South Africa has been hugely successful at inaugural Green Awards organised
by UK magazine, The Drinks Business last week winning 3 awards. The winners
were announced last week in London and include Backsberg Estate as the
Sustainability Award Winner, Inge Kotze of the Biodiversity & Wine
Initiative as Green Personality of the Year and Dr Paul Cluver from Paul Cluver
Wines with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Backsberg Estate in Paarl is one of only three wineries in the world
which has been rated carbon-neutral. In order to achieve this, they have become
heavily involved in a tree-planting initiative called Food and Trees for Africa
which has led to an extensive planting project in the nearby community of
Klaapmuts. They are also one of the pioneers of lighter wine bottles which can
significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
Backsberg are also BWI Champions, an organisation chaired by the dynamic
Inge Kotze who won Green Personality of the Year. This is a partnership between
South African wineries and the conservation sector which aims to minimise the further loss
of threatened natural habitat, and to contribute to sustainable wine
production. Inge has been instrumental in raising the profile of this very
important initiative and hopes that the award will mean more farms will join in
to preserve SA’s Cape Floral Kingdom for generations to come.
Paul Cluver, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, has spent much of his
life initiating and supporting projects designed to uplift his local community
and his local area. These include setting up the Green Mountain Eco-route,
designing a composting system now used by many municipalities country-wide,
driving the development and registration of the Green Conservancy which now
forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage site and being
instrumental in forming the first Fairtrade wine brand in the world at Thandi.