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Up on the roof

Director of Sustainability and Social Impact, Dom de Ville, explains how The Wine Society is getting even more solar powerful.

A new tranche of solar panels is installed on the roof of The Wine Society warehouses in April 2024
A new tranche of solar panels is installed on the roof of The Wine Society warehouses in April 2024

Have you ever visited our Cellar Showroom or come to one of our members’ lunches? And if so, have you ever looked up and wondered what might be on the roof of our warehouses? 

The Wine Society’s headquarters is made up of offices and five warehouses all based on one single site in Stevenage, situated among other office and industrial buildings just off the A1M. Now our home for over fifty years, we’re on a mission to run this site as cleanly as possible in order to reach our goal of emitting zero Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by the end of 2028 

The best way to reduce our emissions and support renewable energy is to generate more ourselves, and to use it directly wherever possible. This is also important as we try to move towards electric vehicles, which could be fuelled with our own green electricity. 

Back to what’s working away up on our roof: in 2012, we installed 408 solar panels above our warehouses, which produce around 20% of the power we need and save us up to 100 tCO2e per year. We increased this number in 2021, adding another 290kwh of power, and this April we have installed an additional array of panels on our new warehouse which should more than double our renewable energy generation to around 860kwh – over 50% of the total power we need, and avoiding around 200 tCO2e per year. Not to mention saving us somewhere in the region of £150,000 a year in electricity bills.  

While we will still need to buy some energy, 100% of the electricity we buy is from renewable sources, supplied by Ecotricity, the UK’s #1 green energy supplier. Their ‘Bills into Mills’ model means that their profits (and our support as a customer) are used to build more renewable energy generation in the UK from windmills and solar parks.  

Solar panels are a great choice for clean energy, and one many of our wine producers are making as part of their efforts to reduce the impact of their businesses on the planet. The panels don't need direct sunlight to work and will produce power all year round, from a sunny afternoon in Sicily to Stevenage’s cloudiest day. 

Want to find out more about what we’re doing to make The Wine Society a more sustainable business? Find all our sustainability strategy here. 

Dom de Ville

Director of sustainability and social impact

Dom de Ville

Dom, our director of sustainability and social impact, has overall responsibility and accountability for our sustainability plan, and has been involved in sustainability for most of his 20-year career, including ten years in international development.

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