Winery Given Carbon Neutral Status

South African Backsberg Estate gains coveted status


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Backsberg Estate Cellars in South Africa's Paarl winemaking district has become one of only three wineries worldwide, all in the southern hemisphere, to gain Carbon Neutral status by sequestrating its carbon emissions. Carbon emissions have given rise to the fear of climate change and increased global warming.

Owner Michael Back, who views himself as a custodian rather than owner of the land and over 321 acres of vineyards, commissioned a comprehensive carbon audit in order to ascertain the carbon emissions consequent to his farming and winemaking activities.

The scientific audit, which follows the standard applied in the Kyoto Protocol on Green House Gas emissions, reviewed all activities from overall energy consumption to CO² emitted during fermentation.

The solutions necessary for Backsberg to reduce its carbon footprint will include planting around 900 trees, mainly indigenous, within the nearby village of Klapmuts, a project that will be managed by Food and Trees for Africa, a non-profit national greening organisation driving the Carbon Standard offset program in South Africa.

Other measures being considered include conversion to bio fuel, setting aside land for development of additional biomass and reviewing packaging.

"The solutions being implemented will not only render Backsberg's South African-based activities carbon neutral," adds the farm's CEO John Spiers, "calculations of carbon emissions transporting our wine to US and UK ports were also included in the audit. So our American customers can rest assured the journey across the Atlantic is not negating the benefits realized here."

All Backsberg wines now carry the Food and Trees for Africa carbon standard logo.


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