International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) releases 1st Annual Report and presents new membership structure

Event / 2021 · 10 · 25

International Wineries for Climate Action presented its first Annual Report at a press briefing in London, with Miguel A. Torres (Familia Torres), Rob Symington (Symington Family Estates) and guest presenter Fiona Macklin from the UN-backed Race to Zero Campaign.

IWCA board member Rob Symington (Symington Family Estates) outlined that IWCA has grown into an international collective with 10 member wineries and 12 applicant members joining since its foundation by visionary winemakers Miguel A. Torres (Familia Torres) and Katie Jackson (Jackson Family Wines) in Barcelona in February 2019.

The 2021 Annual Report outlined that IWCA wineries have invested heavily in measuring and reducing their emissions and sharing their knowledge and best practices with other IWCA members and the broader wine community to help build a global movement. IWCA has also grown stronger as an organization and is now registered as a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization. The Meridian Institute has been appointed as a new secretariat.

The annual report is not only a reflection of the rigorous science-based approach of IWCA, but also a reporting document that ensures that applicants and members are held accountable to their commitments and demonstrate tangible progress towards climate neutrality by 2050. This is not only a requirement of IWCA membership, but also to remain part of the Race to Zero Campaign.

Rob Symington also highlighted that IWCA’s new tiered membership structure (with Applicant, Silver and Gold Members) aims to recruit new members and allow wineries to join earlier, enabling them to benefit from guidance from other members on how to conduct GHG (Greenhouse Gases) inventories and adopt emissions reductions strategies.

One of IWCA’s founding objectives was to develop a standardized methodology for wineries to account for annual GHG emissions. Yet IWCA also recognized how complex and costly it can be to calculate and audit GHG emissions, particularly for small wineries and wineries new to GHG emissions measurement. To help reduce this barrier and help recruit more members, IWCA developed a GHG calculator and a pilot version is now available for U.S. based wineries using U.S. based emissions factors. The calculator has been developed with the technical expertise of Sustridge Sustainability Consulting, and is aligned with the World Resources Institute (WRI), GHG Protocols and ISO-14064 standards. The plan is to implement regional updates to the tool and make it more widely accessible.

Fiona Macklin from Race to Zero congratulated IWCA on its first Annual Report and said: “It’s wonderful to see wineries from across all corners of the world joining IWCA, and through IWCA joining Race to Zero. As the first Partner initiative from the food and agriculture sector in Race to Zero, IWCA is demonstrating leadership and rigour in managing its members to meet the robust, science-aligned criteria needed to race towards a better, healthier, zero carbon world. This groundswell of ambitious commitments and action from IWCA members will give confidence to national government that non-state actors from across the real economy are racing to decarbonise: there is no time to lose.”

Miguel A. Torres added: “It is clear that no one can afford a “stand by and watch” attitude towards climate change anymore; what we have is a climate crisis. It is crucial that action is taken on all levels, in all sectors, in all parts of the world so that together we can put a stop to this madness that will make our earth almost uninhabitable at the end of this century.”