The Waste Free Series: Corporate Edition – Fetzer Vineyards


Since its founding in 1968, Fetzer Vineyards has remained a pioneer in sustainable business practices and a champion of the waste free movement.

Waste Free Initiatives

Fetzer has been able to successfully implement company wide initiatives to both track and reduce the amount of waste entering landfills. Today, Fetzer has successfully achieved 97.7% waste diversion. This means that almost all materials Fetzer uses in production and the sales process are either recycled, reused, or are composted. For example, in 2013 they composted 3.6 million pounds of grape skins, stems, and seeds which was then repurposed as fertilizer for their vineyards. This impressive level of diversion has made Fetzer the first wine company to have received a platinum level Zero Waste certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council.

Sustainability Manager, Josh Prigg explained that they “are honored to be the first wine company to achieve Zero Waste certification. This achievement reinforces that companies can work to create a closed loop system that is both profitable and sustainable.”

Renewable Energy

Beyond just waste diversion, Fetzer Vineyards has successfully sought to achieve multiple other environmental achievements. In 1999 they became the first winery in California to operate on 100% renewable energy by having the largest solar power system in the industry across the tops of all company buildings. To go even further, these buildings have also become models of innovative environmental design since they’re made almost entirely from recycled materials. They also have been installed with environmental features such as point of use water heaters, occupancy sensoring, night cooling, and much more.

Water Conservation

Another area of environmental importance for Fetzer Vineyards, is water conservation. Water is central component to all of Fetzer’s company operations and therefore, they pride themselves on strictly monitoring and conserving water where possible. Some of the ways the company conserves water is by using meters to track and monitor usage, drip irrigation systems, regular soil monitoring, and they have constructed numerous storage ponds to increase water capacity for frost protection.

Climate Change

Finally, Fetzer has also become one of the first wineries in America to join the non-profit organization called Climate Registry. The organization records and tracks the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of reducing their emissions produced. Overall, Fetzer Vineyards has been able to save more than $388,000 per year from disposal costs alone through their waste diversion program. This number shows us that by going waste free, you can potentially save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars each year… and who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Overall, Fetzer vineyards stands as an example to us all on the benefits of going waste-free, as we venture forth in becoming a greener, more environmentally responsible business sector.

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