Producing wine in an era of climate change
Formed in 2000, the Distell Group is considered one of the leading producers and marketers of spirits, wines, ciders and ready-to drinks in Africa, supplying leading liquor brands across the globe. With 18 production sites across South Africa, Distell employs 5,000 people and turns over R15.9 billion annually.
From the outset, the company has been strongly committed to reducing the carbon footprint of its production processes. But, by the mid-2000s, faced with increasing electricity and fossil fuel costs, it was apparent that Distell required more focus on energy efficiency in order to comply with its corporate targets as well as social responsibility. So, in 2012, the company started working with the UNIDO-supported South African Industrial Energy Efficiency Project to boost its goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption by 25 per cent and electricity usage by 15 per cent per litre packaged.
The following interventions, supported with training and technical assistance from UNIDO, saved Distell R700,000 in energy costs. The initial investment into energy efficiency was paid back within 1.5 years.