Ontario wineries now have an excellent working example of how innovations in sustainability can make good business sense while also protecting the environment.
Cave Spring Cellars, an award-winning winery in the Niagara region, has installed a wastewater management system that is the first of its kind in Ontario, and one that will draw interest from wineries and food and beverage companies across Canada.
“Water is a precious resource and we need to learn how to manage it responsibly,” said Cave Spring president Len Pennachetti at the celebratory launch of its new BioGill system Thursday. “We decided to be proactive and get ahead of that curve.”
With an audience of business leaders, wine colleagues and government officials in attendance, Pennachetti shared what this step signifies for the industry.
“There are colleagues in this room today that are here to see what we have done, and it will lead to them adopting this approach… all that will be good for our industry and the environment.”
This is the culmination of a two-year investment in time and money to tackle the kind of water and wastewater management issues and risks that all wineries face. It began with Cave Spring’s desire to lower sewer surcharges and reduce odours within the winery. Attempts to address those issues in-house didn’t work.
That’s where BLOOM came in.
The BLOOM Centre for Sustainability was exploring opportunities to launch a pilot project to demonstrate the economic and social benefits of an innovative water management system. Cave Spring was eager to take part, and after the project ran successfully for 18 months the winery invested in a full-scale commercial operation.
“It shows what is really involved to bring a new innovation to market and how so many organizations had to work together to make it happen,” said Kevin Jones, President and CEO of BLOOM, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable business practices in Ontario.
This leading edge technology will demonstrate the social and economic importance of sustainable water use practices in the wine sector, said Richard Linley, President of the Wine Council of Ontario.
“The Wine Council of Ontario and BLOOM have worked together to shift the way wineries think about water and to ensure wineries stay responsible and competitive,” said Linley at the Cave Spring launch.
Jones said companies across Ontario can use the Cave Spring example to discover efficient ways to reduce their operating costs and better protect the environment.
This collaborative partnership involving business, BLOOM and the Ontario government, he said, “will act as a blueprint for other sectors and companies, and as a model for governments interested in supporting sustainable economic growth and innovation.”
The Cave Spring project falls under the Water & Wine initiative; an online platform with expert knowledge and how-to videos designed to make it easier for wineries to adopt sustainable water use practices.
This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.