Climate Action Leader
2023 AWARD COMMENDATION
Sponsored by Waka Kotahi
Wine producer Lawson’s Dry Hills has made climate action the focus of its business operations and brand. Initiatives cover every part of the business from its vineyards, winery and office to the port of shipping.
The Marlborough business is a smaller wine producer and sells mainly to overseas markets. It has been careful in managing costs to deliver the best outcomes to counter climate change, but in ways that are innovative and cost-effective.
Lawson’s Dry Hills is the only wine producer in Aotearoa New Zealand to hold environmental management and carbonzero ISO accreditations that are independently verified. Its environmental credentials give it a distinct advantage over competitors, both here and overseas. This has helped increase profits.
The business has tackled issues related to energy, water and waste. Generating electricity using 200 rooftop solar panels has cut its reliance on grid power by about 50%. This has contributed to its overall emissions from energy use being 40% lower than the average for similar-sized wineries.
It has also reduced its reliance on bore water by capturing and recycling water from the winery roof. Diesel use has been reduced by switching to lower emission and plug-in hybrid electric, installing a new refrigeration plant alleviating the need for a diesel generator, and reviewing vineyard practices.
Waste to landfill has dropped by 36% due to a new recycling system and reviewing purchasing decisions.
Lawson’s Dry Hills hopes to inspire other New Zealand wine producers by sharing its journey and proving that environmentally sustainable initiatives make for excellent business practice.