WINE SUSTAINABULLETIN
         Newsletter of the Waste Minimisation Club
  for Wineries in the Breede River Valley District
    Working together

                                                                                        Issue 3, April 2003

  This is the third edition of the Wine Sustainabulletin – the quarterly newsletter of the Waste Minimisation
  Club for Wineries in the Breede River Valley District. We trust that everyone’s harvesting season went well
  and hope that the flood damage in the Bonnievale, Robertson and Ashton area was not too severe and
  that all will return to normal for those affected as soon as possible.
                                                                   Darrin McComb & Henry Stoch, BECO-ISB

In this Issue:                                                           Treasurer:
• Waste Minimisation Club Update...........2                             Willem Joubert – Ashton Kelder
• Sustainable Viticulture ...........................2                   Secretariat:
• Developments in Alternative Cleaning                                   BECO - Institute for Sustainable Business
  Agents for Wineries: an Australian                                      Darrin McComb
                                                                         (021) 689-7117
• Environmental Training - Incentives to go
  for it! ......................................................5
                                                                         Table 1 - Official WMC Members 01/03/03
• Why    adopt    an        Environmental
  Management System ?..........................6
                                                                        Company           Contact           Phone No.
• Useful Information .................................8
                                                                        Ashton Kelder     Willem Joubert    023 615 1135

                                                                        Clairvaux         Louis Bruwer      023 626 3842

                                                                        De Wetshof        Willie Stofberg   023 615 1853

                                                                        KWV               Ernest Oliver     021 807 3032

                                                                        Langeberg         Paul Marais       023 626 2212

                                                                        McGregor          Gerhard Swart     023 625 1741

                                                                        Robertson         Hans Lismor       023 626 3059

                                                                        Roodezandt        Jacques du Toit   023 626 1160

                                                                        Zandvliet         Johan van Wyk     023 615 1146

                                                                                Henry Stoch, BECO-ISB
                                                       shows that you have taken the first step
Greetings to you all. The past 3 months has
                                                       towards monitoring and measurement of
been a frantic time for everyone at the
                                                       your environmental impacts. This is a most
wineries. The harvesting and winemaking
                                                       commendable feat and the challenge now
season is an experience to behold and I
                                                       lies in the actions that are taken in
certainly have enjoyed being in and around
                                                       response to the analysis of the information.
the wineries during this busy time.
                                                       The reports will be sent to you in early May.
You would have noticed a few BECO guys
                                                       In this newsletter we take a look at expert
wandering about your facilities while the
                                                       opinions from Australia on sustainability
grapes have been pouring in. We at BECO
                                                       and the importance of a structured risk
have made use of the busy production time
                                                       assessment and management process.
to source valuable information that will
provide us with insight into the areas of high         We read about alternative cleaning agents
wastage and areas of potential cost                    to Caustic and the value thereof, and we
savings.                                               look at the benefits to wineries of adopting
                                                       an environmental management system.
These ‘cleaner production scans’ that we
                                                       Included, is an article, which proves that
have conducted at your wineries will
                                                       environmental training should become an
provide you with the starting point to
                                                       integral part of one’s environmental
implementing      your     environmental
                                                       management. You will also find very
management system.
                                                       interesting information in the Useful
The fact that you belong to the waste                  Information section on sustainability
minimisation club and have played a role in            practices of wineries in California.
this entire information gathering process

                        SUSTAINABLE VITICULTURE
                                                  By F.M. Wigg, Viticulturist, Southcorp Wines, Australia

Our natural resources provide the basis for            Today some of our most prized wines are
production of wine. Any degradation of this            made from vines planted over 50 years ago
environment limits our future productivity             and vines aged more than 100 years old
and financial viability. Evidence of the               are still capable of producing sought after
declining health of our natural resources              grapes.
can already be found in the increasing salt            The concept of ‘terroir’, so beloved of the
levels carried by our rivers, rising water             French, is predicated on the interaction of
tables, loss of topsoil by erosion and                 environmental factors such as climate, soil
decreasing biodiversity.                               and water. When combined with sustained
A stark message comes from Fretz et al                 export success, these factors indicate that
(1993) who state that ‘farming systems                 the wine industry has a vested interest in
which fail to conserve their resource base             maintaining and enhancing its natural
will eventually lose their ability to produce’.        resources well into the future. In addition,
This simple truth is perhaps the most potent           consumers are increasingly concerned
driver of change in current agricultural               about food safety and the quality of the
production systems.                                    products they consume.
They are also interested in the impact of             Sustainability: the indefinable
pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and food            Sustainable viticulture is a term often heard
additives on human health and the                     but rarely defined. Sustainability lacks a
environment. Excessive or incorrect use of            firm definition perhaps because it
pesticides and some                                   encompasses a set of fundamentally
chemical fertilisers has resulted in problems         different    concepts        (Pannell     and
such as pesticide resistance by insects,              Schilizzi1998). No single definition is
weeds and disease organisms. Many useful              satisfactory without being multifaceted;
organisms which aid in biological control of          covering a broad range of related and
pests and diseases have often been                    important issues.
unintentionally damaged by non-specific               The Standing Committee on Agriculture
pesticides. Soil health has also declined as          (SCA) Working Group on Sustainable
a result of the destruction of soil-borne flora       Agriculture (1991) defined sustainable
and fauna due to excessive cultivation,               agriculture as:
toxicity or loss of food source.
                                                      •   the use of farming systems and
Consumer concern is reflected in the
                                                          practices which maintain or enhance;
increasing interest in organic products.
World trade in organic products was                   •   the economic viability of agricultural
estimated at US$11 billion in 1997 and                    production
growing at the rate of 20% per year
                                                      •   the natural resource base, and
(Parlevliet 2000). Consumers are strongly
indicating their preference for safe foods            •   other ecosystems which are influenced
produced without detriment to either people               by agricultural activities.
or environment.                                       Even though arriving at a definition is
Another issue to consider is the role of the          difficult, some say impossible, the
environment as a future trade barrier. The            underlying issue of its importance gives rise
World Trade Organisation may oversee the              to the need to be able to evaluate a
removal of barriers and subsidies amongst             system’s sustainability.
countries but there is no law against                 This should include risk identification and
retailers themselves setting standards for            the development of a plan to manage risk,
environmental sustainability. Retailers are           which incorporates targets and best
free to buy from anyone who meets their               management practices. Such a system
requirements. This offers the potential to            must have a demonstrated capacity to
create an informal system of environmental            implement, monitor and review the
protectionism which is outside the auspices           management plan whilst implementing a
of the WTO. Examples of such                          continuous improvement cycle.
environmental standards can already be
seen in the purchasing policies of Britain’s          An external audit capacity may also be
largest supermarket chains. It only remains           required to satisfy scrutiny from customers.
to be said that the Australian wine industry          In short, these are some of the elements of
relies heavily on exports to sustain growth           an environmental management system,
and that the potential is there to miss out on        which acts as a tool to achieve set goals.
market opportunities if demonstrable                  Specialists have suggested that beyond the
improvements are not made in                          capacity to demonstrate sustainability, such
environmental performance.                            a program should be based on a set of
                                                      goals rather than a specific set of practices
                                                      as such practices may differ between sites.

Developments in Alternative Cleaning Agents
               for Wineries:
         an Australian Perspective
                         Chris Astley, Chief Chemist and Quality Manager, Chesser Chemicals, Australia

                                                      The brown film is mainly protein based, but
                                                      also contains tannins that can oxidise and
                                                      polymerise with time making the film even
                                                      more difficult to remove.
                                                      The traditional method of tartrate removal is
                                                      to use sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda as
                                                      it is commonly called. This is readily
                                                      available in either a 99% pearl or solutions
                                                      with either 40 or 50% w/w caustic. Caustic
                                                      is effective at tartrate removal and is a low
The wine industry in Australia has                    cost material.
experienced rapid expansion in recent
years. This expansion has lead to problems            However, it is very hazardous to users, and
with effluent disposal in many areas. The             leads to a significant increase in the sodium
traditional method of tank cleaning in                ion content of the effluent. Solutions of
wineries uses large amounts of sodium                 caustic are circulated through a spray ball
hydroxide. This leads to an increase in the           or other cleaning head, and after about 30
salinity of the effluent, which can lead to           minutes the tank is generally clean.
reductions in crop yields and eventually to           The solution is dumped, and the tank rinsed
the land becoming unusable.                           a number of times with water, before a final
About two years ago Chesser Chemicals                 acidic rinse.
approached the IR&D Board with a                      Our project involved a number of stages.
proposal to develop improved cleaning
agents for wineries. The IR&D Board                   Stage 1 – Environmental Benefit through
through AusIndustry approved an R & D                 Reduced Caustic
start grant to develop the products. The              The first product developed was based on
main aims were both environmental with a              caustic soda, but at a reduced level. A
reduction in the amount of water used, and            blend of special low-foam caustic stable
salinity of the effluent, and to improve              surfactants, dispersants and sequestrants
Occupational Health and Safety.                       were used to increase penetration and
First – what do we need to clean in a wine            removal of tartrates. A controlled trial at
tank?                                                 Stonehaven Winery monitored temperature,
                                                      pH and tartrate removal on two 23,000 litre
The main deposit to be removed is the                 tanks with equal heavy tartrate deposits
tartrates. Principally potassium bitartrate,          from cold stabilisation of white wines.
but also with some calcium tartrate present.
                                                      One used our formulated product and the
The tartrates vary in thickness, porosity and         other an equal amount of caustic soda. The
hardness, so amounts of product used can              formulated product was much more
vary significantly. The other soil is the             effective with 98% of tartrate removed after
brown film. Ask anyone from a winery if               25 minutes. The caustic soda only removed
they have any cleaning problems and the               about 50% of the tartrate.
brown film always comes up.

Stage 2- Occupational Health and Safety             Training
Benefits                                            The last point we shouldn’t overlook in
The next stage produced a non caustic               more environmentally effective cleaning is
product that is much safer for the operators.       staff training. There is always the risk of
It gives excellent results on light to medium       overusing caustic to get a quick result. This
tartrate deposits. However, as it is based on       then leads to an increase in salinity, and
sodium containing alkalies, it does not lead        extra water is needed to rinse.
to any reduction in sodium ions in the              pH is an excellent guide as it drops as
effluent. But as the final pH is much lower,        tartrate is dissolved. A final pH of the wash
less rinsing is required resulting in some          solution of 10 –11 shows just enough has
saving in water.                                    been used. If it is still 13 – 14 too much is
Stage 3- Environmental           Benefit   –        being used. The pH strips are a useful
Potassium Based                                     guide and can be used for training and
                                                    monitoring. Much more accurate than the
Potassium hydroxide is significantly more
                                                    commonly used method of putting the
expensive than sodium hydroxide. But its
                                                    fingers into the solution to see if it still feels
use will lead to a much lower sodium ion
                                                    slippery. A well-trained experienced work
content in the effluent. Potassium like
                                                    force will lead to a reduction in usage of
sodium is a monovalent ion so can still lead
                                                    chemicals. Add this to the introduction of
to soil permeability problems. However it is
                                                    more effective products and effluent
an important ingredient of any fertilizer and
                                                    problems will be a thing of the past.
so should have beneficial effects on plants.

   Environmental Training - Incentives to go
                    for it!
                                                                              Henry Stoch BECO-ISB
South Africa’s education and training policy        will enable them to operate within the
is steadily transforming the face of our            confines      of     environmental      legal
educational      system.    The      National       requirements and, at the same time,
Qualifications Framework (NQF) is                   manage their activities more effectively.
committed to the full development of each           Organisations can claim back sizable
learner and to the social and economic              percentages of fees paid for accredited
development of the nation at large. The             courses from the SETA where they are
main change is the change in emphasis.              registered. The payout percentage will
The shift in thinking is from education for         determined by the SETA and will depend
employment – developing the ability to do a         on the status of the authority’s Work Place
specific job – to education for employability       Skills Plan.
– developing the ability to adapt acquired          This is of particular relevance to the
skills to new working environments.                 wineries if they intend on developing true
Organizations registered with their SETA            organizational change (at a reduced cost!!)
(sector education training authority) will be       for all involved in the production process.
getting value for money when they pay for           Training staff on washing techniques and
training programmes that are SAQA (South            best practice in winery cleaning would
African Qualifications Authority) accredited.       certainly assist in minimizing water wastage
                                                    as well as chemical cleaning agent
It is a guarantee that learners will be
                                                    wastage, both protecting the environment
equipped with skills that will build
                                                    and reducing related costs.
environmental management capacity, which

The excuse of training being too expensive
is no longer valid! Make the organizational
change now!

                      SYSTEM ?
                                         By: David Baker, Environmental management systems officer
                                                          Co operative Research Center for Viticulture
What is an Environmental Management                  It is a tool for building environmental
System?                                              considerations into the day-to-day conduct
An Environmental Management System is a              of business.
formal management plan for conducting all            As portrayed in the figure below, EMS is a
of your activities in a manner which                 cyclical process of Plan, Do, Check and Act
minimises any negative impacts upon                  based upon the key principal of continual
environmental quality and, where feasible,           improvement.
maximises any positive impacts.

Drivers for the Adoption of EMS in the               recognise the environment is in effect the
Industry                                             “factory” in which the grapes are
                                                     manufactured. Traditionally environmental
There are two basic needs that growers
                                                     management in the Industry, has consisted
and wineries (and all other businesses)
                                                     of a primarily common sense approach
have with respect to environmental
                                                     based upon the experience, knowledge and
                                                     instinct combined with an observation of
(a) The need to do the right thing and (b)           regulations. But is this enough?
the need to be perceived to be doing the
                                                     It is to be hoped that few in the Industry if
right thing. These combined with (c) good
                                                     any, manage their grape and wine
business sense make EMS something that
                                                     production on an ad hoc, reactive basis. A
growers and wineries should adopt.
                                                     planned and informed systematic approach
It is assumed that no one in the Industry            is used because this will produce better
wishes to damage the environment. Most               outcomes.

This is also the case for financial                 In summary the potential benefits of having
management. Given these examples why                an effective EMS in place, include that it:
should we then expect the best
                                                    •   Provides evidence of responsible &
environmental results without a formal
                                                        effective management with respect to
management plan?
                                                        environmental issues.
An effective EMS should:
                                                    •   Provides evidence of reasonable care
•   make growers / wineries more aware of               and regulatory compliance (proof that
    the impact that activities have upon the            obeying laws, reduces unintentional
                                                        non-compliance, can act as own whistle
•   environment;
•   enable     the    identification       of
                                                    •   Maintains and/or improve relations with
    shortcomings; and
                                                        community, government, other growers,
•   instigate action to address these with              industry, environmental organisations;
    an outcome of improved environmental
                                                    •   Leads to enhancement of image
                                                        (become      advocates for the
(b) The activities of growers and wineries              environment);
are increasingly subject to the scrutiny and
influence of external stakeholders including:       •   Has the potential for value adding from
                                                        addition and/or identification of an
•   Government(s)                                       environmental premium to output;
•   Environmental interest groups                   •   May act as entry ticket to markets;
•   General public                                  May lead to potential            operational
If growers/wineries cannot successfully             efficiencies & savings;
demonstrate to these stakeholders a level           •   Facilitates obtaining of        permits,
of environmental performance that satisfies             licenses & authorisations;
the stakeholder’s expectations, then there
is the potential for an adverse impact upon         •   Can reduce the number and magnitude
the Industry’s activities in the form of                of adverse incidents. This will reduce
increased regulations or restrictions. (One             the risk of damage and/or liability,
example of the significant influence of                 which in turn could lead to a reduction
stakeholders (consumers) has recently                   in insurance premiums;
been highlighted with the GMO debate). An           •   Demonstrates due diligence in legal
effective and accepted EMS can be used                  matters;
as evidence to stakeholders of an
environmentally responsible approach to             •   Places the organisation in a position to
business activities.                                    call upon or even insist upon improved
                                                        environmental performance from other
(c) In addition to addressing these two                 organisations (eg. other growers,
basic needs, the main motivation for                    wineries, government);
implementing an EMS should be that it
makes good business sense. An EMS can               •   Reduces the likelihood of increased
be a cost-effective means of managing                   government regulation for well-
environmental impacts with significant                  managed organisations/industries;
potential benefits. These benefits, relative        May lead to development of solutions to
to the associated costs, should provide the         environmental problems which may have
incentive to implementing and maintaining           commercial benefits; and perhaps most
an EMS.                                             importantly,

Ensures long term sustainability to the              expectations for EMS are important drivers
resource (and the business).                         for action to be taken today.
These drivers provide a strong argument in           Given that individual growers and wineries
favour of the use of EMS. The real                   are more likely to be focused with issues on
explanation for lack of adoption probably            a short to medium term basis, it perhaps
lies in the fact that awareness and                  falls to the Industry peak bodies to use their
understanding of the drivers is not sufficient       whole of Industry perspective to address
and /or widespread in the Industry. In               such a longer-term view.
particular, there needs to be recognition
that future stakeholder demands and

                      Useful Information
Websites:                                            CCVT developed the Positive Points
Wine Institute brings together the resources         System, the first description of a regionally
of 624 wineries and affiliated businesses to         based,       collaboratively       designed,
support legislative and regulatory advocacy,         sustainable vineyard.
international market development, media              The PPS is a tool to educate and guide
relations, scientific research, and education        growers towards more sustainable and
programs that benefit the entire California          reduced-risk  growing    practices.  It
wine industry.                                       addresses six categories of vineyard
Code of Sustainable Winegrowing                      operation:
                                                         •   Pest Management
                                                         •   Soil Management
                                                         •   Water Management
                                                         •   Viticulture Management
                                                         •   Wine Quality
                                                         •   Continuing Education

                      The  Central Coast             California Environmental Protection
                          Vineyard Team              Agency’s EMS pilot project on wineries:
                          (CCVT) is a
                         based partnership           wine0600.htm
                     of winegrape growers,
wineries,    University    of    California                        New Zealand Industry
Cooperative Extension farm advisors,                               Guide to Zero Waste:
consultants and the Department of
Pesticide Regulation (DPR).
Central   Coast      Vineyard          Team:         Go to


Shared By: