In an effort to fight global warming, Rodney Strong Vineyards has achieved carbon neutral status.
The winery is the first in Sonoma County achieve this status. Rodney Strong recently became a member of The Climate Registry (theclimateregistry.org), where it will calculate and report emissions of winery and vineyard greenhouse gases, allowing the company to mitigate and offset those emissions.
Rodney Strong enrolled in PG&E’s ClimateSmart program (joinclimatesmart.com) in an effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. ClimateSmart is a voluntary, tax-deductible program that allows enrolled customers to balance out the GHG emissions produced by the energy they use.
To participate, customers pay a separate amount on their monthly energy bill, based on their actual energy use. PG&E invests all payments in new, independently verified environmental conservation, restoration and protection projects that reduce or absorb GHG emissions.
In addition, NativeEnergy (nativeenergy.com) is working with the winery to counterbalance carbon emissions with purchased carbon offset credits benefiting three projects that create new green energy.
Over the years, Rodney Strong has implemented numerous green business practices to reduce its impact on the environment. The company installed one of the largest solar electric systems in the wine industry in 2003; updated production facility lights to energy efficient fixtures with motion sensors; farms in accordance with the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Workbook; and received Fish Friendly Farming certification for its estate vineyards. In 2004, the winery received the EPA/U.S. Department of Energy Green Power Leadership Award and Sonoma Green Business Certification.
“As with making great wine, going green starts in the vineyard,” says winery owner Tom Klein. “Our sustainable farming led us to install solar panels to conserve energy, participate in Fish Friendly Farming to protect the nearby streams, and audit our whole winery’s green practices for immediate and ongoing environmental progress.
“I’m proud to say that now, in 2009, we’ve become carbon neutral and hold ourselves accountable for our winery’s carbon footprint. Global warming is real and one of today’s biggest threats to our future. This is something we had to do. The whole world needs to get involved in solving this problem.”