As a family-owned wine company, it’s our firm belief that we have a long-term, intergenerational responsibility to leave the environment and community in which we operate, a better place for future generations.
We’re realistic. We know sustainability is a journey. And we know that to address our impact in meaningful ways we will need to make continual improvements, both large and small, in the short and long term.
We have started by establishing three guiding foundations, which we call our 3P's. And we've established some initial goals.
There's quite a lot that we are doing already, and we plan to do a lot more.
We've listed some of our initiatives below, but you can find out more by visiting the 'caring for our land' page on our website.
YOU SHOP, WE PLANT.
In 2020 Whitehaven introduced the option, for anyone purchasing a case of wine from our website, to have a New Zealand native planted at no cost to them.
Almost 300 customers have opted to have close to 350 natives planted, and we are thrilled to be able to update you on these plantings. We've included some photos of the plants at an early stage, and what they look like now.
This project contributes to our native restoration focus in and around our vineyards, and helps us to build healthy, functioning ecosystems, and improve soil health. Thank you to each and every one of our customers who have made a contribution to this effort.
We will continue to offer a 'You Shop, We Plant' option with all website purchases, and we will soon be developing a native plant nursery to propagate our own trees for planting at our company vineyards and around the winery.
We are working to enhance the biodiversity in our vineyards by regularly sowing cover crops using a wide variety of species.
These species are chosen to not only build diversity but aid in developing better soil structure, increasing soil organic matter, and attracting beneficial insects.
Plus, the flowers look great and add some additional colour to the countryside, and they make the bees happy too!
At the end of the season, these species are mulched and spread across the rows to work their way back into the soil, acting as a natural fertiliser.
As we enter into new vineyard developments we are looking to incorporate sustainability innovations, where possible.
There are a number of alternatives to tanalised posts now available, and we have made the most of the opportunity to use these alternatives. Photo to left shows steel posts used in a new vineyard development.
Soil monitoring probes are being used in our vineyards. These track the moisture levels present in the soil to ensure we are only adding water when we need to. This, combined with subsurface irrigation at our new developments, increases the efficiency of our water use.
At the end of the day, sustainability is more than just the land and how we operate as custodians.
Sustainability is also about people, and is one of our 3P's.
We do a lot to support our staff and community, and below are just a few of the ways that we do this.
To support the health and wellbeing of our staff and their families, Whitehaven developed a health allowance programme. All staff have access to an allowance that can be used to cover any health-related costs.
The arts are an important part of any community, and we want to see them thrive. To contribute to this, we are sponsors of both the ASB Theatre in Marlborough, and the New Zealand Opera.
Another way we support our communities is through one of our wine labels Kōparepare.
Whitehaven created the Kōparepare wine range to allow us to help protect our marine environments, and take an active role in helping to ensure there are fish for all communities and future generations.
Donations from every bottle sold, go towards supporting the work of LegaSea.
LegaSea is a non-profit organisation dedicated to restoring the abundance, biodiversity and health of New Zealand’s marine environment. Find out more about our partnership with LegaSea on our website.
To date Whitehaven has donated $73,049 to LegaSea. We're pretty proud of this effort, and we are keen to keep building on this figure.
In 2020, a campaign to donate 100% of Kōparepare wine sales to marine conservation causes was so successful that a repeat of the campaign is planned for June 2022. For one week from 20-26 June 2022, we will donate 100% of all Kōparepare wine sales to the LegaSea cause.