Greening Cape Wine 2012

In line with the South African wine industry’s position as a world leader in production integrity, Wines of South Africa (WOSA) decided to make Cape Wine 2012 a green event. The team held a brainstorming session to put together a comprehensive green policy and find the best ways to implement it. A professional will be measuring WOSA’s green journey to set a benchmark for future events. Here WOSA documents some of the green steps set in place and the stories around greening the event.

Aims of the Cape Wine 2012 Event Greening Plan

  • To reinforce South Africa’s position as a leader in production integrity.
  • To consider the social and economic impact, such as community involvement, supporting local businesses and local job creation.
  • To implement environmentally friendly practices within an available budget and venue constraints.
  • To ensure more efficient planning and use of equipment and infrastructure.
  • To protect or improve the local biodiversity, water and soil resources.
  • To apply the principles of eco-procurement of goods and services.
  • To raise awareness of sustainability issues among all role players.
  • To ensure that the aims and objectives are clearly defined and measured.
  • To leave a positive legacy.

 Steps on WOSA’s Green Journey

  • All WOSA guests are being booked into hotels within walking distance of the event, in hotels that have a green policy.
  • As little printed promotional material as possible has been used and when printing is done it will be on recycled paper.
  • Extensive use is being made of blackboards for signage.
  • The exhibitor stands are made from light and sturdy recycled Xanita Board; these will become the property of the wineries to re-use and, if not, they will be recycled.
  • There will be no electricity on the majority of the stands; a clip-on LED light will provide illumination.
  • All bottles, corks and screwcaps will be recycled.
  • There will be no bottled water, only water coolers.
  • Cups for use as spittoons will be from recycled paper.
  • The banners from previous fairs will be reused.
  • One lounge is being sponsored by Amorim and executed in cork.
  • The other lounge is being sponsored by BWI and will feature furniture made by Working for Water from alien vegetation.
  • The Soap Box (Speaker’s Corner) is made from cartons, which will be weighted by bags of rice (rather than bags filled with sand) to stabilise it; these will be donated to people in need after Cape Wine.
  • A reduced number of catalogues will be printed, and the catalogue will be available as a mobi site.
  • All press releases from producers are being put up on the Cape Wine website and there will be no press room full of printed handouts.
  • Media information will be handed out on bamboo memory sticks.
  • The VIP bags are being made from recycled advertising banners.
  • The guest bags are being made from recycled material.
  • The lanyards are being made from sun-baked paper.
  • Delegates will be able to voluntarily offset their carbon footprint by buying trees from one of two initiatives, the Kluitjieskraal Community-Based Conservation Initiative and Platbos, which will be planted by these organisations on their behalf.
  • The carpet at Cape Wine is made of green lawn, which will be donated to a Pebbles crèche afterwards, as will be the one used at The Green Tie Event.
  • Green decor at Cape Wine is provided by spekboom, rather than cut flowers. Spekboom is an indigenous plant with an exceptional ability to take big quantities of carbon dioxide out of the air and convert it to oxygen. Ongoing research shows that one hectare of spekboom can covert carbon dioxide to an average of 4.2t of oxygen per year. Local guests will be invited to take these plants home with them at the end of the show.

At The Green Tie Event:

  • The venue is located close to WOSA guests’ accommodation. There will be a ‘walking bus’ option for guests to encourage them to walk to the event in groups accompanied by an official WOSA green guide. A shuttle service will be provided for attendees travelling from the event back to their hotels, reducing the carbon emission footprint. 
  • Cuisine will be from locally sourced produce and the fish will be SASSI certified.
  • The Green Ties will be made from discarded plastic.
  • The welcoming ‘red carpet’ is a path of green lawn, which will be donated to a Pebbles crèche afterwards, as will be the one used at Cape Wine.
  • Consol solar lights will be used.
  • Chandeliers are made from recycled plastic and wine bottles.
  • The furniture at the Green Tie party is made from recycled wooden pallets and will be donated to a needy crèche after the event.
  • The plates at the Green Tie event are being re-used from Cape Wine 2008 and the utensils are made of bamboo.
  • Recycled paper cups for use as spittoons will be provided at each wine station and recycled after the event.
  • Only indigenous plants are to be used for display purposes for the event; these will be borrowed from the nursery and returned afterwards.
  • Amorim Cork recycling containers will be located on site and all corks from the event are to be placed in bins. All corks used will be ground and used to produce-cork based products.
  • All empty wine bottles will be retained and donated to Bottle Craft to be distributed among unemployed communities that have glass-cutting systems to make products to sell, eg vases, candle holders and water glasses.

Green Stories

Amorim Cork South Africa’s Recycling of Corks

Did you know that when carbon sequestration is taken into account, one single natural wine cork produces a negative emissions figure of -112.000g of CO2e?

At its recent General Assembly meeting in Montpellier, the OIV passed a resolution (OIV-CST 431-2011) defining the general principles of an international greenhouse gas accounting protocol for the vine and wine sector, while acknowledging that the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) through human activities will have an effect on future global climate.
The OIV resolution also notes the positive impact of cork, stating that: “Cork closures represent a specificity of the wine sector and its use has an important impact in the sustainable conservation of forest. Because of this important role, carbon balance of corks may be taken into account when applying the EP (Enterprise Protocol).”

What’s more, you can add a few more decades to cork stoppers by recycling them. Amorim and their partners transform corks into a myriad of products such as flooring or curio crafts, which are made and sold by local communities. Amorim has a partnership with the Vineyard Hotel and its Our Kids of the Cape Fund, which supports children’s homes and special care centres as beneficiaries, whereby for every 5 000 corks recycled, 1m² of Amorim’s Corkcomfort range is installed in the rooms.

Bottle Craft’s Glass Products

Bottle Craft is a craft business that offers a fantastic opportunity for people to be of use to themselves, their communities, their families and their country. The simple concept of creating various items from discarded bottles results in a multitude of positive benefits to the community. Bottles no longer become a litter issue. The unemployed can generate an income from collection and creation. Small businesses and welfare organisations can utilise this profitable idea for entrepreneurial growth and significant fund raising. The concept of Bottle Craft revolves around three key objectives, all of which address a burning need in South African society: small business opportunities, community upliftment and environmental proactivity.

Bottle Craft’s vision is to make their unique bottle-cutting kit available and affordable to people from all walks of life; produce quality low-tech utility tools for use by communities, entrepreneurs and crafters alike; and provide the above with ongoing efficient support with regard to tools, accessories and ideas.

Columbit’s Carbon Reduction Initiative
The spekboom plants displayed at the entrance to Cape Wine 2012 were donated by Columbit. In February 2009, Columbit announced its carbon reduction initiative customer loyalty partnership formed with the South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs Natural Resource Management (DEA) and Cape Nature for the restoration of degraded spekboom thicket in the semi-arid Succulent Karoo. The partnership is a natural fit in terms of channelling restoration funding through the right bodies to responsibly restore land to its natural state, all the while creating employment opportunities for impoverished communities.  What makes this restoration project so amazing is that spekboom is a succulent shrub which is both endemic to South Africa and has the ability to absorb as much carbon per hectare per year as a subtropical forest.  In addition, established spekboom succulents do wonders in terms of encouraging the return of other plant and animal species.

Consol Solar Jars

Safely housed in one-litre Consol Classic preserve jars, which provide a practical and attractive casing for this functional product, an alternative light source that is literally bottled sunshine. Solar-powered LED lights are powered by sunlight, which is harnessed through solar panelling fitted on the lid. This Consol design innovation is a true measure of ‘form meets function’. From the many without an electricity supply to avid campers, decor enthusiasts and wedding planners, the Solar Jar is set to be South Africa's first choice of solar light source.

Frisky Zebra Bags for Delegates

The bags for delegates were sponsored by the United Nations of Wine (UNOW), which produces the Frisky Zebras range of earth-friendly wines. These are certified as Carbon Neutral Delivered and have no carbon footprint. UNOW and Frisky Zebras certification is from the Carbon Neutral Company, a global leader in the provision of carbon neutral reduction solutions to many of the world’s leading companies.

The bags are made following a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ recycling vision. Firstly, the bag is made out of recycled polyester (rPET) which means that it is a recycled product to begin with. This is considered a green option in the textiles world today because the energy needed to make the rPET is about half the amount needed to make new polyester, so saves a lot of energy; by recycling, polyester and other plastics are kept out of the landfill; and rPET also produces about half the emissions to the air than new polyester. Secondly, the bag and the rubber handle are in return recyclable.

Kunye Lanyards & Green Ties

Kunye (Xhosa for ‘forward together’) was established in 1995 with its aim to create income opportunities and independence for people with no formal education or training. Kunye trains and provides work to groups and individuals who handcraft items. What is seen as ‘waste’ (and fit for the dump) becomes their ‘raw material’. These materials are recycled / repurposed / up-cycled material wherever possible. Designs are often a fresh take on traditional techniques with contemporary results. Homeware, Christmas decorations, bracelets and other beadwork, corporate gifts and other items are designed by the Kunye team, using beads and/or recycled materials such as paper and plastic computer components.

Kunye products have been used for venue decor for the Clinton Global Initiative and the MOMA in New York. Kunye was one of 12 up-cycle designers to display their work in the new Munich Museum for Egyptian Antiquities.

Kunye’s long-term vision is to:

  • Conceive and design products using commercial and pre-consumer waste.
  • Produce with people with very little formal work prospects … with the hope that their children will not find themselves in this position.
  • Train people/groups in the townships and in rural areas.
  • Secure working knowledge of traditional craft and artisanal skills for future generations by using alternative ‘waste’ materials.
  • Through its networks, link producers of products with commercial producers of wasteAnchor.

The lanyards commissioned by WOSA were designed by Kunye as part of the overall vision of making Cape Wine 2012 a green event. The paper beads used are made by hand, using redundant paper products (including magazines, newspapers, corporate brochures etc). The producers are unemployed women living in the townships around Cape Town and have been trained by Kunye. The beads are individually made by hand. Two styles of paper beads are being used for the Cape Wine lanyards. The long thin beads are made from redundant maps. These are collected by Kunye and cut to the required size. The women take them home to complete. The round beads are made from back-dated Financial Mail newspapers. They are soaked to a pulp at Kunye, then as much water as possible is squeezed out to make it not too heavy to take to their homes. There the balls are rolled and sun-baked until hard and light as a feather to carry back to Kunye, where they are coloured with eco colours and solar baked. The solar ovens have been demonstrated at Kunye to amazement at this simple money-saving, eco-friendly and transportable contraption! Kunye’s dream is that each producer will have their own solar oven at home so that they can also be used to cook family meals. The producers collect the raw materials from Kunye’s premises near Mowbray station and make the beads in their homes. This gives them the ability to earn an income and at the same time be available for their children. These beads are brought in to the Kunye premises, where the lanyards are strung and then finished off by adding the spectacle attachments.

Green Ties
The bowties to be used at the Green Tie event organised by WOSA were produced by Princess, who lives in Khayelitsha and works from home, using a technique developed for the production of recycled plastic animals. Material used for the green bowties is redundant packaging material (end of reel), including plastic soft drink wrapping and foil used for packaging potato crisps, as well as paper from back copies of Financial Times newspapers. When there is more work than Princess can handle, she gets assistance from unemployed women in the neighbourhood.

Re-load’s Eco-friendly Conference Bags for VIP Guests

To re-use existing non bio-degradable material to avoid plastic waste is the idea behind Re-load’s ‘green’ and eco-friendly initiative. Hundreds of billboard banners are put up in southern Africa every day: at airports, hotels and along the highways. They are colourful and stand out with snappy slogans but they are only used for a short time. No-one thinks about the huge amounts of synthetic, plastic and toxic waste generated by these banners, which are now given a second life as bags that are produced in the underprivileged areas of Cape Town.

As Re-load is committed to sustainable social responsibility, the bags are sewn by previously unemployed ladies in the township of Seawinds close to Cape Town. Many of these women have little or no education, which makes it difficult for them to find a job. As a result, the entire family lives in poverty. This vicious cycle is often strengthened by a physical handicap or by diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/Aids. Re-load works on breaking this negative cycle by providing these women with work. Re-load and its partners have also started investing time, money and effort to upgrade a poorly equipped crèche in Seawinds, which was lacking even the simplest commodities, to enable more women to go to work while their children are well looked after in the crèche.

Each bag is a unique designer piece, cut and joined from single components – an environmental concept which re-uses material and creates fun through fashion. The bag is waterproof and the size is ideal to use as a conference bag. The individual designs help stop bags from getting mixed up during conferences as every participant receives his/her own unique bag due to the kind of material used.

Re-load was very pleased to have the opportunity, together with Brampton and WOSA, to produce these ‘green’ bags for Cape Wine 2012. Re-load used old pop-up banners from various South African wine estates, sourced by WOSA, to design and produce these bags.

Transport for Cape Wine 2012

WOSA appointed a transport coordinator to consolidate its guests and their various routes to and from events, through their accumulated experience from past Cape Wine events. Itineraries have been designed with this in mind to minimise travel. As many green vehicles as possible are also being used.

Voluntary Carbon Offsetting for Delegates

Have you considered the impact of your travel and resultant carbon emissions? Please provide a voluntary donation to support the restoration of our unique Cape winelands! Visit the WWF-SA Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) lounge to provide your voluntary contribution to offsetting your travel.
Your donation will go directly towards protecting and restoring the unique natural ecosystems found in our winelands. 

All contributions will be donated by WOSA to the Kluitjieskraal Nursery and Waverley Eco-centre, situated in Wolseley in the heart of the Cape winelands, and to the Trees for Tomorrow project at Platbos. The Kluitjieskraal Nursery, a women-led community-based initiative, is supported by the Department of Agriculture’s Landcare Programme and Waverley Hills Organic Wines (a champion of WWF-SA’s BWI), in partnership with CapeNature and the Breedekloof Wine Tourism office.

Your donation will support:

  • the large-scale propagation and replanting of indigenous plants and trees unique to this region;
  • the restoration of the banks and wetlands of the Cape winelands’ most critical river system, the Breede River;
  • Protect and enhance carbon capturing within our unique Palmiet wetlands and river systems;
  • the job creation and skills development of local, unemployed youth and rural communities in this region; and
  • the promotion of environmental education and outreach programmes involving local farm schools in active restoration and river health monitoring. ¦

WWF-SA’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative Lounge Area
WWF-SA’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) lounge area at Cape Wine 2012 was designed with sustainability in mind. Scan Display, the company responsible for the design and construction of the stand, believe that reusing is better than recycling. The motto they work with is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and these principles are prevalent in WWF-SA’s BWI lounge.

The main graphic elements in the stand are made of cloth prints mounted in reusable modular aluminium frames. In order to add stability to these banners, structural columns have been created out of reused bamboo. Furniture consists of converted wine pallets and crates with recycled glass tops. Wine pallets are also being used as planters and coffee tables. Cushioning for the chairs will be made from T-shirt off-cuts. Flooring consists of reused WWF-branded wooden flooring from a previous stand. The bulk of the floor will be covered with a 100% natural fibre biodegradable carpet.

Other eco-friendly furniture, manufactured from biomass as a result of ongoing clearing of invasive alien trees in the winelands, has been incorporated in the lounge. These consist of various tables/counters, lampshades, brochure holders and other items created as part of our value-added industries in the conservation sector. ¦

Xanita Boards for the Exhibitor Stands
Xanita manufactures an eco-friendly corrugated paper fibre board (X-Board) which can be used for various applications such as shop-fitting, point-of-purchase stands, signage, exhibition booths and furniture. Xanita offers a bespoke and cost-effective solution in the exhibition industry and all 250 exhibition stands are being manufactured at the Xanita plant by their in-house design team and converting facility. X-Board stands can be easily flat-packed for transport, are re-useable after the event and are also 100% recyclable after their useful life. Each stand is individually packed and takes only 20 to 30 minutes to be fully assembled, reducing the set-up time significantly than at other events of this scale. The fact that minimal screws and other joining methods are needed to support the stands also means that there will be less of a mess after assembly and deconstruction, leaving the venue with a minimum clean-up.