Pernod Ricard’s Australian wine brands achieve 100% renewable electricity
Pernod Ricard Winemakers, owner of the Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and Wyndham Estate brands, has claimed to be the first major wine company in Australia to convert its production to 100% renewable electricity.
All of the group’s sites in Australia are now supplied with renewable electricity after the company installed what it says is Australia’s largest combined cellar solar power project.
In collaboration with the energy company AGL, Pernod Ricard has installed more than 10,300 solar panels in its wine estates in the Barossa Valley. These panels are expected to generate an average of 4,000 megawatt hours per year, the equivalent of electricity needed to power 800 homes.
The wine group is also connected to off-site wind and solar farms, which it says is another first for a South Australian wine company, following its 10-year virtual production deal with the retailer. Electricity Flow Power.
Thus, the company sources solar and wind energy for the rest of the energy it needs.
The group recently unveiled its 2030 Roadmap for Sustainability and Accountability, consisting of eight goals aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These include in particular its subsidiaries each having a local biodiversity project by 2030; the creation of regenerative agriculture schemes in all the wine regions where it operates; guarantee equal pay and gender balance at the highest level; commit to training 10,000 bartenders; prohibit the use of single-use material in promotional material; reduce its carbon footprint by 50% and commit to a sustainable water supply; partnership with programs to combat alcohol abuse; and expanding its student “responsible party” program.
Brett McKinnon, CEO of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, said: “Pernod Ricard Winemakers is delighted to be the first major wine company in Australia to produce wine using entirely electricity from renewable sources, well ahead of our original goal and other large wine companies.
“Being sustainable and responsible is an important part of our business, especially as producers of wine – a product that takes its character from the land where it was grown. We want to minimize our impact on the communities where we operate, responding to the local climate and preserving the environment for future generations.
“Our journey started in 2016 with a pilot solar installation after recognizing that we had a huge opportunity in our wineries to harness the power of the sun through solar panels. Three years later, we are exceptionally proud to say that we now source our electricity from renewable sources, in line with our global ambition, ”he said.
This follows the announcement of the French operation of the company accused of having exerted “constant pressure” on staff to consume alcohol during a labor court.
The company, which is currently in the process of consolidating its two French national companies – Pernod and Ricard – into one company, resulting in job cuts, has vehemently denied the accusations.
Talk to dbsister magazine of, Spirits trade, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, Alexandre Ricard, said: “There is absolutely no obligation to drink. So it’s pretty sad because not only did it shock me – I can take a shock – it shocked people on the pitch.
“In the code of conduct, the charter, we not only say that there is no obligation [to drink], but if there is inappropriate behavior and alcohol abuse, it can go as far as dismissal, and it has happened. “