Fetzer honored for environmental, economic leadership

Fetzer Vineyards has been honored a second time by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by earning a 2008 Governor’s Environmental & Economic Leadership Award.

Fetzer was first recognized by the governor in 2003 for its pioneering sustainable practices.

Fetzer Vice President and General Manager Cindy DeVries and Fetzer Manager of Sustainability Ann Thrupp will accept the award during a ceremony held at the California EPA headquarters in Sacramento.

Fetzer was the only winner in the category, acknowledging the winery’s continual performance and ongoing improvement in innovating new strategies of environmental and economic leadership.

“We’re pleased that the governor realized that leadership means constantly striving to improve,” said DeVries. “Sustainability is not just a point of view, but a way of life, for everyone at Fetzer Vineyards. It’s the only way we know how to do business.” The Governor’s awards were established in 1993. California EPA Secretary Linda S. Adams, assisted by representatives from several state agencies, announced the awards in eight categories to a handful of California organizations that were recognized for “sustaining economic development while protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.” The new category of Enhanced Leadership is specifically targeted at previous award winners.

Wine Institute President Bobby Koch recommended Fetzer for the award, noting a long history of initiatives that “position Fetzer as a successful business model that demonstrates the sustainability practices the California wine industry promotes through its Sustainable Winegrowing Program.”

Karen Ross, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers agreed in her letter of support, calling it an honor to add her “strong and enthusiastic support” for the award.

“Fetzer Vineyards is unique within the very competitive wine sector,” she explained. “Its core principle of willingness to share what it has learned and go beyond simply being a model to being actively engaged in the local and statewide wine community to help others has made a huge difference in advancing sustainable farming and winemaking practices in California.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) called Fetzer “truly a leader and a maverick in the field” adding, “Fetzer continues to improve and set an example for the most environmentally progressive practices of any business that I know.”

“Representing a district that is rich in green practices, I am constantly impressed with how Fetzer Vineyards sets the bar,” said Congressman Thompson.

Fetzer was honored for a wide range of programs including hosting the wine industry’s largest solar array, a new effort to reduce the winery’s carbon footprint by using innovative lightweight glass in wine bottles, a zero waste approach to recycling and waste management, energy and water conservation, community involvement, and outreach in the wine industry to share best practices.

Fetzer wines are marketed and produced by Brown-Forman Corp.

TAGS: Grapes
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