Operating a sustainable winery encompasses all of the sustainability "E” elements of environment, economics, education and social equity. However, the notion of "community outreach” as a sustainable practice primarily focuses on the elements of education and social equity. Why is community outreach important in the pursuit of winery sustainability? Because community outreach allows sustainable practices to be understood, acknowledged and potentially adopted by the many individuals and groups that make up a winery's audience — from consumers to suppliers to neighbors.
As a sustainable winery, the actions you take to reach out to your neighbors, community, customers and industry allows you to promote and educate your community about your sustainable efforts and create local ambassadors. In fact, your outreach efforts may very well encourage them to participate in, benefit from, and endorse your efforts. On the other hand, sustainability can sometimes be a point of contention among your community if they do not subscribe to the sustainable methodologies. Being proactive in educating and working with your community on sustainable initiatives will help alleviate potential conflict, as well as encourage your neighbors to implement sustainable initiatives of their own. When the community understands that you seek to be a good neighbor and have the environment's best interests in mind, your business is more likely to be welcomed into the local landscape.
The Winerywise guide for Community Outreach efforts will help you determine what sustainable practices you should promote to your neighbors and local community, as well as help you formulate a plan as to how you can consistently communicate those practices and encourage participation where appropriate.
Community Outreach considers the following topics:
- Potential Positive and Negative Impacts of Sustainability to your Community
- Target Audiences
- Proactive Planning