KWV’s three sustainability pillars

Social inequality, human integrity and environmental protection are essential issues. These issues have been gaining momentum for years, however, the global pandemic has placed an even greater onus on businesses to act in a sustainable matter - it is not a matter of choice anymore, consumers globally are demanding businesses to protect our earth and its people.

KWV is heeding this call with sustainable business practices that serve and protect the future of our planet, while respecting human rights with fair labour practices and empowerment programmes.

Corporate social investment

KWV is committed to the empowerment, development and upliftment of the communities in which it operates. Through both enterprise and socio-economic development, KWV strives to invest in initiatives that focusses on every stage of the lifecycle in order to create sustainable citizens.

Focussing on a sustainable future, KWV sees it as its corporate social responsibility to develop sustainable citizens, while maintaining ethical and fair working conditions for all its employees in agriculture, and ensuring that we strive for green, environmentally friendly practices in all working environments – from the land to the cellar and to our boardrooms.

This lifecycle concept strategy sees KWV actively involved in communities and community programmes which empower citizens as infants, at child and young adult stage, as well as adult and parent stage.

KWV’s longstanding involvement in the Paarl region include NGOs and NPOs that have a targeted focus on key areas of concern in communities. These include the Khula Development Group, Pebbles Project, Athlone House, Outside the Bowl, Salt & Light Kids as well as the Good Hope Day Care Centre.

Through numerous initiatives, and with KWV’s backing, these organisations aim to uplift disadvantaged communities, empower individuals, and provide a brighter future for those within its system.

KWV is also actively involved in the empowerment of people through enterprise development. Two enterprises that have grown into fully fledged businesses include LET’s GO Shuttle Services, as well as Fleet Coffee Company, a barista-style coffee bar which empowers unemployed youth.

These include:

  • Integrated Production of Wine (IPW)
    A voluntary and industry-wide environmental sustainability scheme established by the South African wine industry in 1998.
  • Fairtrade
    This organisation’s mission is to connect disadvantaged producers and consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower producers to combat poverty, strengthen their position and take more control over their lives.
    This organisation manages and oversees fair and ethical working conditions of employees in agriculture.

Ethical and fair working conditions

KWV is committed to ethical working conditions, both in the field, cellar and in its boardrooms, and it is a member of various organisations to which annual compliance audits are submitted.

Examples of KWV’s commitment to fair labour practices include the following:

  • The right to freedom of association
    Staff have the right to join any labour union of their choice, with KWV allowing access and deductions of membership fees as part of staff’s rights.
  • Fair remuneration
    KWV pays a living wage (NOT just minimum wage). KWV believes staff earnings should enable employees to sustain a decent lifestyle.
  • Decent working hours
    Work week’s at KWV ranges from 38 hours to 42.4 hours, versus the legal requirement of 45 hours a week.
  • No child labour
    All staff, permanent and temporary, are verified to be 18 years and older
  • No precarious employment
    All KWV staff are permanent employees, seasonal workers are employed during harvest, and fixed-term contracts are in place for temporary assignments.
  • No discrimination
    KWV complies with all legislative acts that ensure compliance to legal and ethical rights of employees.
  • No bonded labour / no modern slavery
    Staff has freedom of movement and choice within the workplace as per compliance to Basic Conditions of Employment Act
  • Staff working environment
    - KWV is fully compliant with the Health & Safety Act.
    - KWV subsidises medical insurance for all low-income staff.
    - KWV provides a free on-site clinic service.
    - KWV provides a free and confidential psychologist / social worker services to staff.
    - KWV provides training opportunities to staff via learnerships and further education opportunities.

Environmental sustainability
KWV is fully committed to a green future, and endeavours to ensure this sustainable approach is followed right through its supply chain. To further this goal, KWV’s emphasises the necessity of a lower carbon footprint with its suppliers, most of which have committed green practices in place.

A major step to lower KWV’s carbon footprint has been the introduction of lightweight glass, which reduces raw material usage, emissions, overall weight and energy consumption. Lightweight glass is now used in most of KWV’s mass ranges, including KWV Wines, KWV Classic, Laborie, Pearly Bay and Bon Esperance – to name a few. A major upgrade to KWV’s Worcester-based distilling operation’s boiler is also underway, which will see a major reduction in carbon emissions per unit of steam generated.

KWV is also a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an independent, non-government, not-for-profit organisation that was established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forest. By subscribing to the FSC, KWV assures that its products such as wood and paper have been harvested in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

In addition, KWV has made numerous adjustments to its operations to ensure its impact on the environment is reduced, these include:

  • Glass recycling as part of the The Glass Recycling Company (NGO)
  • Replacement of incandescent light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs.
  • Electricity generation from KWV’s own 50KWP solar power plant.
  • Using HFO fuel to generate steam in Paarl.
  • Using borehole water.
  • Reducing use of paper with solutions which cut out printing.
  • Optimised routing models that save on fuel usage, and expenditure.

Click here to download the Sustainability Document

KWV’s three sustainability pillars