Green Manufacturing Award
Claar Wine Group, Pasco, @Claarwinegroup
For an employer that has maximized energy efficiency levels, gone above and beyond regulatory requirements, minimized waste from the production process and reduced carbon footprint. Converting green manufacturing into a business opportunity is also considered.
When Russell Claar planted his first vineyard in 1979, its soft, sandy soil overlooking the Columbia River required close attention to water use and cultivation of natural plants. As the company has grown to 130 acres of vineyards and a wide family of brands, the attention to sustainability and water use has continued. Claar uses variable speed pumps reduce energy use and grape skins for road paving. They have kestrel boxes to house birds that control rodents and they cultivate beneficial insects to control pests so pesticide use is reduced. The winery, barrel room and storage building are heated and cooled through ground water geothermal heat exchange, saving electricity. Greywater from the winery is used for irrigation. The winery uses light glass for bottling, saving energy in shipments. Claar’s processes have been certified sustainable by LIVE, an independent third-party inspector, allowing their wines to be sold in Whole Foods and high-end restaurants where sustainability is valued.