Sustainability Practices

As winemakers we understand that green is as important as red and white. And as a family owned wine company operating in both rural and urban settings for over 50 years, we're committed to ensuring we act in a responsible and sustainable manner. Our goal is to be Australia's best wine company applying best practise principles in environmental management to enhance sustainable business activities and products. We favour the use of the most innovative techniques available to improve energy efficiency, water conservation and packaging. We take all measures available to prevent or eliminate as far as possible the production of waste or pollution. Through this holistic approach to environmental management we aim to achieve sustainable land and biodiversity management outcomes for the present and future.

To meet these commitments we've adopted a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) and an innovative Strategic Plan. We're committed to demonstrating leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility, recognising the important connection between environment, good business and the community. 

Our Environmental Management System – ISO 14001 Certification

In March 2009, our comapny achieved ISO14001 certification for our Environmental Management System (EMS) at the winery in the Clare Valley. We are proud of the ISO 14001 certification as it demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship. Our Environmental Management System (EMS) assists in the identification and control of environmental impacts across the business whilst providing a framework for continuous improvements in environmental management. The EMS translates our environmental policy into action at every employee level and encourages similar efforts with our suppliers and trading partners. Our winery is regularly audited for compliance with the standard. Our Environmental Management System is driven by a Risk Management program designed to provide a framework for continuous environmental improvement.

Science Based Targets & Lifecycle Assessment

We are currently working with Edge Environmental Consulting to commit to and announce emission reductions using Science Based Targets in line with the Paris agreement to prevent dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C (two degrees Celsius).  Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. As the first independent Australian winery to commit to setting science-based targets, we have joined 25 other leading Australian businesses including Woolworths, Telstra, and Bank Australia who have committed or set specific targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Our family-owned business commits to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, well below the 2°C reduction target set out in the Paris Agreement. Science Based Targets are a continuation of our pioneering work in championing sustainability within the Australian wine industry. We were the first winery in the world to launch a 100% carbon neutral wine range compliant to the international standard for Life Cycle Assessment. We have been involved in life cycle assessment (LCA) since 2008, starting with an LCA of our carbon neutral Eighty Acres range. Since then, the science and practice of LCA has advanced. Recent updates to our LCA are in line with current international standards and best practice, including ISO/TS 14067 and the product category rules (PCR) for wine. We commenced offsetting the 80 Acres range carbon emissions in August 2009. 4762 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been offset which comply with a range of accreditation standards. In addition, 23,000 trees have been planted with Carbon Neutral under a reforestation program.

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia

We are a certified member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. A national program for grape growers and winemakers to demonstrate and continuously improve their sustainability in the vineyard and winery through the environmental, social and economic aspects of their businesses. The program takes a holistic approach to managing, supporting and promoting sustainability. It is administered by the Australian Wine Research Institute with governance, endorsement and active support from Australian Grape & Wine and Wine Australia. The program is modelled on global best practices and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with progress towards these monitored annually and audited every three years.

Packaging Recyclability

Our wine business has made significant progress in meeting Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Target of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.  All packaging elements and nearly all manufacturing inputs are 100% recyclable. The last single use, non-recyclable waste element is plastic pallet wrap used at the winery.  Here, we are currently scoping a partnerships with ‘Great Wrap’ an innovative Australian business seeking to replace this single use plastic pallet wrap with world-first 100% biodegradable version that breaks down in 180 days. All of our wine cartons contain between 50% and 70% recycled cardboard, with the remainder contributed from FSC certified forests. Taylors is a proud member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and is committed to its Objectives and Targets. 

Energy Efficiency

Ammonia Refrigeration Plant Upgrade: For most wineries a significant cost and environmental impact in the production of wine is refrigeration, estimated to be 60 to 65% of annual energy costs incurred in the winemaking process. To reduce our energy consumption we embarked upon a project to replace 50% of the refrigeration plant with energy efficient ammonia refrigeration. The new refrigeration plant was commissioned in time for vintage 2012, with significant energy savings achieved. Barrel Hall Partition: Our barrel hall was divided during 2011 separating a space of some ~ 25000 cubic meters into two zones of ~ 15000 and 10000 cubic meters. The smaller zone is used as the cold storage area for premium wine maturation. The larger zone is the working barrel area where wines undergo fermentation, particularly malolactic fermentation (MLF). MLF is a difficult fermentation as it occurs in the middle of winter and is performed by selected bacteria which need to be maintained at between 18-22 degrees. Thus this zone needs to be warmed with gas heating to facilitate MLF in our premium red wines. The Barrel Hall partition reduces our heating space by ~ 40% from 25000 cubic meters down to ~ 15000 cubic meters. The challenge of finding the most environmentally efficient way of cooling the smaller cold storage barrel hall zone was met by a wonderfully simple idea to harvest the cold night air. This is achieved via the installation of 2 x large extraction fans that automatically switch on when the outside temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius and the cold night air is drawn into the building and the warmer air flushed out. In addition, Wakefield has identified several new projects to further reduce our energy consumption including the installation of solar power at our winery which will be rolled out in 2021.

Land and Biodiversity Management

Regeneration of the local Wakefield River: The Wakefield River flows in a southerly direction through Auburn in the Clare Valley before turning west to flow through Balaklava and into the Port Wakefield estuary. Seven kilometers of the Upper Wakefield River meanders through the Taylor family’s Clare Valley vineyard estate in Auburn, South Australia. Through the formation of the Upper Wakefield Catchment NRM Community Group, we continue to champion several restoration projects within the catchment through the control of weed species and the planting of local indigenous vegetation to enhance biodiversity. Soil Health and Biodiversity: Since 2001, we’ve used organic matter to mulch the soil under the vines on our estate. This provides benefits such as superior root growth near the soil surface to utilise water and nutrients, enhanced earthworm and soil microbe activity for healthier soils and reduced weed growth (which lowers herbicide use). Materials used for mulching include straw from farmers in surrounding districts, grape marc, and recycled organic waste purchased from local third party suppliers. We have an ongoing commitment to assessing and managing site wide biodiversity on our property. A baseline biological survey was carried out in 2012, and this has provided the basis for our structured Biodiversity Action Plan. Minimisation of Pesticides: We strictly follow the guidelines published annually by the AWRI, titled ‘Agrochemicals Registered for Use in Australian Viticulture’. Insecticide application in the vineyards is minimised at all times with no broad spectrum insecticides in use. Continuous vineyard monitoring ensures that targeted spraying only takes place in the worst affected areas. For all spraying activity - air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed are monitored regularly during any spraying operation. Organic cultivation Practises – sheep in the vineyard: In 2009, we reintroduced sheep into our vineyards for the first time in 25 years. The sheep, which are allowed to roam free within specific vineyard blocks, have been introduced as a means to keep winter grasses and weeds under control. This has led to an immediate reduction in the requirements for herbicides to control weeds and associated diesel fuel to run the tractors for spraying and slashing. An associated benefit is also that the manure waste from the sheep is used as a natural fertiliser and soil conditioner for the vines. The reduction of frequency in tractor usage also lessens soil compaction between the rows, improving overall soil health and facilitating broader root spread.

Water Conservation

Drip irrigation and storage: All irrigation is carried out using computer controlled ‘need-only’ dripper lines to each vine. Two lined dams eliminate water loss from ‘seepage’. Soil moisture is closely monitored using continuously logging EnviroScan probes to assist with applying the right amount of water at the right time. We have also implemented a water management and sequencing app for our property called Dream2. The automation of this previously manual approach allows watering at night to minimise evaporation. Mulching: Since 2001, we’ve used organic matter to mulch the soil under the vines on our estate. This provides the benefits such as superior root growth near the soil surface to utilise water and nutrients, enhanced earthworm and soil microbe activity for healthier soils and reduced weed growth (which lowers herbicide use). Materials used for mulching include straw from farmers in surrounding districts and recycled organic waste purchased from local third party suppliers. Onsite Wastewater Recycling Facility: In 2005 we commissioned a state-of-the-art water recycling facility. This facility recycles 100% of the waste water generated by our winery and bottling hall for re-use on our vineyards. In addition to the recycling of waste water, all of the storm water and associated run off from the winery buildings is also harvested.

Waste and Pollution

Recycling: Our wine business advocates waste minimisation and pollution prevention for all site operations. We continue to explore opportunities to reduce, recycle and reuse waste produced from our operations. We aim to minimise waste to landfill, implementing numerous recycling and reuse practises, including: • glass waste • cardboard and paper • organic solid residuals including marc and diatomaceous earth, • winery wastewater • scrap metal • e-waste • take back arrangement with suppliers for various packaging waste. Organic winemaking solid residuals: We have adopted a cost effective and environmentally sustainable solution to the disposal of organic winemaking residuals. Grape marc is recycled offsite to extract grape alcohol, tannins and other compounds via a steam distillation process. The spent solids are combined with other production concentrates to form a product called TPR, which is returned to the Estate in equal volume and applied to the vineyard as a soil conditioner. Other solid winemaking residuals, such as filter cake, are also processed. Calcium tartrate is extracted, from which Tartaric Acid is produced for use by the wine industry.

Awards and Achievements

Awards: Our family business has proudly received a number of major environmental awards for the initiatives we have undertaken: • Winner of the Leading in Sustainability Award - 2010 Banksia Foundation Environmental Awards • Winner of the Environmental and Energy Management Award - 2010 NAB Agribusiness Awards • Winner of the Best Green Launch - 2010 The Drinks Business Magazine Green Awards • Carter Holt Harvey Sustainability Award - Silver Medal - 2010 Australian Packaging Awards. Certifications: ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System. FSSC 22000 the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Voluntary Membership & Reporting: We are committed to supporting industry and community environmental initiatives. We actively participant in the following environmental programs: • Sustainable Winegrowing Australia: In May 2010, we achieved EntWine Australia membership for the Auburn vineyard and winery operations. Entwine Australia is a voluntary environmental assurance scheme developed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, that allows winemakers and wine grape growers to receive formal certification of sustainable environmental practices according to recognised standards. Our business is required to annually report on environmental performance indicators. • National Pollutant Inventory (NPI): We have been reporting on pollutant production as part of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) since 2004/2005. As grape growers and wine producers we are responsible for reporting on substances including ethanol and Total VOC emissions on an annual basis. • Australian Packaging Covenant and Mentoring Program: The South Australian wine industry is a leading contributor to the economic success of the State, which gives it a high public profile. Accordingly, the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) and its members are committed to being proactive and demonstrate leadership in the participation of environmental initiatives such as the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC). In 2002, SAWIA established a Mentor Program to support members in meeting their packaging waste obligations under the National Packaging Covenant (NPC). The Program has continued to grow and strengthen in line with the Covenants objectives. The Taylor family wine business is a proud signatories to the Australian Packaging Covenant along with being a member of the Mentor Program.