SUSTAINABILITY AT FINCA CONSTANCIA
“5+5 Looking After The Planet” is the new sustainable way of life for González Byass, which owns wineries and distilleries in the main denominations of origin across Spain. Each winery has a remarkable commitment to caring for the environment through responsible consumption of natural resources, all geared to achieving balanced growth that benefits the local and global environment; looking to the future from a long-term perspective, at all times.
GONZÁLEZ BYASS’ TEN SUSTAINABLE COMMANDMENTS
REDUCE EMISSIONS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. The tractors in the vineyards are now consuming less fuel oil, electric vehicles are being used inside the wineries, video-conferences are being encouraged as a way of reducing travel and we are planting 10,000 trees – all indigenous species – in the vineyards over the next 5 years.
REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION. By replacing standard light bulbs in the wineries with low energy ones, installing proximity sensors for the lighting in the wineries, regulating the temperature of the air-conditioning equipment, using automatic temperature control devices on the tanks, harvesting at night, carrying out regular energy audits and replacing equipment with more efficient versions.
INCREASE THE USE OF CLEAN ENERGY. We have biomass-fuelled boilers that re-use organic waste from the vineyards and turn it into energy, and solar panels for heating the water in the wineries.
SAVE ON WATER CONSUMPTION. We collect rainwater, apply “regulated deficit irrigation” techniques to irrigate the vines, collect and re-use the water used by the harvesting machines to wash the grapes and retrieve the water used to cool the fermentation tanks and the water used to rinse out the bottles in the bottling plant. We also practise responsible management of the water flow in all our facilities that have water treatment plants.
REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF WASTE THE BUSINESS GENERATES. We recover the by-products from the wine-making and distillation processes, compost the stems from the de-stemmers together with cattle manure and use it as organic compost. We also recycle 100% of the waste paper, cardboard, glass and plastic generated in our facilities.
COMMITMENT TO SUPPLIERS AND TO ECO-DESIGN. We have light-weighted our bottles, use recyclable packing and packaging, buy cases and boxes made from cardboard and wood sourced from PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified forests and provide technical support and training to help suppliers improve their performance with regard to the environment.
DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PRACTICES IN THE VINEYARD. We use integrated and organic crop management techniques, organic fertilizers, fully organic production in some of our vineyards and use biological pest control wherever possible instead of chemical treatments. Biodynamics is a strict organic agriculture regime that, amongst other things, advocates performing all viticulture tasks following the cycles of the moon and the position of the planets, hence the name “Entre lunas” (“Between moons”). The system implies an intense inter-relationship between minerals, animals and people, lived at a pace dictated to by the stars. If the planets influence the tides, why would they not have an influence over the land? Do not be surprised when you visit these plots if you find that mules have replaced tractors.
PRESERVE BIODIVERSITY WITHIN OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT. We aim to preserve the biodiversity that exists in our surroundings by bringing back indigenous and ancient grape varieties, protecting endangered species of fauna and preserving gardens and indigenous plant species.
COMMITMENT TO SOCIETY. We offer a range of sustainable and environmentally friendly products, work with CIDIMA (“Quality, Research, Development & Innovation and the Environment”), the first private research centre to be set up in Spain back in 1955 and run training and corporate volunteering sessions. In line with this commitment, and in collaboration with the WWF (World Wild Life Fund), we are planting indigenous species of trees in order to re-establish landscape connectivity through improved forest cover.
COMMITMENT TO OUR EMPLOYEES. We offer certain benefits such as flexible working hours, financial assistance for workers’ children going to study at university, a social fund to help with situations of special need and we invest in our employees’ professional development, with a particular emphasis on training.
SOCIAL FINCA CONSTANCIA
Contributing to the economic and social development of the local community and society in general is integral to Finca Constancia’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy. How we implement the winery’s philosophy is via our support for on-going solidarity projects whose aim to achieve social, economic and environmental improvement, and through this demonstrate our commitment to helping the most disadvantaged sectors of society and improving their wellbeing.
WORKING WITH ASSOCIATIONS.
Finca Constancia has signed an agreement to collaborate with the Association of Friends, Families and the Mentally Ill of Talavera (ATAFES), by supporting their “Auxiliary Agricultural Activities” course. This commitment takes the form of allowing participants to undertake work placements on our land or in our facilities and subsequently hiring some of the participants.
ATAFES is a non-profit-making social and support association whose objectives include championing the rights of the mentally ill within the framework of the Spanish Constitution, raising public awareness and promoting the creation of alternative centres and resources for taking care of these patients. ATAFES has a Psyco–Social and Work Rehabilitation centre in Talavera de la Reina that offers programmes designed to help people with mental illnesses gain access to normal work environments by developing programmes that will help them integrate.