The Cakebread vegetable garden uses recycled water from their reclamation pond.
Permeable pavers reflect heat and allow water to filter into the drainage system below.
Walking paths through the parking area create an enjoyable walk into the winery for employees and guests.
Bio-swales collect surface water runoff and help filter and return the water back into the groundwater table.
Bruce Cakebread and Cakebread Cellars are championing water conservation with their new green parking lot – native trees, drought tolerant grasses and flowers, permeable pavement and bio-swales that capture and filter water and recharge groundwater.
The most important aspect of water conservation is tracking your water use. Put flow meters in strategic locations. Cakebread has a flow meter on each building, all landscaping and each of the property’s houses. Once the metering is in place, a dedicated staff person should track water use monthly. This will identify leaks and areas to improve efficiency. Without water metering you can’t answer the question, “Can we do this with less water?”
Understand where your biggest water uses are and focus on low-hanging fruit – e.g., use a squeegee rather than a hose to clean the cellar floor.
Educate your employees. Cakebread has a staff Green Committee that meets quarterly to discuss specific topics and communicate to individual departments. Sustainability priorities are incorporated in employee hiring. They don’t just want employees to make changes at work but also at home. Cakebread has been Napa Green since 2008 and now it’s a part of their culture.
Take your employees on visits to other innovative facilities and get inspired. Cakebread recently took its Green Committee on a tour of sustainability practices at Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico. They saw highly efficient natural gas-powered micro-turbines and are now in the process of installing them – and they got to drink some great beer, too!