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THE South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) announced the finalists and winners of its 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards with the theme of ‘waste’ at its annual luncheon on Friday.

In presenting the awards, Brian Smedley, SAWIA chief executive, commended the entrants and noted the strength of all applicants.

“These awards recognise and celebrate the achievements and innovations of SAWIA members in good environmental practice and provide leadership and inspiration for others to benefit from improved environmental management,” he said.

The finalists in the ‘excellence in waste avoidance’ category, sponsored by Adelaide sustainability consultancy 2XE, were:

  • Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) – for collaborative development of a prototype five row vineyard sprayer to incorporate spray capture and reuse, that can dramatically improve resource use efficiencies and avoids chemical wastage.
  • The Yalumba Wine Company – for collaborative development and refinement of methodologies for high solids cross flow filtration that dramatically reduces filtration media waste, while simultaneously avoiding significant wastage of wine from quality downgrades.

Smedley said both finalists had “avoided the generation of excessive waste at different points in the production chain through early adoption of technology solutions that decreased the amount of wasted resources”.

The Yalumba Wine Company was judged by an independent panel as the winner for their project, which involved considerable risk as an early adopter in a technology that has subsequently become almost mainstream, partly resulting from Yalumba’s willingness to collaborate and openly share its knowledge.

Nick Palousis, 2XE (left) with Cecil Camilleri, Yalumba Wine Co. Photo: Stephanie Timotheou

Nick Palousis, 2XE (left) with Cecil Camilleri, Yalumba Wine Co. Photo: Stephanie Timotheou.

The finalists in the ‘excellence in waste recycling’ category, sponsored by Nuriootpa-based environmental service and products provider Tarac Technologies, were:

  • Accolade Wines – for development of a collaborative waste management strategy for the Berri winery site that resulted in a significant increase in recycling rate over all types of waste.
  • Pernod Ricard Winemakers – for a range of stakeholder engagement programs to increase the segregation and recycling of organic and non-organic wastes from sites in the Barossa.

Smedley commended both finalists for their efforts in undertaking consistent cost-effective practices to improve the management of their solid waste streams, resulting in significant increases in the recycling rate.

The judging panel awarded Accolade Wines as the winner due to its larger scale of increase in recycling rate, the extent of engagement with the local community and symbiosis with the waste industry value chain to final local and mutually beneficial solutions.

Travis Haeft, Accolade Wines (left) with Jeremy Blanks, Tarac Technologies. Photo: Stephanie Timotheou

Travis Haeft, Accolade Wines (left) with Jeremy Blanks, Tarac Technologies. Photo: Stephanie Timotheou.

“These initiatives were examples of the wine industry’s contribution towards our state’s clean, green reputation,” Smedley said.

“I commend the initiative and effort of those SAWIA members who submitted a nomination for the awards.”

He also acknowledged the support of the sponsors of the 2014 awards – 2XE and Tarac Technologies.

Next year’s SAWIA Environmental Excellence Awards will have a theme topic of ‘energy’ and will be announced in May next year.