The IWCA becomes the first Race to Zero member to represent the wine and agriculture sector.
SANTA ROSA, CALIF. (March 31, 2021) – International Vineyards Against Climate Change (IWCA) has joined Race to Zero, a United Nations-backed global campaign that brings together businesses, cities, regions and investors to achieve a healthy and sustainable zero carbon footprint, prevent future threats, create decent jobs and pave the way for inclusive and sustainable growth. The IWCA becomes the first Race to Zero member to represent the wine and agriculture sector.
The Race to Zero, launched on World Environment Day 2020 (5 June), aims to drive the transition to a low-carbon economy in the run-up to COP26, where governments are expected to strengthen their contribution to the Paris Agreement. All members have committed to the same overall goal of halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. This will send a clear message to governments that businesses, cities, regions and investors are united to meet the Paris targets and create a more inclusive and sustainable economy. To date, the campaign has mobilized a coalition of leading net zero initiatives representing more than 12% of the global economy, including 23 regions, 471 cities, 1,675 companies, 569 universities and 85 investors.
Although the wine sector is responsible for only a small proportion of emissions, it is one of the agricultural activities most affected by global climate change. We welcome the participation of international wine producers in the Race to Zero and applaud their commitment to becoming climate-positive by 2050, said Nigel Topping, the UK’s leading climate champion at COP26.
Gonzalo Muñoz, Chile’s top climate change official for COP25, said: I am a wine grower myself and have a great love and appreciation for the industry. I’m excited to see wineries around the world join the Race for Zero Emissions as the first agri-food initiative, and I look forward to seeing how other companies use natural solutions to join our journey to a net zero income.
Founded in February 2019 by Torres Family (Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (USA), the IWCA is a collaborative working group that addresses climate change through innovative strategies to reduce carbon emissions. The IWCA’s target for all its members is to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and become climate positive for scopes 1 to 3 by 2050. By joining Race to Zero, the IWCA will act as a mediator and advocate for the wine and agriculture industry to build momentum and support immediate solutions that will help wineries and vineyard owners achieve the goal of a positive climate. The IWCA will also publish an annual report detailing the progress of member wine producers’ greenhouse gas emissions and their targets – a requirement of the Race to Zero initiative.
As part of these efforts, the IWCA recently produced a Soil Report for its members, which details research and best practices used by IWCA member wineries to promote soil health and carbon sequestration in their vineyards. These include regenerative agricultural practices that can provide a wide range of environmental benefits and sequester and store carbon in the vineyard soil, including conservation tillage, composting, crop diversity, animal and insect integration, and many other agricultural practices.
As a global wine company with vineyards and wineries on four continents, we are proud to be a founding member of the IWCA, whose collective efforts have made it possible for us to participate in this important UN Race to Zero campaign, said Cathy Jackson, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and second generation owner. Joining this unprecedented coalition demonstrates not only our family’s serious commitment to finding solutions to reduce carbon emissions, but also the immediate and positive impact of our work with other IWCA members around the world, she added.
Miguel A. Torres, president of Familia Torres and co-founder of the IWCA, added: It’s great to see the Race to Zero campaign bringing together so many different initiatives to achieve net-zero, and making it clear that as a global community we cannot afford to sit back and watch climate change happen. Let’s hope that by 2050 there are more initiatives that become climate-positive to let our world leaders know that the 2015 Paris Agreement is absolutely necessary and that together we can stop this madness that will make our earth almost uninhabitable by the end of the century.
The IWCA is open to all wineries that consider climate change a serious threat. To become a member of the IWCA, applicants must use at least 20% on-site renewable energy sources, reduce CO2 emissions per unit of wine produced by 25% and conduct an annual greenhouse gas audit (under scopes 1, 2 and 3) using the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol methodology (in accordance with the ISO14064 process) and be audited by an internationally recognised third-party auditor. Visit https://www.iwcawine.org/ to learn how your winery can apply for membership.
ABOUT THE IWCA
The International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) was founded in 2019 by the Spanish Torres family and the California winemaking family Jackson. The initiative was launched by two large wine-growing families, who attach great importance to respecting the environment and are passionate about preserving the world’s wine heritage in the face of climate change. The IWCA is a working group tasked with taking collective action to decarbonise the global wine industry. The goals of member wineries are to reduce their carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to be climate-positive for scopes 1 to 3 by 2050.
The IWCA is open to wineries that recognize that climate change is the most serious threat to the wine community and are driven by an urgent need for strategic action to accelerate innovative solutions. In 2019, the IWCA received the Star of Vision award for its leadership in advancing collaborative climate action in the wine sector.
The IWCA currently has 10 members from 6 different countries and 4 different continents. www.iwcawine.org