This month we’re relaunching our Sustainability Teams. It’s an opportunity for employees at all levels of the company to get involved in our sustainability program by contributing ideas and working on various green projects.
Every team of volunteers is being assembled from across the company: cellar workers, maintenance mechanics, office mangers, general managers, winemakers and lab technicians. They meet monthly to develop and implement ways to improve the environmental and social performance of their facility.
We initially launched this program in the fall of 2008 just as the global market took a sharp turn. Over the course of the next two years we, like most companies, endured some challenges that forced us to focus on making the wines we’re famous for and the teams faded. During the interim period we’ve had some significant sustainability achievements – albeit with a top down approach.
Our company looks stronger than ever and we have a great opportunity to use our experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for sustainability at the local level. Our employees and managers have stepped up, volunteering their time to get involved in determining the path forward to achieve further sustainability goals.
They’ll also provide an important communication role, sharing information with coworkers to help build involvement and enthusiasm. Sure, I can send an email to all employees to rally the troops, but imagine how much more powerful it is to have an enthusiastic coworker come and tell you about the cool project she’s working on.
This year the teams will be gathering all their best management practices and sharing them between facilities. They’ll also take on the process mapping each year that tracks every action we take to make, market and sell wine. Then they determine all the potential environmental impacts, rank the severity of the potential impacts, and develop projects to change how we do things for the better.
As many people know, it’s not always glamorous to volunteer for a good cause, but our sustainability teams’ hard work is very much appreciated by all of us at Kendall-Jackson and critical to making positive change.