Nov 17, 2021
Bonterra Becomes World’s First Organically Farmed, Climate Neutral Certified Wine
Green leader certifies for climate neutrality across all business scopes
Building on decades of wine industry leadership in regenerative farming, scientific research and responsible business, Bonterra Organic Vineyards announced today that it has achieved Climate Neutral certification for its entire business, and publicly published its climate footprint. The certification places Bonterra, the nation’s leading organic winery, at the vanguard of brands across industries choosing to disclose their emissions footprints, commit to near-term reduction targets, and communicate openly and transparently with consumers about their climate impact.
“Everything with a price tag comes with a cost to the planet,” said Rachel Newman, Vice President of Marketing for Bonterra. “The climate crisis demands that we act now and that we act boldly. Publicly sharing our emissions footprint and taking responsibility in a really clear, open way was important for us to do now—not in five, ten or thirty years.”
The time for action is now
The announcement comes on the heels of this year’s United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the climate crisis, which shows that a warmer future is unavoidable, and signals a pivotal step for a wine brand to demonstrate accountability to stakeholders, including consumers, communities and the environment.
In certifying as Climate Neutral, Bonterra disclosed that on average, a bottle of Bonterra wine (750ml) creates 3.4 pounds of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions (CO2E);1 in comparison, an apple creates 0.09 lbs. CO2E, while a smartphone creates 131 lbs. CO2E.2 Sharing this information builds on Bonterra’s legacy of responsible practices, now elevating and contextualizing the likes of regenerative farming, 100% green power use at the winery, and advanced water stewardship within the framework of a reputable, product-level certification that consumers understand.
The new essential business metric
Bonterra worked with nonprofit organization Climate Neutral to account for all scopes of greenhouse gas emissions created in Bonterra wines’ journey, from cradle to consumer. In 2020, 37.2% of Bonterra’s emissions derived from packaging and materials, 25.2% from shipping, 16.5% from production, 16.1% from farming and grapes, and 5% from employee commuting and travel.3 Bonterra offset 110% of its footprint through responsible, third-party sourced, nature-based carbon credits. 4
Climate-regenerative projects supported include reforestation initiatives offering numerous co-benefits to climate-vulnerable communities. Supporting such projects allows Bonterra to take responsibility for the carbon it emits, and essentially amounts to a voluntary tax on Bonterra’s carbon pollution. In clearly communicating Bonterra’s climate footprint at the bottle level and sharing context to everyday goods in other product categories, the Bonterra team aims to help demystify the emissions intensity of its collection—and encourage others to do the same.
“Every company should be able to quantify how it’s adding to the climate crisis—just as every company understands its revenues and expenses. But most companies don’t, and even fewer are taking immediate action to eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral, which counts a growing roster of businesses, including Alter Eco, REI and Numi Tea, among the more than 300 brands that undergo the annual certification process.
“There’s an opportunity for consumers and brands to work together to redefine climate action as something ambitious, immediate, and ongoing,” Whitman explained. “As part of achieving its Climate Neutral certification, Bonterra has measured and compensated for its past emissions, and begun the essential work of reducing its emissions further, showing that the wine industry can play a key role in moving toward a net-zero world.”
Going further: Designing for a better future
Achieving Climate Neutral certification and committing to future reductions is a positive step toward a net-zero future, though the Bonterra team appreciates that key work lies ahead.
“Climate Neutral is a first step, allowing for brand-level and product-level transparency for consumers, and we acknowledge that carbon credits are not a long-term regenerative strategy,” said Jess Baum, Director of Regenerative Development & Sustainability for Bonterra. “In light of the climate crisis, we cannot let perfect become the enemy of good. Measuring and offsetting all carbon created from the vineyard to the shelf is a way for us to credibly take immediate action to address the crisis, while working simultaneously on improving our business.”
Baum encourages others to get started measuring and reducing their emissions. “I encourage everyone in our industry and beyond to take a closer look at their whole emissions footprint and identify the hot spots—the soonest-opportunity areas,” she said. “The only wrong way to do this is to do nothing at all. We all have a role to play, and working together, can make a difference.”
For more information about Bonterra and its commitment to Climate Neutral winegrowing, please visit www.bonterra.com/climate-neutral.
Organically farmed and masterfully made, the Bonterra Organic Vineyards collection epitomizes wines that are perfectly in tune with nature. A celebration of the vitality derived from organic cultivation, the portfolio features wines coaxed from the earth by careful farming practices carried out on a dynamic network of estate and partner farms throughout California. In addition to a widely available selection of organically farmed wines that includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Equinox Red, Young Red and Rosé, Bonterra crafts a trio of sought-after single-vineyard offerings from estate Biodynamic® vineyards in Mendocino County.
Long before organic produce filled the shelves of neighborhood groceries, the dedicated team at Bonterra was committed to organic and regenerative farming because they passionately believe that farms teeming with biodiversity— encompassing vines, insects and wildlife, and healthy soils—yield organic grapes leading to better wines. Bonterra was awarded the 2020 California Green Medal in the Environment category in recognition of its legacy of environmental stewardship and ongoing leadership in climate-smart winegrowing. More at www.Bonterra.com.
©2021 Bonterra Organic Vineyards, Mendocino County, California USA.
1 Per-bottle average, 750ml equivalent, Bonterra 2020 Carbon Footprint, climateneutral.org/brand/bonterra
2 Collected from publicly available sources, carbon footprints for everyday items are not meant to be representative of an entire product category.
3 Source: Climate Neutral Brand Emissions Estimator (BEE), Bonterra Organic Vineyards 2020 carbon emissions, scopes 1-3; https://www.climateneutral.org/brand/bonterra.
4 Climate Neutral uses third-party verification to ensure carbon credits meet the ‘big six’ requirements: real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, enforceable, and additional. Learn more about third-party verification for projects Bonterra supports for mangrove restoration in Myanmar, forestry in Brazil, and logging modification in China.