Napa Green is a non-profit organization that provides certification for sustainable winegrowing in Napa County, California. The program was founded in 2004 and has since worked to improve sustainability in the wine industry. In 2020, Napa Green's land stewardship practices became required for compliance with the Regional Water Board's vineyard Waste Discharge Requirements. In 2021, Napa Green updated its certification standards to focus on climate action, regenerative farming, and social equity.
Anna Brittain, the Executive Director of Napa Green, says the organization is the first to "completely redevelop our vineyard certification standards to focus specifically on the critical issues of today and tomorrow—climate action, regenerative farming, and social equity and inclusion."
Napa Green has 90 certified wineries—representing about 40% of certified sustainable wineries in California—and over 50 growers are certified or in the process of becoming certified through Napa Green's Vineyard program, which represents 16% of Napa County's vineyard acreage.
The Napa Green Vineyard certification includes custom Carbon Farm Plans and Irrigation Assessments to help improve soil health, increase irrigation efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Napa Green Winery certification requires wineries to meet strict standards for water and energy use, waste diversion, and emissions, and to have a publicly available sustainability report. The certification process also gives members access to Napa Green's resources and recommendations, as well as the opportunity to show their commitment to sustainability and climate action to consumers.
Napa Green's certification helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve water and soil health in the region, and it encourages the global wine industry and beverage sector to adopt leading sustainability and climate action practices.
As Brittain says, Napa Green's goal is to "set the highest bar for sustainability and climate action in the global wine industry." The organization has set the ambitious goal to help its Napa Green Vineyard Program members be carbon neutral in two certification cycles (six years), and climate positive in nine years. It also has exciting growth plans on the horizon to bring their mission to “AIM” high to the hotel industry, with a pilot launch of a Napa Green Lodging certification across 5-6 hotels in partnership with Visit Napa Valley coming this month.
While Napa Green centers on sustainability within the wine industry (as well as a new focus in hospitality), all businesses are capable of being environmentally responsible and successful.
To start, Brittain suggests "looking closely at energy and water use and exploring opportunities to improve efficiency." She also recommends using purchasing power to buy environmentally preferable products and services and supporting local and green businesses.
By measuring and managing resources, businesses can help reduce emissions, energy costs, and their environmental impact. “Time and again, these businesses prove caring for nature and community elevates quality and experience,” Brittain adds.