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Familia Torres & Jackson Family wineries join together to fight climate change

Published:  01 March, 2019

Spain's Familia Torres and California's Jackson Family wineries have, for over a decade now been taking very large steps to change business approaches in order to combat Climate Change. While they've been working on these projects separately to date, yesterday in Barcelona, Miguel Torres Sr. and Katie Jackson jointly announced the creation of the organisation, "International Wineries for Climate Action".

Torres Sr. often recounts how after viewing Al Gore's, "An Inconvenient Truth" in 2006, he realised that more needed to be done to ensure that their winery - currently with five generations of history - would be able to continue operating in the future. They've been strident advocates and even found themselves battling the previous Spanish government that had de facto blocked the installation of new solar panels in the country. Torres, having invested heavily in solarizing their wineries, had 400Kw worth of panels waiting to go online, but were stalled for two years.

Katie Jackson said that since 2008, they've been on a drive to completely overhaul their practices including reducing water use by 50% and diverting nearly all their waste from landfill. Once changing out their equipment to that more energy efficient, they realiased a savings of $8 million and, much like Torres, they've now invested in solar panels for energy production.

Starting in April 2018, the two wineries have been working on a framework to "understand and measure progress towards the defined goal”, which is to achieve an 80% reduction of total carbon emissions by 2045 via a three-step process that involves certification by an outside agency.

In joining together, Torres and Jackson want to provide a roadmap for other wineries through an exchange of information. They've both found that each has their strengths and have learned much to date. Torres for example has made great use of biomass generation on their property. Jackson has been able to collect rainwater, storing it in their fermentation tanks when not in use in order to use it for various functions around the property.

Both wineries admit that reducing their carbon footprint in cellars and vineyards is more readily attainable than what happens outside their premises in terms of shipping (both have a portfolio of cellars in various countries.) Jackson said they've managed to change the molds for their Kendall Jackson and La Crema bottles to remove 28g in total weight and they're hoping to do more in the future, although both she and Miguel admit that it's difficult to change consumer perception in viewing a heavy bottle as inferring that a high-quality wine is inside.

The personnel implementing these changes at both Torres and even more so, Jackson feel that we've reached a tipping point where everyone will be concerned with fighting climate change and their hope is that the framework they've devised will allow people to grow beyond marketing speak and into actionable, continued practices.