Wineries take green challenge

14 Oregon wineries are participating in the “Carbon Neutral Challenge” to reduce their footprints.

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14 Oregon wineries have completed the industry’s first carbon-reduction program, the “Carbon Neutral Challenge.” The program is a joint effort from the Oregon Environmental Council and the Oregon Wine Board.

Introducing biofuel tractors and looking into alternative packaging are among the steps taken by the participating wineries to measure and reduce greenhouse gases.

The participating wineries — 14 finishers of an arduous process that launched with 30 wineries signed on — instituted a number of changes aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions including installing solar panels, retrofitting lighting, insulating tanks and using goats, sheep and raptors instead of lawn mowers and pesticides.

Willamette Valley Vineyards of Turner and King Estate Winery of Eugene are the largest participating wineries. Jim Bernau, Willamette Valley Vineyards founder, said even though his business has been focusing on sustainability for years, he learned a lot through the process.

Read the full story at Sustainable Business Oregon.

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