Environment Minister, Amy Adams, presented the award to Fabian Yukich, Villa Maria's Executive Director, saying: "Villa Maria is dedicated to minimising the environmental impact of its business and has demonstrated that environmental best-practice can boost profitability and be part of everyday business. The winery takes a holistic approach to environmental best practice, implementing a variety of effective initiatives nationwide. These range from growing grapes organically, through to projects that reduce the environmental effects of operations in the processing plant."
Villa Maria, currently celebrating its 50th Vintage in 2012, also topped the 'Large Business Leadership' category. 100% New Zealand and family-owned, Villa Maria has been driving sustainability for more than 14 years. On receiving this prestigious award, Fabian Yukich paid tribute to Sir George Fistonich, founder and owner of Villa Maria: "George's personal commitment to sustainable practices, along with his support and leadership has shaped a culture that encourages everyone within the company to find new ways to reduce our environmental impact. We are committed to ensuring that we, as a family business, leave something for the next generation."
The 2012 Green Ribbon Awards had more than 280 entries across 12 award categories. These awards, held annually in New Zealand, recognise the outstanding contributions of individuals, organisations, businesses and communities to protecting and enhancing New Zealand's environment.