The Economics of Sustainability w/ Anna Brittain, Napa Green

As designer and Executive Director of sustainability non-profit Napa Green, Anna Brittain is passionate about taking action on the 7 pillars of sustainability. Spreading the word about how pursuing sustainability can save money is critical. Anna describes how she defines the 7 pillars of sustainability, what makes Napa Green unique, gives concrete examples of how wineries save money with sustainability, and the launch of the symposium Napa Thrives to accelerate the pace of action.   

Listen here.

Detailed Show Notes:

Definition of sustainability for agriculture has 6 pillars, now expanding to 7

  • 1. Water efficiency
  • 2. Energy efficiency
  • 3. Waste prevention and green purchasing
  • 4. Integrated pest management and biodiversity
  • 5. Social equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • 6. Climate action and regenerative agriculture
  • 7. Communications and engagement

Napa Green

  • 1 of 4 programs nationwide that have sustainability certification for vineyards and wineries
  • Addresses all parts of sustainability vs. 1 issue (most programs are only environmental; e.g., organic only for vineyards and not using synthetic pesticides)
  • ~15 programs globally that address sustainability holistically
  • Boots on the ground for direct support achieve more action
  • 90 wineries, 15k acres in the program
  • Policy vs. boots on the ground give very different perspectives
  • Certification requires >120 standards for wineries and >100 for vineyards

Economics of sustainability

  • Myth: sustainability will cost a lot of money -> it can actually help save money
  • Money-saving examples: 
  • Variable frequency drives for energy efficiency, 1-3 year payback
  • Turn down the water heater temp when you don’t need it super hot – save thousands on water and energy bills
  • Chateau Montelena – used Tooley Technologies for real-time data on water needs on an underperforming vineyard, saved $0.5-1M in improving the vineyard w/in a few years; phased out wooden boxes for wine to branded cardboard, reducing shipments from 5 to 2 (less space and weight), cut materials cost 50%, cut emissions, reduced wine breakage
  • ~50% of members have solar, but people don’t notice when inverters go down and don’t fix it until they see a high electric bill, it could save tens of thousands through monitoring and maintenance
  • Cakebread – focused on reducing waste, bought Big Belly solar trash compactors reducing trash pickups, saved ~$30k in first 3 years
  • Areas of opportunity: vineyards – develop a custom carbon farm plan (e.g., cover crop, compost, biodiversity, etc.), lays out how much carbon can be stored; compost is a big bang for the buck for carbon and water storage and nutrients; winery – water usage, including energy to transport, heat, and treat water, new regulations around wastewater also need consideration
  • ~30-50% of emissions from packaging and distribution

Best practice: think systematically, from vineyards to winery to getting wine to consumers; members often think of one-off projects vs. looking at the entire landscape

Marketing sustainability

  • Hosts ambassador training to get people talking about it
  • Potentially $1-3/bottle premium for organic/sustainable wines
  • Wineries are often willing to pay a premium to buy sustainably grown grapes

Napa Thrives – symposium w/ Martin Reyes MW

  • Goal is to accelerate the pace of sustainability and climate action

Making the commitment to third party certification takes time and effort, but it is worth it to demonstrate our commitment to the community and to protect our watershed, our land and the air we breathe.​

Join these rockstars of winemaking this week at @complinewineshop for Vino & Vinyl night featuring all Napa Green Certified Wineries! 

🗓️: Thursday, July 18th 
📍: Compline Wine Shop 
⏰: 7:00pm 

Get your tickets now at the link in our bio! 💃🍷

@tressabores, @ashesxdiamonds, @spottswoodewinery, @closduval, @larkmeadvineyards, @complinewineshop, @tisharoundtown
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Plan your tasting at @phiferpavittwine in August! 🍷

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
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You’re invited.. 

Join us for a fun night featuring some awesome Napa Green wineries! Link in profile for tickets. 🎵🍷

📍: @complinewineshop 
🗓️: Thursday 6/18/24 7:00-9:00pm
🎟️: Linked in profile
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Plan your tasting at the beautiful new Garden Pavilion at Napa Green Champion winery @whitehalllane! 

Help support Napa Green while sipping on delicious Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot amongst the scenic views. Cheers to Climate Smart Wines! 🍷

#napavalley #winereels #sustainability #winetasting #winetrip #visitnapavalley #cheers #vineyardviews #winelovers
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Plan your trip to @cliffamily this August for our ‘Cheers to Climate Smart Wines’ campaign! 

Clif Family Winery & Farm will be creating a beautiful food and wine tasting menu for the month of August with a percentage going straight to support Napa Green! 

Plan your visit to the tasting room, food truck or gorgeous Enoteca Private Tasting Salon in August to enjoy great food & wine while helping to support this important initiative! 

#napavalley #sustainability #napa #cheers #winereels #winetasting #visitnapavalley #winebusiness #wineindustry #winetrip
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We’re thrilled to announce our ‘Cheers to Climate Smart Wines’ campaign starting in August! 

Several of our champion members will be curating special offerings to support Napa Green and highlight the brilliant work being done in Climate Action here in Napa Valley. 

Join us this August and visit @spottswoodewinery & @mkshepp!
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Economics of Organics on June 25th at @grgichhills. Register at the link in our bio. 

🎙️: @soilrainandhope 
🎞️: @mvino1
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Seeking third party auditors! Email sierra@napagreen.org for full details!
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Have you been to Napa Green Certified @boeschenvineyards yet?
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Team Green outing today at the stunning @boeschenvineyards as we celebrate big things that we can’t wait to share with you! 🌿
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One of the main resistances to phasing out glyphosate is increased labor and equipment costs. However, the costs of herbicides and fertilizers have risen dramatically, so increased labor demands can be offset by reduced supply chain purchases. 

In addition, leaders like Grgich Hills Estate have shown that regenerative organic farming can be cost-effective. According to an analysis by Brotemarkle Davis & Co. LLP accounting firm, the average annual per acre cost of vineyard management in the Napa Valley is $14,800, with $3,800 in depreciation. At Grgich, they spend $11,000 per acre, with only $1,300 in depreciation due to the longer life of their vineyards. 

Learn from regional leaders about the practical costs, benefits, and ROI of herbicide-free, organic, and regenerative vineyard management.

Confirmed Speakers:
• Ivo Jeramaz, Grgich Hills
• Phil Coturri, Enterprise Vineyard Management & Winery Sixteen 600
• Brad Kurtz, Gloria Ferrer
• Brenae Royal, St. Supery
• Rebekah Wineburg, Quintessa

Register at the link in our bio.
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“Storytelling is key… and sustainability is the most important topic in wine.”

Thank you @elinmccoy for an incredible and insightful conversation with @napagreen members about the stories most likely to capture journalists attention.
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Thank you to all who attended our Future of Water Workshop yesterday at Napa Green Certified @silveroakcellars! 

Stay tuned for more from our luminary speakers @mimicasteel, @todmostero, @petergleick & our own @abrittain.
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Join us for a special roundtable workshop with award-winning journalist Elin McCoy, global wine critic for Bloomberg News and US editor for the podcast The Wine Conversation, with listeners in 95 countries. 

Elin will sit down with a small group of Napa Green members (max 25 guests) and share her insights on the types of stories and pitches most likely to engage the media. In particular, she’ll focus on stories related to sustainable winegrowing, climate action, and social equity. 

Elin will speak and answer questions for about an hour. Then we’ll break into small groups to develop a story pitch, and come back together to present and get Elin’s feedback and input. This is a rare opportunity to get ideas and inspiration from a leading wine journalist. Register at the link in our profile.
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Climate Action & Regenerative Agriculture! Our sixth pillar that encompasses all that we do at Napa Green. 🌼
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