Canada’s Stratus Vineyards is the world’s first winery to be given the coveted LEED green certification.

With its green initiatives Stratus, based on a 62-acre estate in Ontario, estimates that 80% of the energy it uses is free, and that energy consumption has been reduced by 42%.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification recognizes businesses that achieve high standards in environmentally sustainable practice.

Consumers are more and more aware of a winery’s green credentials, Stratus marketing director Charles Baker told decanter.com.

‘We are quickly realizing the positive impact of this very unique and thoughtful project with regards to consumer interest in green practice,’ he said.

To qualify, Stratus set up features and practices such as composting all plant waste materials, herbicide-free vineyards, energy-efficient electrical and plumbing systems, and toxin-free waste-management systems. Stratus also uses a hybrid, gas-electric vehicle for winery deliveries.

‘As grape growers, winemakers, and retailers of fine wine, we must be responsible and mindful stewards of the land,’ Baker said.

The winery’s main building is heated using a geothermal source more than 200 feet below ground. This added considerably to building costs but it is expected to produce significant savings over the coming years.

Baker believes that it will take ‘far more’ than a few wineries to have a significant environmental impact and that Stratus hopes its efforts will ‘foster responsible behaviour by other industries as well.’

Written by Emmet Cole