In 2007, the Oregon Environmental Council and the Oregon Wine Board joined together to lead an initiative for Oregon wineries and vineyards to measure and reduce their carbon footprint, with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral.

The initiative was called the Carbon Neutral Challenge and was led by a steering committee composed of representatives from the Oregon Environmental Council, the Oregon Wine Board, Ecos Consulting, Sokol Blosser Winery, Soter Vineyards, Cooper Mountain Vineyards, and Lemelson Vineyards. The Carbon Neutral Challenge involved 14 Oregon wineries, representing 20% of Oregon’s wine production.

Based on the Carbon Neutral Challenge pilot initiative, the Carbon Reduction Challenge certification is an educational and solution-based greenhouse gas reduction certification program for the wine industry with two primary objectives: (1) incorporate greenhouse gas reduction strategies into daily business operations that save producers’ money while saving natural resources, and (2) to educate a growing body of value-based consumers as to the merits of purchasing environmentally and socially produced wines.

Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) is overseeing the development and administration of the Carbon Reduction Challenge, but the Carbon Reduction Challenge certifies independently of LIVE. If you are LIVE certified you need only to fill out the paperwork once. Carbon Reduction Challenge is transferable for LIVE certification. LIVE is a non-profit organization providing education and independent third-party certification for vineyards and wineries using international standards of sustainable viticulture and enological practices in winegrape and wine production. LIVE’s management of the Carbon Reduction Challenge will ensure that the experiences and lessons from LIVE’s widely adopted sustainability standards for the Northwest is applied to this program.