Beth Vukmanic Lopez - Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Manager
Beth Vukmanic Lopez manages the Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certification program. Beth Vukmanic Lopez graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a Bachelors of Science in Agribusiness, Marketing Concentration and minor in Music. Beth joined the Vineyard Team in July 2009 and has thoroughly enjoyed overseeing the development and growth of the SIP Certified program.
Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certified helps farmers and winemakers demonstrate their dedication to preserving and protecting natural and human resources. SIP Certified is a rigorous sustainable vineyard and winery certification with strict, non-negotiable requirements, committed to standards based on science and expert input, independent verification, transparency, and absence of conflict of interest.
Beth Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:
The SIP Certified certification program.
Why business owners go for sustainability certifications.
The evolution of sustainability in the wine industry.
Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders.
Beth's Final Five Responses:
What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?
It's a really good question. I was thinking about this and from my side of working for a nonprofit, we have this really wonderful connection with all of our committees and our board members and our participants, and so you just have access to so many different people who are experts on a lot of different things. I just feel like that's been such a huge benefit for my position here. And even if you weren't working for a nonprofit, just thinking about all the people that you know because we all have great information to share with each other.
What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?
Well, like I mentioned before, I think the most exciting thing is this constant work being done to do better. So getting that opportunity to go out into the field with the farmers a couple of months ago and see all of this different technology that's being trialed, different grape varieties that are being trialed, different cover crops that are being trialed. I think that is what really keeps the industry moving forward. And then, even trying to continue education. This winery has this really fun program where their hospitality and sales and restaurant staff are all making wine from block to bottle, and it's been this crazy fun experiment for them to all get out into the field and manage this block and see all of the challenges that come across. Last year when we had that really, really hot month and people were just right in harvest. They had to get it done. I think to that staff it was such an eye opener, realizing that this can really happen in the blink of an eye where you just have to get out there and get the work done right away. They made their first bottle and they said it actually was pretty good, so they were happy about that too. I think they we're a bit worried about the quality, originally. So, the creativity is really nice.
What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?
I love to read, but really for my sustainability education, I'm a total podcast junkie if you couldn't have guessed since we have one as well. So, I love listening to podcasts. How I Built This, The Get it Done Guy, Freakonomics and Hidden Brain has come out with some really interesting podcasts recently. I think this is such a great way to consume information nowadays.
What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?
I listened to a little while ago and it was one of those eye opening experiences that seems like it should make sense, but it was the consistent file naming. So, if you have regular paper hanging files and you have files on your computer network and you have files in your inbox system, naming those all the same. I mean just that simple little tweak can make life really easy to search and be organized and try to find your materials. So that was kind of my more recent tip that I really liked.
Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at SIP?
Well, the podcast is vineyardteam.org/podcast. That's for Sustainable Wine Growing. The vineyard team itself, vineyardteam.org, is where you can find information about our nonprofits. And to learn more about SIP certified. That's at sipcertified.org.