Jan 15, 2021

Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain, a World Leader in Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility

Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain, with three wineries in Rioja - Bodegas Campo Viejo, Bodegas AGE y Bodegas Ysios - is a pioneer in sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

These values are an essential part of the company’s DNA, centered around a roadmap for 2030 that covers every aspect of its activity: nurturing terroir, valuing people, circular making and responsible hosting.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain, with three wineries in Rioja – Bodegas Campo Viejo, Bodegas AGE y Bodegas Ysios – is a pioneer in sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

These values are an essential part of the company’s DNA, centered around a roadmap for 2030 that covers every aspect of its activity:

Nurturing terroir: reducing CO2 from agriculture and water waste usage and improving the quality of the topsoil and the biome in vineyards, responding to the challenges of climate change to ensure quality ingredients.

Valuing people:  investing in and engaging with employees, suppliers and customers to create shared value. It is all about sharing warmth, care and respect for all.

Circular making:  minimizing waste at every step and a commitment to optimize and help preserve natural resources.

Responsible hosting:  As a drinks business, the commitment to prevent and reduce the inappropriate and harmful use of alcohol, in line with the objectives of sustainable development set out by the United Nations.

Among the company’s achievements are:

In 2010, PRW Spain’s parent company Pernod Ricard set a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 30% in 2020, a goal it has achieved.  Its next goal is a further reduction of 30% of its GHGs by 2030.

PRW Spain was the first Spanish winery group to implement the ISO 50001 standard for energy management. In addition, In 2011 the company was the first food and drinks company in the world to be certified in IQNet SR10, an international management system that brings together corporate social responsibility and sustainability in the company’s strategy and business management.  This certificate was recently renewed.

PRW Spain is monitored by the ISO 14064 standard that “provides governments, businesses, regions and other organisations with a complimentary set of tools for programs to quantify, monitor, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions” as well as the program created by the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) “Calculo, Reduzco y Compenso” (I calculate, I reduce and I compensate).

Calculating the carbon footprint is the first step and in PRW Spain’s case, the audit is carried out by SGS, a major world player in process verification and certification.  PRW Spain’s’s reduction and compensation phases are analyzed and carried out in all aspects of winemaking and production and certified by ISO standards.

Bodegas Campo Viejo, PRW Spain’s flagship, was designed to minimize its impact on the landscape.  The production facilities are underground and only the offices and visitor reception center are visible from the outside.  These use ocher-colored materials to blend in with the surrounding hilltop on the outskirts of Logroño.

Because making and packaging wine is a multilayered process, reduction of  Campo Viejo’s carbon footprint begins in the vineyard. The rows between the vines are not tilled but rather planted to cover crops, leguminous plants that add nitrogen to the soil while releasing O2  into the atmosphere. Pest control emphasizes natural practices such as pheromone traps to combat the vineyard moth.  Perches and nesting areas are provided for birds. Water use is managed using weather stations to determine if drip irrigation is needed and to monitor its optimum use.  Energy to drive irrigation pumps in some vineyards comes from solar panels.

Inside the winery,  wine is moved from fermentation tanks to storage tanks and to cask ageing by gravity to reduce the need for pumps. Energy comes from renewable sources.  Conscious of the fact that shipping weight is a major contributor to GHG emissions, PRW Spain has been working with bottle manufacturing companies for ten years to reduce the weight of bottles without compromising quality.  So far, bottle weight has been reduced by 29% from 550 grams to 390 grams.  Bottles are packaged in cartons without separators. All inks used on labels and cartons are water soluble.  Lead capsules were eliminated years ago in favor of tin, and even this material is being eliminated.

An important project carried out by Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain to compensate for GHG emissions has been replanting trees that release O2 into the atmosphere, in this case, holm oak, Portuguese oak and Austrian pine, in the Revilla Cabriada area of the province of Burgos.

In addition to adhering to the above sustainability standards, PRW Spain collaborates in collective drinks industry initiatives.  It is a signer of the Porto Protocol, a wine industry group that obliges members to make a binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions. Along with other Spanish wineries, PRW Spain is a member of Wineries for Climate Protection coordinated by the Spanish Wine Federation.

These values are reflected in the numerous awards given to Bodegas Campo Viejo (until 2009 known as Juan Alcorta), including several Best Of Wine Tourism Awards from the Great Wine Capitals Global Network:

  • 2003:  Architecture
  • 2008:  Wine Tourism Services
  • 2011:  Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices
  • 2013:  Art and Culture

Visitors to Bodegas Campo Viejo can learn about why the winery and PRW Spain are not only world leaders in sustainability and social responsibility, but  also the aesthetics and culture represented in a wine brand and a winery.

@PRWinemakers

Photo of Bodegas Campo Viejo:  Credit:  Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain

Tom Perry, Inside Rioja