Green-e® certification was established in the US and is now widely recognised as the most exacting standard in the renewable energy sector. Later this year, Chilean wine producer Viña Concha y Toro will adopt the certification, and become the first company in Latin America to inform its customers of the percentage of renewable energy used in the production process.
In line with Viña Concha y Toro’s mission to work exclusively with renewable energy by 2020, it will certify its products with the Green-e seal. From a technical perspective, the first step in certification involves adapting the US methodology to the local specifications. Concha y Toro then aims to share the technology application with other companies in Chile that wish to obtain their own Green-e certification.
According to Valentina Lira, Deputy Manager of Sustainable Development at Viña Concha y Toro: “To be a global player it is vital to possess these attributes, both in order to compete in global markets and to satisfy consumers who are both exacting and knowledgeable about energy sustainability. For these reasons this certification is very relevant to a country like Chile that has a strong export focus in a wide variety of products.”
Following recent legislation prompting Chile’s expansion of green energy use, the country has now achieved an international recognition in this area. Ms Lira is keen that these efforts are not in vain: “If we do not pass this attribute onto our products and do not communicate it to our consumers, all that we have achieved becomes a wasted effort. Hence the importance of the Green-e certification.”
Mixed energy strategy
Viña Concha y Toro currently operates at 65% renewable energy use, which has allowed an annual reduction of 11,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. When the company reaches its goal of running at 100%, this annual reduction will be of 17,000 tonnes per year. However, given the magnitude of the surface and geographical dispersion of Viña Concha y Toro, reaching the goal set for 2020 will not be an easy road. However, Ms Lira has a clear idea as to how the company can achieve this:
“We know that we are imposing a great challenge on ourselves, given that in Chile we have a surface of more than 10,000 hectares, distributed from the IV to the VII Region, where our infrastructure is varied in terms of geography, scale, operation and industrial complexity. It is for this reason that to fulfil our ambitious goal we will work with a mixed energy strategy. That is, in those facilities that have a greater power than 500 kVA, the law allows you to become a free customer and directly acquire power from renewable energy generators. And in smaller-scale places, we will implement generation systems based mainly on solar energy, without discarding other innovative forms of renewable generation.”