The Simonsberg Conservancy is a Non-Profit and Public Benefit organisation, which supports its members in their conservation efforts, as well as providing services to the surrounding communities. The Conservancy is situated in the wine region of Stellenbosch amid rare Renosterveld Fynbos, just 50 km from Cape Town.
I-CAT introduced three of its services at the meeting. These included environmental and carbon solutions, water purification solutions and gravel road dust solutions.
The dramatic increase in global competition, growing uncertainty over environmental resource availability and the fragility of the global economy has conspired to draw the attention of international governments, businesses and consumers to the issue of sustainability. The industry is exposed to growing international demands for more sustainable production systems, more efficient distribution systems and continued innovation in wine-making.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also supports biodiversity in winemaking. In 2004, the wine industry developed a conservation partnership with the Botanical Society of South Africa, Conservation International and The Green Trust, which led to the establishment of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI).
Widely praised as a pioneering partnership between the country’s wine industry and conservation sector, its mandate is not only confined to protecting natural habitat, but also encourages wine producers to farm sustainably and express the advantages of the Cape’s abundant diversity in their wines. The BWI label is displayed on wines that adhere to the rules of the initiative.
I-CAT briefly introduced its services in Carbon Life Cycle Assessments (LCA). The LCA reveals relatively low carbon emissions occurring downstream (retail and final consumption) but substantial contribution made in the vineyard, particularly from trellising system components and viticulture practices, and at the winery, particularly bottling and packaging. Together these account for more than one-half of the total carbon emissions from the chain.
The primary objective of the talk was to emphasize the value of sustainable value chain analysis (SVCA) as a tool for achieving better alignment between the allocation of environmental resources in the wine industry and environmental management throughout the chain.
I-CAT can assist wine farmers in assessing their current environmental challenges and develop and incorporate sustainable solutions for them. The global market is becoming increasingly competitive. The informed consumer is aware of global environmental challenges and will support products that show environmental responsibility in their production cycles.