SAWIA recognises its members for environmental achievements

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

The finalists in the “excellence in waste avoidance” category....and the finalists in the “excellence in waste recycling” category....

The South Australian Wine Industry Association is pleased to announce the winners and finalists for the 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards on the theme of Waste.

In presenting the awards, Chief Executive of SAWIA, Brian Smedley, commended the entrants and noted the strength of all the applications. Mr Smedley said that these “awards recognise and celebrate the achievements and innovations of SAWIA members in good environmental practice, and provide leadership and inspiration for others to benefit from improved environmental management.”

The finalists in the “excellence in waste avoidance” category, which was sponsored by Adelaide sustainability consultancy 2XE, were:

1. Treasury Wine Estates – for collaborative development of a prototype five row vineyard sprayer to incorporate spray capture and reuse, that can dramatically improve resource use efficiencies and avoids chemical wastage.

2. The Yalumba Wine Company – for collaborative development and refinement of methodologies for high solids cross flow filtration that dramatically reduced filtration media waste, whilst simultaneously avoiding significant wastage of wine from quality downgrades.

Mr Smedley said that both finalists had “avoided the generation of excessive waste at different points in the production chain through early adoption of technology solutions that dramatically decreased the amount of wasted resources”.

The Yalumba Wine Company was judged by an independent panel as the winner for their project, which involved considerable risk as an early adopter in a technology that has subsequently become almost mainstream, partly resulting from Yalumba’s willingness to collaborate and openly share their knowledge.

The finalists in the “excellence in waste recycling” category, which was sponsored by Nuriootpa-based environmental service and products provider Tarac Technologies, were:

1. Accolade Wines – for development of a collaborative waste management strategy for the Berri winery site that, in the face of a lack of existing local facilities, resulted in a significant increase in recycling rate over all types of waste.

2. Pernod Ricard Winemakers – for a range of stakeholder engagement programs to increase the segregation and recycling of organic and non-organic wastes from their sites in the Barossa Valley Mr Smedley commended both finalists for their “efforts in undertaking consistent cost effective effort to improve the management of their solid waste streams resulting in significant increases in the recycling rate”.

In an extremely close decision, the judging panel awarded Accolade Wines as the winner due to their relatively larger scale of increase in recycling rate, the extent of engagement with the local community and symbiosis with the waste industry value chain to find local and mutually beneficial solutions, and the degree of innovation in achieving a fit-for-purpose end use for specific types of waste.

Brian Smedley noted that these initiatives were examples of the wine industry’s “contribution towards our State’s Clean and Green reputation” and commended “the initiative and effort of those SAWIA members who submitted a nomination for the awards”. Mr Smedley also acknowledged the generous support of the sponsors for the 2014 awards: 2XE and Tarac Technologies. The SAWIA Environmental Excellence Awards for 2015 will have a theme topic of Energy and will be announced in May next year.