International Wineries For Climate Action IWCA - Jackson Family Wines

The IWCA is looking to grow its community of producers who are taking stock of their impact on the Earth and taking the steps to be part of what Lord Stern said this week is ‘The story of our century”, meaning, the ‘Race To Zero’ emissions.

The story of wine is a long one spanning 8000 years and yet whether the future of humanity can be sustained for another 8000 years now hangs in the balance. Global efforts to reduce emissions to zero are now impacting every industry on Earth and this includes the Wine Industry.

Julien Gervreau: “On a personal level, as a father of two, climate change is something I think about daily, about the legacy that we are leaving for our children and for our children's children.”

Wine production accounts for 1.8% of global agriculture and yet, as Julien Gervreau, Vice President of Sustainability at Jackson Family Wines, says, "its is a relatively small percentage but we have an opportunity to punch well above our weight class!"

This literally means to show the leadership required by aligning itself with the goals of the Paris Agreement, to limit planetary warming as close as possible to 1.5C mean global average.

International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA)

Jackson Family Wines has, with Familia Torres, formed International Wineries For Climate Action (IWCA), in an effort to build a coalition of producers. The group is now 10 strong producing an equivalent of 30 million cases of wine per year but is carrying out extensive analysis of its scope 1-3 emissions and looking for new ways to go beyond zero emissions and actually become a net-negative emissions group.

Julien Gerveau: “With IWCA, what makes us unique is that we require our members to do a detailed scope 1-3 greenhouse gas emissions inventory to really understand what their emissions hot spots are.”

Looking to the soils

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Since the beginning of the industrial revolution when agriculture started to expand globally, it is estimated that we have lost 50 billion tonnes of carbon from our soils. This huge figure also points to the fact that our soils are becoming less healthy, less alive and more prone to erosion and desertification. 

Overuse of chemicals accretes the problem and contributes to the fact that global agriculture makes up for an estimated +20% of carbon emissions.

By using regenerative farming techniques, farmers are discovering that biodiversity can be restored, by using cover crops, the soils can retain more water and suffer less the impacts of erosion. 

The various techniques depend on the climatic conditions of where a particular producer is located are all being analysed and shared now. With degraded soils, it follows that we should have less of the terroir stamp that is prized by fine wine producers and consumers alike. Restoring the soils is not just about locking up carbon from the air, it is about regenerating life that nurtures and builds resilience around the fruit that is selected for pressing.


The IWCA is looking to grow its community of producers who are taking stock of their impact on the Earth and taking the steps to be part of what Lord Stern said this week is ‘The story of our century”, meaning, the ‘Race To Zero’ emissions.

Wineries looking to get involved should visit the website for more information.

Consumers are learning too

We are all on a journey to figure out what is good for both slowing climate change and protecting biodiversity, as well as whites good for our bodies. Being able to tell that story to consumers is very powerful. It will surely form part of the judging criteria for young drinkers at the point of purchase. 

In my own experience organising the Cambridge Climate Lecture Series, we found that the students were very firm on what food and drinks should be served at our post-lecture receptions. 

Low emission food and drink was the absolute factor. Any vagueness meant exclusion. It was a pleasing eye-opener for our committee. These guys really get climate and want what they consume to align with their values.


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