Sustainable and Organic… What’s the Difference?
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Sustainable and Organic… What’s the Difference?

May 7


Have you ever been asked “What’s the difference between organic and sustainable?

Have you seen farming operations that have both certifications?

In this Marketing Tip, you’ll learn how Certified Organic and sustainable compare, and get some ideas for engaging in a conversation about what your certification means.

Sustainable and Organic Overlap

There is a lot of overlap between the programs.

Both programs are committed to environmental preservation and regeneration through practices that address:

  • Biodiversity and Habitat
  • Soil Health and Conservation
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Water Quality


Why Get Both?

A lot of SIP Certified farmers are also Certified Organic. Even if they’re not certified by both, many of their farming practices overlap the programs.

Since many organic practices are sustainable and vice-versa, an operation can attain both certifications without many complications.

When a winegrower gets both Certified Organic and SIP Certified sustainable they demonstrate their commitment to environmental preservation and beyond. It also appeals to eco-conscious consumers who consider both certifications when making purchasing decisions.

How to Explain Sustainability


The 3 P’s of Sustainability

What makes sustainability unique is that in addition to addressing farming practices, it also looks at the social and economic aspects of the operation.

A good way to remember this is the 3 P’s of Sustainability: People, Planet, and Prosperity.

You can tie several practices that your business engages in every day back to the 3 P’s:

  • People: Community and neighbor communication plans; Health and retirement benefits for employees; Competitive wages; Engaging in charitable gift giving and services.
  • Planet: *Integrated Pest Management strategies like cultural, biological, and mechanical control; *Planting cover crops to protect water quality, control erosion, and provide habitat for beneficial insects; Using alternative sources of energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Prosperity: Creating and sticking to a budget; Analyzing trends in sales, purchasing, and resource usage; Staying up to date with the latest information and technology; Being aware of upcoming regulations.
* Overlap with Organic.


Tell a Story

Stories make facts more memorable. You can tell your customers that your brand practices social responsibility, but without sharing a specific example of what that looks like, you haven’t really told them much!

Next time someone asks you, “What’s the difference between organic and sustainable?” try to share a specific sustainable example from the People or Prosperity categories:

The Journey to Net-Zero

3 P's Category: Prosperity

When the team at Center of Effort looked at their energy use, they discovered many areas where they could adjust to be more efficient.

Over time, these changes have compounded to have tremendous energy savings:

  • Run their cooling system during off-peak hours.
  • Replace a 15-year-old chiller with a newer, more efficient one that allows for selective tank cooling.
  • Install a remote-operated quick-draw door in the production room to address insulation losses.

Since making al of these changes, their winery and hospitality areas are now 100% powered by the sun. In fact, they now run net-negative and send generated power back to the grid!

Did you see Center of Effort's Sustainable Story feature in Grape and Wine Magazine?

Get Your Story Straight!

Feeling inspired to come up with a sustainable story of your own? Use one or all of these tools:

1. Book a Live Sustainability Training

This training module will help your team:

  • Learn what sustainability really means in the wine industry.
  • Identify 7 specific ways YOUR brand practices sustainability.
  • Share this knowledge with your customers to increase sales.

Reach out to to book yours today.

2. Use the Free Online Course

The free, 30-min online course is a simple yet powerful free tool that will teach your team about:

  • Sustainability in the wine industry.
  • The SIP Certified program.
  • How to tell your Sustainable Story to increase sales.

Click here to take the course.

3. Use the Worksheet

Bring the worksheet to your next staff meeting so you can write your Sustainable Story together!

After completing it, you’ll have 7 specific examples of how your brand practices sustainability – i.e., your Sustainable Story.

Print & fill version | Electronic version