There’s plenty of solar beer for the drinking in 2021 and, this week, a “bold” pledge from ASX-listed Treasury Wine Estates to source 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2024 will help ensure there is plenty of solar wine about, too.
The premium wine company, whose brands include Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Pepperjack and Wynns, announced on Thursday that it was officially joining the global RE100 movement, a global initiative driving the world’s most influential businesses to commit to sourcing renewable electricity.
The company, which manages more than 12,700 hectares of vineyards, globally, has already installed solar at some of its major vineyards in France and Italy, and a solar hot water system at its bottling centre in Sonoma, California.
There is plenty more to be done, however and just a couple of years to do it – according to TWE chief corporate services officer, Kirsten Gray, electricity currently accounts for roughly 75% of TWE’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Exactly how the wine maker plans to get to its 100% goal by 2024 was not outlined on Thursday, but a company spokesperson told One Step Off The Grid that details on further plans for on-site solar and potential renewable energy power purchase agreements would be revealed in coming months.
On top of these measures, the company is also taking action to improve energy efficiency across its operations and minimise energy use.
“We understand the importance of managing and planning for the impacts of climate change – not only as a global premium wine producer but also as a responsible business that operates in communities all around the world,” Gray said on Tuesday.
“As we all work towards a cleaner world, we’re proud to be one of the early wine industry adopters to join RE100 alongside some of the world’s most influential businesses.
“We know that global warming is happening faster than previously predicted, which is why we have set the bold target for our global operations to be powered with renewable electricity by 2024.”
RE100 Australian coordinator Jon Dee welcomed TWE’s decision to sign up to the global initiative, and the ambition of its targets.
“This plan will help TWE to lead the way in addressing climate change,” Dee said on Thursday. “When consumers drink these premium wines, they’ll know that the sun is helping TWE to grow and produce their wine in a cleaner and greener way.”
TWE’s renewable electricity target forms part of its broader sustainability agenda which includes net zero carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 2030 and a range of activities to prepare for, and adapt to a changing climate – including a focus on sustainable water use.
“We’re committed to continuing to identify, trial, and implement opportunities to improve the energy efficiency and emissions profile of our business and to ensure our efforts are informed and supported by industry-led expertise,” Gray said.
Solar wineries are starting to catch up to solar breweries in Australia, including the 3MW solar system completed last year at Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Barossa Valley wineries, rounding off the French company’s journey to 100% renewables for its Australian operations.
A 1.4MW of solar has also been installed across the Barossa Valley operations of the Yalumba Family Vignerons, including the Angaston Winery, Oxford Landing Winery and the Yalumba Nursery.