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UPDATE 2023

Introduced by winemaker Henry Laithwaite.

Few obsess about the weather more than wine growers.

I should know, I’ve done it all my life. When you spend your days looking at weather apps and living through the seasons it is difficult not to notice how quickly our world is changing.

Talk to any of our winemakers around the world – at last count 454 of them – and the message is the same …

They only get one shot a year at greatness, and climate change is making it harder and harder.

Every year there is a new disaster story:

  • Jean-Charles after a freak hailstorm destroyed 90% of his crop in Provence,
  • our Aussie mates seeing vineyards literally going up in smoke,
  • the South Africans when their rivers ran dry.

The list goes on.

The bottom line? Without a stable climate there can be no great wines. Worse still, it puts the wineries and the communities that depend on them in jeopardy.

So … what to do about it?

Well, while we’re humble enough to know we can’t change the world on our own, we can try to change the bit we know best … the wine world.

No PR stunts. No greenwashing. Just hard work and trying to do the right thing. Afterall, we’re a family business – planning for another 50 great years and beyond.

Here, then, is what we’re up to … and what’s coming next.

Henry Laithwaite

Winemaker at Harrow & Hope

WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO THRIVE IN A FUTURE WE ARE PROUD TO LEAVE BEHIND

“A Climate-Safe Future”. This is the vision which directs our efforts. We believe that by driving improvement in 5 key priority areas, we can contribute to building that future. Here’s what we need to do.

The above gives us a strong and clear set of ambitious targets which will guide our actions over the next 8 years.

Just as a reminder…

Scope 1 emissions are directly related to the operation of our business. The fuel for our vehicles. The gas to heat our buildings. The refrigerant gas in our air conditioning systems. Scope 2 includes the electricity used at our sites. But in businesses like ours, the biggest challenges (and opportunities!) will often be found within Scope 3. Those emissions which are only indirectly related to our business, most often from activities within our supply chain.

For a third year, we have continued to measure our full emissions breakdown as per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and the recognised Scopes mentioned above. We will continue to do so each year to monitor our progression towards our carbon reduction targets.

SO HOW ARE WE DOING?

  • Last year, our total Carbon Footprint shrank by 27%. Whilst this may sound impressive, the reality is that this reduction was driven by a decrease in volume sold. The all-important metric of Carbon emissions per bottle was largely unchanged from the previous year. On average a bottle of wine emits nearly 1.3kg CO2. We want to get this down to 1.
  • We have made a start. Recent efforts to reduce emissions include switching to green energy providers, improving energy efficiency, and investing in electric vans for our shops. This has driven a 30% decrease in our Scope 1 & 2 Carbon emissions. A good result.
  • But, knowing that Scope 3 accounts for 98% (!) of our total footprint means that we need to do more to reduce emissions related to growing, wine making, bottling, and freighting. This is why we are working with our suppliers to reduce bottle weight, increase volumes sold in low carbon formats, and increase the proportion of wine being shipped in bulk.

ON AVERAGE, EACH BOTTLE OF WINE EMITS NEARLY 1.3KG CO2-E

OUR (OPERATIONAL) CARBON FOOTPRINT

This includes Scope 1, Scope 2, and the Scope 3 emissions which are part of our day-to-day operations. We also add emissions from home deliveries, to estimate the total amount of carbon we want to offset. And to ensure every delivery is green!

YEAR ON YEAR COMPARISON

YEAR ON YEAR COMPARISON (TCO2E) 20/21 22/23
FUELS, REFRIGERANT GAS 455 460 1%
ELECTRICITY 954 519 -46%
PURCHASED GOODS AND SERVICES 66,575 47,603 -28%
UPSTREAM FUEL AND ENERGY-RELATED EMISSIONS 390 544 39%
TRANSPORT AND DISTRIBUTION 17,677 11,439 -35%
WASTE GENERATED IN OPERATIONS 205 271 32%
BUSINESS TRAVEL 90 311 246%
EMPLOYEE COMMUTING 176 1660 843%
USE OF SOLD PRODUCTS 564 378 -33%
END OF LIFE OF SOLD PRODUCTS 2,880 2,344 19%
DOWNSTREAM LEASED ASSETS 200 298 49%
SUBTOTAL, SCOPE 3 88,674 64,848 -27%
TOTAL 90,166 65,827 -27%

NEXT STEPS FOR CLIMATE AND BIODIVERSITY ACTION

Whilst our top priority is to EMIT LESS, we know we must also do more, to STORE CARBON and RESCUE BIODIVERSITY. But how?

By supporting projects which lock up carbon, protect habitat, and enhance biodiversity. One such project, The Great Reserve, aims to preserve the planet’s largest and potentially most powerful carbon capture tree: the Giant Sequoia. Their mission? To create a UK forest network of 100,000 Giant Sequoias. Primarily, to protect a species at risk. But also, to enhance biodiversity through planting three natives for every Sequoia. This is positive climate and biodiversity action. Sleeves rolled up, we are excited to be supporting such projects in a tangible and practical way.

And, because we want to address carbon from our operations and home deliveries, we will also keep investing in the Voluntary Carbon Market. Because we want to help drive demand for projects which (thanks to carbon finance) are contributing to solving the problem. And because the climate crisis demands that businesses make full use of every tool at their disposal, imperfect as they may be.

Job done? Of course not! But hopefully this will inspire Climate Action elsewhere. Particularly in our supply chain, where the greatest opportunities for improvements are located. And, as we make progress towards our 2030 targets, we’ll reduce the need to offset. In the meantime, let’s do whatever we can to keep climate chaos at bay. And, whilst having some fun, let’s tackle the very serious task of saving the planet’s largest trees.