2:20 AM, February 24, 2024

Sustainable wine at its finest

| The European |

Founded in 1883, Viña Concha y Toro has become the largest wine company in Latin America. It is the fifth largest company in the world for the amount of volume sold, and the second largest for its vineyard surface area.

Its export-oriented philosophy and successful business model have enabled it to grow and establish a presence in more than 140 countries, becoming the main exporter of Chilean wine. The company has received numerous acknowledgements on an international level that attest to its leading position in the global wine industry, including being named ‘World’s Most Powerful Wine Brand’ 2014 and 2015 by British consultancy firm Intangible Business, and ‘World’s Most Admired Wine Brand’ in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Drinks International, as well as achieving second place in this ranking in 2017.

Viña Concha y Toro and its subsidiaries have incorporated sustainability and innovation as a central pillar of the business in their development and growth and have received awards for initiatives framed within its sustainability strategy of giving back. An example of this is Viña Concha y Toro’s repeated inclusion in the select group of companies that form part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), in which the winery obtained 100 points – the maximum score – in the evaluation of its water footprint and was the only wine company to be included in the 2016 ranking.

Moreover, for a second consecutive year (2016 and 2017), it formed part of ‘Emerging Market 70’, a ranking made up of 70 companies with the highest level of environmental, social and corporate governance performance, which evaluates more than 850 companies from emerging markets. The World Bank and the United Nations have also praised the Winery’s performance.

In addition, Viña Concha y Toro was named ‘Leading Company in Sustainability 2017’ by The European’s Global ESG Leaders Awards, a category that was created this year due to a growing interest in sustainability issues. The award recognises one company per country in each category that has demonstrated exceptional leadership. This is based on analysis and research of public disclosure of corporate and institutional information regarding their sustainable development and corporate governance practices.

Another specific initiative implemented in recent years that strengthens the Winery’s commitment to sustainable growth was achieving 99% in the use of lightweight bottles, as well as initiating the incorporation of the second generation Eco-Glass, which is a further 6% lighter. Viña Concha y Toro also reached 100% drip irrigation in its vineyards, and recycles or reuses 100% of organic waste. Similarly, its Native Forest Conservation Programme concluded the inventory stage, achieving 100% coverage of the company’s protected land, and a process of developing management plans to conserve its ecosystem was initiated.

Viña Concha y Toro’s most recent project is groundbreaking in the industry on a global level, and involves the creation of a “carbon fund” that internally charges for CO2 emissions by different areas of the company, generating resources that are exclusively allocated to the implementation of projects to mitigate internal greenhouse gas emissions.

The subsidiary Fetzer Vineyards also stands out, which is operating under the B Corp certification with great success. Its Bonterra Organic Vineyards brand was named ‘American Winery of the Year’ by Wine Enthusiast, which highlights its commitment to organic wine production.

On the subject of innovation, the company took a major step in 2014, inaugurating a Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI) in Chile. This pioneering initiative, which required an initial infrastructure investment of $5 million, was designed to conduct applied research and develop new technologies in the areas of winegrowing and winemaking, aiming to contribute to the development and competitiveness of the Chilean and global wine industry, providing knowledge and new developments that enable the sector to face future challenges.

The Centre will allow the winery to make a positive contribution to its immediate surroundings. Its extension centre and the diverse training alternatives that have been developed will enable the dissemination of new knowledge and technologies that can be incorporated into winegrowing and winemaking practices, benefiting the Chilean wine industry as a whole, and providing a significant leap in competitiveness.

Viña Concha y Toro’s next challenge is even more ambitious. The company restructured its Sustainability Strategy to align it with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set a range of targets to achieve by 2030. As one of the main industry players on an international level, the winery is aware of the importance of the goals established, aiming to form part of those that address its field of activity through specific programmes and objectives. In this way, its sustainability initiatives will move beyond the local sphere to position Viña Concha y Toro as a relevant and active player in sustainability matters on a global scale, always reaching for the final goal of its sustainability strategy: ‘Giving back in each bottle what the Earth has given us.’

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