In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is more than just being environmentally-friendly; it integrates protection of the environment, profitability, and social values. BC winery and vineyard operators want to practice good land stewardship, offer safe and fulfilling employment, and be respectful neighbours. We want to pass a meaningful legacy to future generations while being economically viable today.
Being certified Sustainable by SWBC, means meeting the criteria in four areas of our work:
- The Viticulture
- The Winemaking
- The business and the operation as a whole
- The People
See our blog for detailed breakdown of the criteria and the work undertaken in each sub area.
I think it means, as a group (the company as a whole), we are looking at all areas of our business in the way they intersect and weave between the environmental, financial, and social factors. It isn't just about one piece of the puzzle. When we are being sustainable, we are looking at each piece in reference to how it affects the other areas. They're all related and affect each other.
To me, sustainability is the practice of common sense, morals, ethics, safety and hard work. It is striving for a goal in the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly way. Working with a team of people that are all dedicated and passionate is key. It’s difficult to sustain anything if all those involved are not participating and headed in the same direction with a positive mindset. Constant discussion and communication between all parties involved is also a major factor.
I am very thankful to be a part of a progressive minded company. As temporary stewards of this land and part of a greater community, the ecosystem and resources must be protected. Lack of past foresight has placed us in a precarious spot. It is imperative that we consider the impacts todays actions have on tomorrow. That includes re-thinking and re-evaluating every aspect of our business constantly.