Press Release: California Wine Tours Becomes Bay Area Green Business

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green_practices.jpgNapa/Sonoma, CA - August 26, 2009  Northern California's largest transportation company, California Wine Tours is now a Bay Area Green Business. Joining the ranks of other leaders in sustainability, California Wine Tours becomes the first transportation company in the Bay Area to reach the requirements for businesses which moves from a traditional business model to a model of sustainability

Through their many business entities, California Wine Tours moves over 460,000 passengers each year throughout the Bay Area which equates to taking thousands of individual cars off the road. These passengers include wine tours in Napa and Sonoma, corporate guests attending company meetings, children attending school field trips, people going to/from the area's airports or guests attending a sporting event, concert or wedding. With this much operation around the Bay Area it was important to California Wine Tours owner, Mike Marino that his company was looking at its carbon footprint and creating programs to reduce its impact. "The goal of our company is to fill the transportation needs of our guests and community as green as possible," comments Marino. "We plan on meeting this goal through a constant track of improvements to find alternative fuel sources, reduce pollution and make our business dedicated to sustainability," states Marino.

In the next 12 months, Marino expects to reduce operating costs by at least 15% through energy efficiency, reduction of waste and streamlined office practices. "After researching the program, I realized this is just good business sense and it also gives us a chance to make a difference on our planet," said Marino.

Some highlights of California Wine Tours green business commitment include:
  • Participation in the Bay Area Air Quality Program and daily updates to all employees on the Spare the Air status.
  • After energy efficiency upgrades were completed, all buildings are now carbon neutral through PG&E's Climate Smart program.
  • Use of alternative and green fuels for all applicable vehicles in their fleet.
  • Hybrid vehicles such as Prius sedans and Lexus SUV available for charter.
  • Goal of 80% diversion of all waste away from land fills. There are dedicated waste coordinators at our site that sort all waste into the appropriate dumpsters or recycling containers.
  • Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Policy mandates the use of products made with recycled content, reduced packaging and locally sourced.
  • Continued industry leadership regarding social equity for our employees and the local community. California Wine Tours offers medical/dental benefits as well as a 401K plan to all its employees and drivers - a rarity in the transportation business.
  • California Wine Tours supports the local community by providing transportation for many local charity events as well as donating vehicles to local non-profits for use to assist those in need.
  • Conserving water through low flow outlets and water efficiency training for all staff.
  • Continuing education for all staff on green business best practices and assistance with living a greener life at home.
"Working with the Bay Area Green Business program gives businesses direct access to local environmental agencies and utilities. This valuable network gives us the support and services we need for a greener future," states Mimi Gatens, Director of Sustainability at California Wine Tours. She continues, "For California Wine Tours it is important to us that our program is certified by a third party and the goals and actions are created for our region with direct input and support from local governments," continues Gatens. The Bay Area Green Business Program has certified over 1,800 local businesses that have complied with the high standards of the program. "I have worked with several certification programs and have found the Bay Area Green Business program to be very comprehensive and transparent," stressed Gatens. To maintain the certification, California Wine Tours must demonstrate measurable improvements in all areas over the next three years.

For more information on California Wine Tours, please visit www.californiawinetours.com. They can be reached 24/seven at 800-294-6386. For more info on the Bay Area Green Business programs and a list of other participating businesses, visit www.greenbiz.ca.gov.

About California Wine Tours
For over a quarter century, California Wine Tours has provided the finest in wine country transportation. Mike Marino started the company in 1986 with the purchase of one limo. His commitment to hiring top notch and experienced drivers combined with the luxurious, highest quality vehicles has made California Wine Tours the largest transportation fleet in Northern California. As a full service transportation company, they can accommodate groups of any size. California Wine Tours operates sedans, SUV's, limousines, luxury limo vans, mini-buses, motor coaches and environmentally friendly vehicles as well as the Evans Airport Shuttles from Oakland and San Francisco Airports to/from Napa and Vallejo. California Wine Tours is also reducing the carbon footprint of the SF 49ers with the operation of fan shuttles from seven North Bay cities direct to Candlestick Park.

Contact Info for California Wine Tours: Mimi Gatens Director of Sustainability California Wine Tours 4075 Solano Avenue Napa, CA 94558 800-294-6386
22455 Broadway Sonoma, CA 95476 www.californiawinetours.com mimi@californiawinetours.com 707-255-0753 (fax)
707-312-0425 (mobile)

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2 Comments

It seems like almost everything nowadays is becoming more environmentally aware. And I find that to be a serious relief! Why not enjoy your favorite pass-time in a more responsible way? Benefiting yourself and the environment at the same time in an enjoyable manner seems like an excellent idea to me.

That is really fantastic. I have wanted to take a wine tour in Napa Valley myself, actually. I have a dream of touring the area in a Napa Valley limousine. All the better for wine tasting, when you don't have to worry about driving yourself.

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