In 2016 we received the important “Green Company of the Year” award from Drinks Business, where we were up against great finalists of the global alcohol industry. We stood out as clear winner according to the jury, as a result of our comprehensive focus on reducing our environmental impact, through initiatives such as: the Biogas and Hydroelectric Plants, energy efficiency, biodiversity, supplier program, responsible alcohol consumption, water consumption, amongst many others.
The same year we were also awarded the prize in the Implementation of Renewable Energy category, from the same organization. The judges praised VSPT for their focus on supplying renewable energy “on a large scale”, declaring it a “clear winner” in the category.
In 2014, the Group was awarded the prize “Ethical Company of the Year” in the Green Awards, organized by the British magazine Drinks Business. Meanwhile, it also received second place in the “Green Company of the Year” award, becoming the first South American producer to obtain two simultaneous acknowledgments in the history of the competition.
In 2012, VSPT Wine Group entered the Top 10 in the ranking of companies leading management of climate change by Fundación Chile and Revista Capital.
By implementing 360 sustainable initiatives by 2015, which were verified by Deloitte, the Group has strived to incorporate sustainability into all of its processes. It considers and respects all relevant parties through four pillars: Environment, Water Measurement and Management, Social Commitment and Wellbeing, and Quality.
We strive to promote an agriculture which respects the environment, natural resources and people, and which promotes and integrates the surrounding biodiversity, aiming for sustained quality over time.
Our main initiatives are:
VSPT Wine Group measures and verifies its carbon footprint, aspiring to improve this environmental indicator. It has since decreased its emissions continually, achieving a reduction in direct emissions by 18.4% in the last period.
For the same reason, the group inaugurated two unprecedented renewable energy projects in 2016: The world’s first Biogas Plant to use waste from harvest as the only fuel, and the first mini Run-of-the-River Hydroelectric Powerplant for a Chilean winery.
Another key project has been the initiatives for the native flora and fauna conservation. Amongst them the Biodiversity Program at Viña Tarapacá stands out, which was launched in 2014 with an aim to minimize the impact of agricultural activity on the biodiversity of the El Rosario estates. This included a practice management plan to conserve and recover native species, as well as educate associates of VSPT and communities about the importance of protecting the area’s biodiversity.
Water is a limited resource in Chile, and one that is fundamental for the sustainable development of agricultural and industrial activity. Amongst the most important initiatives relating to optimal management and consumption, the following are noted:
VSPT Wine Group’s agricultural department aims to apply the exact amount of water in the best-possible way, without losses associated with evaporation or deep percolation. In this way, the maximum efficiency can be achieved when using this resource. Measurement technologies for the plants’ hydric state, the soil as well as estimates for evapotranspiration determine when and how much to irrigate. Therefore, we carry out technical irrigation, allowing us to apply dosages of water according to the real requirements of our vineyards.
In the industrial sphere, VSPT measures indicators monthly aiming for annual and medium term reductions. These are verified each year by third parties.
VSPT Wine Group is highly committed to the development and wellbeing of all our associates. For this reason, we have put special emphasis on the Program b.b.bien, which looks to educate people about wine and its history within the context of self-care, promoting responsible wine consumption through workshops and various experiences. Furthermore, the program has another workshop orientated towards the Family, where tools are provided to educate future generations about moderate alcohol consumption.
In 2012, we launched the Supplier Development Program (el Programa de Desarrollo de Proveedores, PDP). The main objective of the program is to extend sustainability and social responsibility to the grape suppliers. In this way, for three years we helped implement more sustainable practices in their vineyards, as well as providing personal development activities for them and their teams. The program included 27 grape providers, representing 60% of the grapes VSPT Wine Group buys from third parties.
We strive to continue improving all our processes, innovating and developing projects that allow us to improve our environmental indicators as well as those of quality. VSPT has various certifications ensuring the highest production standards. In sustainability, the following are noted:
Certification under the Sustainability Code from Wines of Chile in the seven Chilean wineries that VSPT Wine Group is comprised of. The certification is a set of standards that measures sustainable practices in three spheres: vineyard, winery and bottling plant operations, and social aspects related to associates and communities.
At VSPT we continue adhering to the principles of the Business Social Compliance Initiative, BSCI, a working ethics code brought forward by the Nordic monopolies. In 2013, the audit was approved with 100% compliance and without observations.
Moreover, the Group publishes all of its environmental, social and economic management data through Sustainability Reports under GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) methodology. Currently, VSPT compiles this report under the biennial method, that is to say each two years in the G4 version –the most modern for this type of publication.
Our main initiatives are:
SInce 2010, VSPT Wine Group has measured and verified its corporate carbon footprint. A register of progress is taken, controlling deviations and developing initiatives that allow us to improve this important environmental indicator.
Over the last period, we managed a significant reduction in direct emissions by 18.4%. This reduction was mainly due to less fossil fuel consumption, less application of nitrogenous fertilizer, and switching to refrigeration systems that contribute less to global warming. Meanwhile, the quantity of wine produced increased, though total emissions did not increase proportionally. The reduction in CO2 emissions equates to the average energy consumption of 41,554 homes in one month.
It is the world’s first Biogas Plant to use waste from harvest as the only fuel. The project began in 2009 thanks to collaboration with Genera Austral (an expert biodigester company). The aim of it was to implement an innovative, first-of-its-kind project: To generate clean energy for the Viña San Pedro winery using organic waste from harvest as the only fuel.
From this, construction began of the world’s first biogas plant which supplies electric and thermal energy to the winery, using its own organic waste. The biogas plant harnesses 1MWh power and provides the Viña San Pedro winery with 60% of its energy consumption. This is equivalent to the average energy consumption of 3,200 homes in one month.
Therefore, we are able to close the productive cycle sustainably, using our own waste to generate energy and also reusing the biodigested matter as biofertilizer for our vineyards. The process closes the cycle, generating positive impacts in our production chain.
This project began at Viña Tarapacá in 2012 thanks to an alliance between VSPT Wine Group and the company Errázuriz y Asociados. The aim of it was to harness the River Maipo’s water flow in the irrigation channel at the El Rosario Estate to generate electricity for operation of the Viña Tarapacá winery located in Isla de Maipo. After 4 years’ development, the first mini run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant for a Chilean winery was inaugurated. It is capable of generating 250kW energy, which equates to 60% of the electric consumption of the Viña Tarapacá winery.
The Mini Hydroelectric Plant “El Rosario” is capable of generating energy equivalent to the average monthly consumption of 750 Chilean homes.
In both projects, the energy not used by VSPT Wine Group will be fed into the national grid (Sistema Interconectado Central, SIC), proving the country with clean energy.
With an aim to minimize the impact of agricultural activity on Chile’s biodiversity, we have developed a management plan that facilitates the conservation and recuperation of native flora and fauna. In parallel, we strive to educate our people and communities about the importance of protecting the area’s biodiversity, through our Nature Trail which runs through different areas of conservation inside the estate. There are 7 stops with information and snippets that allow people to learn more about the eco-systemic role the biodiversity has on the vineyard.
This Biodiversity Program was possible thanks to support from the Program “Wine, Climate Change and Biodiversity”, a scientific initiative from the Ecology and Biodiversity Institute (Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad, IEB) and the Universidad Austral de Chile. Its objective is to show the compatibility between biodiversity conservation and the development of the Chilean viticultural industry.
Since 2011, at VSPT Wine Group we have incorporated responsible alcohol consumption into our strategic objectives. Moreover, we have developed a system designed for associates, communities, clients and consumers that educates people about the benefits associated with wine, within the context of self-care. The focus of this cutting-edge project is centered around two areas: The nobility of wine and its extensive history in Chile and around the world, as well as self-care and the promotion of moderate consumption.
The program has two main goals:
Over the years, we have carried out over 70 activities in talks, workshops and experiences, with over 2,400 people participating.
In 2012, VSPT launched a pioneering program in the wine industry. Its main goal was to extend sustainability and social responsibility towards the grape suppliers. The PDP lasted three years (from July 2012 to June 2015) and during this period the Group helped its main grape suppliers to implement more sustainable practices in their vineyards, as well as providing personal development activities for them and their teams. Over 3 years, 27 grape suppliers participated, which represents 60% of the grapes that VSPT Wine Group buys from third parties.
Over 20 activities were carried out, dealing with issues such as: Sustainable agriculture, good irrigation practice, integrated pest management, agrochemical minimization strategies and safe usage, and requirements for the Sustainability Code. In the social sphere, issues were dealt with such as: Social responsibility, working standards and its application to the agricultural sector, positive leadership training, as well as family-orientated responsible alcohol consumption workshops, amongst others.
This Program allowed us to certify 17 vineyards under the Sustainability Code from Wines of Chile. Today, we continue working with our suppliers with two activities per year.
Sustainability Code from Wines of Chile
All the wineries that comprise VSPT Wine Group (San Pedro, Tarapacá, Leyda, Santa Helena, Misiones de Rengo, Viñamar and Casa Rivas) have been certified under the Sustainability Code from Wines of Chile. The voluntary certification is a set of standards that measure sustainability practices in three areas: vineyard, winery and bottling plant operation, and social aspects relating to the associates and communities.
BSCI Working Ethics Code
In 2013, the Group was audited under the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) Code of Conduct, a working ethics code brought forward by the Nordic monopolies. On this occasion the audit was approved with 100% adherence and without observations, in line with social practices. Currently, VSPT complies duly with the Code, and is always seeking to enhance the commitment we have in this area.
At the La Celia estate (Mendoza, Argentina) we have the Fair Trade certification, which ensures fair working conditions, the social development of the community and care for the environment.