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Denbies makes history as first ‘Net Zero’ UK vineyard

Published:  19 April, 2024

Denbies Wine Estate has made headlines by becoming the first vineyard and winery in the UK to attain Net Zero status according to the UK Carbon Code of Conduct standard (UKCCC). The distinction now places Denbies among a select few wine producers worldwide to achieve Net Zero in wine production.

The estate encompasses 153ha, including 107ha under vine within the Surrey Hills National Landscape, designated an AONB in 1958. According to Denbies’ latest data, the estate sequestered more carbon than it emitted during the 2023 bumper harvest, resulting in a carbon balance of -96 tonnes of CO2e.

Chris White, CEO of Denbies Wine Estate, said: “As one of the founder members of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, we are absolutely delighted that our wines are now produced with Net Zero impact. This is another example of the UK wine industry continuing to strive for excellence in all areas of wine production. We committed to becoming Net Zero as part of a five-year plan in 2022 and are delighted to have reached that goal in under two and a half years.”

To certify its Net Zero status Denbies enlisted the services of Triage, a prominent land management consultancy.

Triage utilised the UKCCC framework to assess, report, and verify all Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from the wine production process, including bottling and transportation. It also measured carbon sequestration from the Estate’s natural capital, including its vineyards, habitats and soil. 

The UKCCC certification confirms Denbies’ Net Zero position, ensuring that its Scope 3 emissions into the retail supply chain are zero.

The methodology and protocols of the UKCCC align with the most stringent global standards, including SBTI (science-based targets) and ICVCM (Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market).

Pete Wain, chief product officer of Triage, said: “We are delighted to use our expertise to support Denbies in playing their part in the reversal of climate change and biodiversity collapse, all whilst maintaining their primary business objective, i.e., to produce award-winning, Net Zero certified wine. We have delivered a fully auditable, robust and holistic set of baselines and developed an ongoing carbon emissions reduction and sequestration plan and we look forward to providing continued assistance on Denbies' nature-friendly farming journey.”