is carbon neutral and will save about $42,500 a year thanks to its energy- and water-efficiency efforts and buying carbon offsets, reports The Globe and Mail.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyard is one of the latest eco-friendly vineyards joining the ranks of others that have targeted goals to reduce emissions and cut energy costs by adding renewable energy, buying carbon offsets, switching to lighter weight glass, targeting water efficiency measures and upgrading their lighting.

Sandra Oldfield, head of operations and winemaker of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards near Oliver, B.C., told The Globe and Mail that by calculating the winery’s footprint and conducting an energy audit, it showed where the winery had inefficiencies.

This led to many projects ranging from upgrading the vineyards watering system to a water-efficient drip irrigation system that will eventually save the vineyard about $4,000 annually when the drip system is installed on all 130 acres, and switching to 15 percent lighter bottles that are more eco-friendly and less expensive, saving the company $30,000 per year.

The wine bottles are made from 35-50 percent recycled glass and 90 percent of the glass is produced within 500 kilometers of the winery. Shipments are also trucked in full truckloads to reduce the winery’s carbon footprint.

The company also consolidates pallet shipments of wine to reduce shipping. Ninety-five percent of its wine is sold within British Columbia and Alberta, which further reduces its carbon footprint.

Other efforts cited in the article include new programmable thermostats, which turn the heat down at night in Tinhorn Creek’s main building. This reduces the winery’s energy bills by $4,500 a year. The vineyard also instituted a policy to shut off lights in empty rooms, which saves an additional $500 per year.

The winery also shifted to a double-sided copy policy that will save about $100 per year, and reduced its garbage pick-ups to only when the dumpster is full, which reduces travel-related emissions and cuts its trash pick-up bills by about $400 annually.

The winery recycles its bottles, all wooden pallets used for shipping, cardboard and paper. It also recycles about 90 percent of all plastic pallet wrap used during bottling.

Being eco-friendly also helps with its marketing efforts, making Tinhorn Creek a green landmark, reports The Globe and Mail.

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