Wednesday, 19 April 2023 15:25

Decarbonising Wine: Sector strategy to tackle emissions

Written by  Sophie Preece
Lawson’s Dry Hills is focussed on reducing emissions. Lawson’s Dry Hills is focussed on reducing emissions.

A New Zealand wine sector decarbonisation programme is likely to be launched later this year, offering industry tools and resources to reduce carbon emissions.

EECA (the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority) has launched decarbonisation pathways for three sectors - covered cropping, brewing, and coffee - during the past year. Now it's working with New Zealand Winegrowers and individual companies to co-develop an industry-wide decarbonistion programme for wine. "We are looking forward to engaging more with winegrowers when the Wine Sector Decarbonisation Programme launches in 2023," EECA Group Manager, Business, Nicki Sutherland says.

Businesses account for about 40% of New Zealand's energy related emissions, so represent a big opportunity for decarbonisation. The Sector Decarbonisation collaborates with sector associations and technical experts to connect New Zealand businesses with "world-class innovation" and best practice guidance to decarbonise at a sector level, Nicki says. "The programme provides businesses with free access to helpful tools and resources, designed specifically for the sector." EECA takes an energy efficiency first approach, focussed on helping businesses understand how to use their existing equipment and processes as efficiently as possible to reduce overall energy use. "This reduces energy use and costs, with a flow on to their emissions, and makes fuel switching possible and cheaper later," she adds.

The pathway has been broken into five steps, which provide key information for New Zealand growers, no matter how far along the decarbonisation journey they are. That begins with increasing engagement and awareness by encouraging businesses to understand which business processes are carbon intensive, and including staff on the journey. Following this, businesses can measure their emissions and set targets, optimise equipment, and improve processes, reduce energy demand and switch to renewable energy.

The wine sector programme will include the online EECA Wine Energy Hub, tools and resources, as well as a pathway that businesses can sign up to and receive guided support through their decarbonisation journey.

The benefits of signing up to the decarbonisation pathway include:

  • Reducing costs - Improving energy efficiency can reduce the cost of operations and energy and help prepare for the rising cost of high emissions activities under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
  • Creating value - Improving processes and equipment can lead to an increase in productivity and decrease business impact on the environment. It can also drive customer interest.
  • Future proofing - The programme can prevent competition between individual businesses for the same services, resources, and opportunities, as well as reduce costs and contribute to future business continuity in a low carbon environment.
  • Informing about funding opportunities - Programme participants are the first to hear about funding opportunities as they come online, for example through EECA's equipment replacement scheme.

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