In an effort to make our workplace a little greener, Saint Clair’s ‘Green Team’ has created an annual event to encourage staff to think about ways to reduce waste within the business.
Some great ideas including reusing oak chips to smoke fish, repurposing vineyard posts to help prevent coastal erosion and ways to reduce food waste at home were generated and shared by the team during Saint Clair’s Green Month last November.
Raising awareness of waste generation and finding innovative ways to reuse waste materials both at home and at work was the main reason why the in-house initiative began three years ago.
Saint Clair has Sustainable Wine New Zealand (SWNZ) accreditation and part of that is a goal of zero waste to landfill.
The theme of last year’s Green Month was ‘Reducing Waste to Landfill’. Staff were asked to consider how vineyard posts and oak chips could be reused or repurposed, instead of being sent to landfill, and to share ideas on reducing food waste at home.
All up 31 entries were made by 15 staff, with a winner announced for the fence post category and another for the oak chips category.
The winning fence post idea to donate broken vineyard posts to help prevent coastal erosion was inspired by the risk to a small township on the coast of New Zealand being washed away by rising tides.
When thinking of ways of reusing oak chips, the winning idea was to call up a local salmon company to see if they might find them useful for smoking fish.
“They currently purchase their own oak chips and beans for smoking salmon, so it could be a real win!” the entry said.
The level of engagement by staff made Green Month a huge success and Saint Clair is currently actively exploring some of the solutions developed by the team – watch this space for exciting developments!
Saint Clair winemaker and Green Team member Chloe Gabrielsen says the discussion and collaboration between staff sparked by last year’s Green Month was fantastic.
“The prizes were pretty awesome, there were gift vouchers for our local green grocers, reusable shopping bags and cute veggie pot plants for our gardens,” Chloe says.
“But the contribution from the entire team was awesome and a good indicator of how valuable these sorts of initiatives are.
“The more ideas we generate in these spaces, the more we all start thinking outside the square and that’s where the exciting stuff happens.”