Pernod Ricard Winemakers has announced that is has achieved 100% renewable electricity in Australia and claims that it is the first large wine company in the country to fulfil such a commitment.
All wines from the Australian brands Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and Wyndham Estate will be produced using electricity from renewable sources.
According to Pernod Ricard, the announcement has meant its initial 2025 commitment was met ahead of schedule. However in December 2018, the subsidiary committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity in Australia by mid-2019. The statement came as the company marked the first completed stage of the company’s 2.8 MW solar installation project.
By collaborating with energy company AGL, more than 10,300 solar panels were installed across the company’s two Barossa Valley wineries, with a predicted generation of 4,000 MWh a year.
The Australian winery also made a ten-year Virtual Generation Agreement with wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power, to connect the business with renewable electricity sources. The agreement meant that the remaining 80% of the division’s annual electricity requirements will be met by solar and wind.
The commitment to its own solar project combined with the VGA has meant that all of Pernod Ricard Winemaker’s Australian sites are now using renewable electricity.
Brett McKinnon, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ COO, said: “Our journey began in 2016 with a pilot solar installation after we recognised that we had a huge opportunity across our wineries to harness the power of the sun through solar panels. Three years later, we are exceptionally proud to say that we are now sourcing all electricity from renewable sources, in alignment with our global ambition.”
Pernod Ricard recently launched its 2030 sustainability and responsibility roadmap which sets out eight ambitious goals aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Other sustainability projects in Australia that the winemakers have in motion include expanding the Centenary Hill Vineyard dam to provide a reliable source of water for Jacob’s Creek and supplementary irrigation for vineyards, and implementing recycling programs across all sites.
The subsidiary also intends to restore aquatic populations, improve insect regeneration to reduce the need to spray vines, as well as researching microbats to assist with pest control.
McKinnon added: “Being sustainable and responsible is an important part of our business, particularly as producers of wine – a product that takes its character from the land where it was grown. We want to minimise our impact on the communities where we operate, responding to the local climate and preserving the environment for future generations to come.”
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