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In a year full of cloudy skies, we’ve been quietly heading toward our own little ray of sunshine. I’m pleased to say – we have arrived.
Gundog Estate is now Carbon Neutral
Sustainability, and it’s three pillars – economic, social and environmental, has become a driving force for our organisation in recent years. It’s a concept that is at the heart of what we do, and guides many (if not all) of our key business decisions. Pursuing sustainability has led us to exciting community partnerships with Path 2 Change and 15 Trees – each delivering profound outcomes.
Our little wine business now sits amongst leaders in a range of industries who have similarly identified the need to rapidly transform our national and global economies to ones built around carbon neutrality. In doing so, we are mitigating the effects of climate change, and helping to create a hopeful future for our children. In my mind, there really is nothing more important than this.
How did we do it?
Through a combination of carbon mitigation, and offsetting strategies, we have achieved carbon neutrality. In the winery, vineyard and cellar doors, we have been actively reducing our carbon emissions wherever we can. Some examples include – switching to renewable energy, moving toward lightweight packaging options, reducing the size of our vehicle fleet, switching to LED lighting, transitioning to organic viticulture, and utilising organic and plant-based fining and processing aides in the winery. This will be an area of continuing improvement for us.
Obviously, there are carbon emissions that we can’t eliminate entirely, so this is where we offset by purchasing certified carbon credits. The first step in this process was to undertake a comprehensive greenhouse gas assessment of our business. We chose to work with one of Australia’s most highly regarded carbon consultants, Pangolin Associates. After many (many) spreadsheets, our data was fed into a carbon calculator and we were given our carbon equivalent footprint for the last financial year (carbon equivalents are a handy way to measure emissions of all greenhouse gasses alongside a CO2 standard). Now we had a value to work against, the next step was to purchase a matching number of certified carbon credits.
The exciting thing about this step is that it allows our business to become an active investor in renewable energy, and carbon mitigation projects, well beyond the reach of our own operation. In fact, this year’s investments include carbon credits from an Indian solar energy farm and a thermal energy generator in Vietnam that uses spent rice husks to generate electricity, otherwise left to rot in waterways. Together, these projects have the potential to circumvent over 500,000 tons of CO2 equivalents entering the atmosphere, while simultaneously contributing to local economies and improving social wellbeing.
So why are we investing in overseas projects? Because climate change is a global issue and must be addressed as such. While it’s important that Australia continues to urgently decarbonise and sequester CO2 through local activities, I believe the greatest gains, on the global scale, are going to be via our collective efforts to support rapidly developing nations to achieve their economic potential, without releasing what may be catastrophic amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Beyond the carbon mitigation and offsetting efforts outlined above, we are further reducing our carbon footprint via our local partnership with 15 Trees. By purchasing well over 1000 native trees and shrubs, we are potentially removing over 60 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. In fact, if this were added to our carbon offsetting calculations, we would be carbon negative! This is along with the myriad of other benefits that come with planting trees including the restoration of natural habitats, wildlife corridors, and depleted soils.
We are incredibly proud of this achievement and believe me when I say….
this is just the beginning!
We certainly couldn’t meet our sustainability goals without the incredible support of our amazing customers, staff,
and wine community – for that, I would like to extend a personal – ‘Thank You.’
Thank you for believing in what we do and coming on this journey with us.
A Sustainable Partnership – Gundog Estate and 15 Trees!
We are delighted to announce another very exciting community partnership!
Teaming up with 15 Trees, we are proactively reducing our carbon footprint and regenerating the natural environment. 15 Trees is an organisation that facilitates the purchase and planting of native trees for project sites around Australia. The trees are purchased from local nurseries, and are a mixture of eucalyptus, wattle, and smaller native shrubs. They are planted by community groups such as Landcare, schools, and environmental networks.
Trees not only produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, they also provide native wildlife habitat, create green corridors, and help reverse the effects of soil erosion and salinity.
As our Christmas gift to the world, we have just purchased our first 200 trees! Each year, we will plant a further 10 trees for every staff member.
Buy a tree for just $5
With your support, we will be able to do much, much more! Here’s how to get involved: