Fetzer Vineyards, Mendocino County, Calif., announced it has signed a climate emergency declaration letter that recognizes the need to take definitive climate action now "to avoid irreversible changes to the planet and its inhabitants arising from the climate crisis." In signing the declaration, Fetzer Vineyards agrees to accountable measurements tied to science-based targets aimed at limiting global average temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to becoming climate positive in its business operations by 2030.
This declaration is in line with the California vintner's long-standing commitment to climate-smart winegrowing, and ushers in a new era of planet action tied to measurable global needs in the face of the existential threat created by a rapidly warming planet.
"We have a moral responsibility as a business to take swift action on the climate crisis," said Giancarlo Bianchetti, chief executive officer (CEO) of Fetzer Vineyards, in a statement. "As the historic source of a significant amount of the planet's greenhouse gases, the business sector has a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership in the context of the climate crisis by eliminating emissions and drawing down carbon as rapidly as possible. This declaration reaffirms our commitment to doing so."
Fetzer Vineyards' commitment to achieving climate positive operations by 2030 means the winery plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout all scopes of its business, including transportation and product end-of-life, while increasing carbon drawdown through enhanced regenerative agriculture programs. This three-step process of reducing emissions, insetting carbon, and offsetting any remaining unavoidable emissions will allow the business to become as carbon-efficient as possible, then go further by sequestering more carbon than it is emitting, it says. The winery commits to reporting regularly and transparently on its progress toward climate positive operations, with milestones tied to science-based targets and in line with the tenets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SDGs are a global standard and the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, addressing global challenges faced around the world including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice, it says. In keeping with the spirit of the SDGs, Fetzer Vineyards' commitment to achieving climate positive business operations will require ensuring that initiatives provide for a "just transition" that takes into account the welfare of people and communities implicated by the climate crisis.
In declaring a climate emergency, Fetzer Vineyards, which has long focused on regenerative agriculture and climate-smart business practices aimed at reducing overall environmental impact, signals a refocusing of its efforts toward even more ambitious, transformational initiatives to address the catastrophic nature of the climate crisis, it says. The winery will pair this operational transformation with ongoing climate policy advocacy work and collaborative initiatives within the wine industry, with the goal to ignite collective action and avoid the life-altering challenges the world will face if we fail to act, it adds.
The following is Fetzer Vineyards climate emergency declaration:
Fetzer Vineyards was founded at a time when there was little to no expectation of the role of business in taking climate action. This context has irrefutably changed, with the likes of escalating catastrophic wildfires and droughts, soil degradation and desertification, famine and climate refugee phenomena dire warnings of what is to come if we do not respond.
Today, it is abundantly clear there is a climate emergency directly threatening all life on Earth, requiring immediate and radical action by our business and society if we are to avoid a rise in average global temperatures beyond 1.50 Celsius—after which there will be no coming back.
As the historic source of the majority of the planet's greenhouse gases, the business sector today has a responsibility to eliminate emissions and draw down carbon as rapidly as possible.
Based on this reality and the facts we know today, we believe it would be irresponsible to continue as though there is not a climate emergency. For these reasons, we affirm that our business, along with all sectors and all levels of society, must take action now to avoid irreversible changes to the planet and its inhabitants arising from the climate crisis.
This declaration requires that we rethink how we measure business success in the context of a climate emergency. This includes a commitment to becoming carbon positive by 2030. We will do so by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions throughout all scopes of our business in line with science-based targets while increasing our carbon drawdown through regenerative agriculture. We commit to being accountable for these essential activities along the way and transparently reporting on our progress.
Further, we commit that this declaration and associated initiatives will embrace the principles of a "just transition" that takes into account the human impact of the climate crisis, which is already disproportionately driving displacement and negative health outcomes for disadvantaged groups.
Ultimately, we must seek to maximize the interests of all stakeholders—shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, and communities—in the context of a total commitment to doing what is required by the climate emergency. Working together and with this essential objective in mind, we can succeed.
– Giancarlo Bianchetti, CEO, Fetzer Vineyards