To be sustainable we need to take responsibility for not only our economic performance, but also for our environmental and social performance. Sustainability means 'being able to do tomorrow, what we do today'. To this end, we have undertaken a number of initiatives:
- We have developed an environmental management system designed to monitor the impact of our activities on the environment generally. The system provides a structured approach to planning and implementing environmental protection measures and integrates environmental management into our daily operations.
- With the support of the North Para Natural Resources Board, we have entered into a programme aimed at improving the environmental health of the North Para River, 800 metres of which borders Langmeil's property. This programme targets exotic woods and other weeds in the riparian zone of the river, with a follow up phase of revegetating with native, local plants. To date, many ash trees have been removed, and wild plants such as fennel and artichoke have been subjected to appropriate control. Re-vegetation has been undertaken, with approximately 800 plantings, to date, of local provenance on and around the river banks.
- Wineries use large amounts of water to wash and clean equipment and all wine storage vessels (barrels, tanks, etc.) In a concerted effort to minimise our reliance on State water supplies, Langmeil has installed 2 x 250,000 litres rainwater tanks to complement our existing storage capacity of nearly 400,000 litres. Because our water use is spread fairly evenly over the year, we anticipate being able to fill these new tanks twice during the winter months, making the winery 80% water sustainable.
- The winery, including our laboratory, cellar door, office block, toilets and some of the garden, are all fed from these tanks. To complete the programme, two large solar hot water units have also been installed. This is our only supply of hot water and it services the entire complex.
- Langmeil also ensures minimal wastage from the grapes they grow, purchase and process. Through an association with Tarac Technologies, all pressed skins (marc) are taken and distilled for ethanol. Tarac also uses the seeds for Grape Seed Oil products. Any residual waste after these processes is converted into garden mulch. The stalks are also recycled by a garden supply company and made into compost.
- Climate change means business change. We recognize that lowering our greenhouse gas emissions and aiming towards becoming carbon neutral will go some way to solving global warming. We have initiated measures to assess our carbon footprint and look forward to the outcome.