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Sustainable practices from the vineyard to the winery Environmental Sustainability Social Sustainability

Sustainable practices from the vineyard to the winery

At a time when the availability of natural resources is increasingly scarce, the concept of the circular economy has gained enormous importance. This sustainable development model allows materials to be returned to the productive cycle through reuse, recovery, repair, and recycling, thus ensuring greater efficiency in the use and management of natural resources, greater sustainability for the planet, and greater wellbeing for the population. Broadly speaking, sustainability attempts to integrate three major objectives: environmental protection, economic profitability, and social equity.

The adoption of best practices for the efficient use of water and energy resources, and for the reduction and recovery of waste from grape production and wine bottling, from part of the Adega de Borba’s commitment to producing grapes and wines sustainably in partnership with its associated winegrowers, suppliers, customers, and the surrounding community.

The wine sector, in particular, has been instrumental in implementing sustainable practices, taking a leading role in sustainable agriculture in general. Like other wine regions in the world, the Alentejo Regional Winegrowing Commission decided to launch a Sustainability Plan for Alentejo Wines (PSVA) in 2012, providing participating producers with a tool to assess how they currently were carrying out their activities and to offer recommendations to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of Alentejo wines. The Adega de Borba, which has been implementing a set of sustainability practices internally since 2007, immediately joined the PSVA, a truly collective effort in Alentejo winegrowing.

The Adega de Borba has established a partnership with its associated winegrowers in order to develop products that are commercially viable, which preserve our environmental resources and promote the social well-being of its employees and the surrounding communities.

Environmental Sustainability

With climate change, periods of drought in the Alentejo have become more frequent. The climate has undergone various oscillations, which have impacted on certain crops in the region. Given this, the concept of sustainability has become increasingly important at the Adega de Borba.

After all, the wine sector depends on natural resources, solar energy, clean drinking water and healthy soils. Without responsible and sustainable production, the level of quality and excellence of our products would be impacted.

Over the last few years, the Adega de Borba has been adopting sustainable practices both within its premises and in the vineyards, with the aim of promoting energy efficiency, water management and waste management.

To reduce water and energy consumption:

Construction of the “Green Roof”

It has established a “Green Roof”, i.e. a roof made up of 12,000 m2 of the “sedum” plant. This is a cactus planted hydroponically, which allows the thermal amplitude of the buildings to be reduced, thus reducing energy costs by avoiding air-conditioning the different areas.

More efficient fermentation tanks

“Ganimede” fermentation vats were adopted in the production process, contributing to a reduction in energy consumption during the harvest.
These vats use the energy of the carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation process, allowing the must to be reassembled without the use of electric pumps.

Focusing on solar energy

Installation of the first photovoltaic power plant in the main winery to heat water for washing the bottling lines and filtering equipment.

New system for reusing water

A water reuse system has been implemented on the bottling lines, to be used for washing at the Adega. It has also started to collect and use rainwater.

Reducing energy consumption

Installation of skylights on the bottling lines to reduce energy consumption and to provide the employees’ working environment with more natural light.

New training programme for winegrowers

Promotion and technical advice for winegrowers to implement Integrated Production and Sustainable Practices in vine growing, such as inter-row grassing, the application of organic compounds produced from grape stalks, or sustainable ecosystem management. This is a very important contribution towards economic, social, and environmental improvement on their farms, helping fauna and flora, through decision-making and the application of productive processes and measures favouring sustainability.

The Adega de Borba is also deeply committed to establishing a partnership with its packaging material suppliers in order to seek more ecological solutions and at the same time work together to increase the efficiency, competitiveness, and sustainability of our products. A reduction in bottle weight, the use of recycled materials, and the use of cork stoppers in all our wines are constant concerns.

Figures to note:

-32%

Reduction in total water consumption*

-33%

Reduction in the water consumption ratio per unit produced*

23%

Of total electricity consumed originating from photovoltaic panels (2020)**
*This analysis considered consumption over the last 9 years.
** Refers to the 2020 Annual Report and Accounts.

Social Sustainability

Besides the whole area of environmental sustainability and responsible production, the Adega de Borba plays a fundamental role in the economic development of the region.

Our partners, employees, service providers, suppliers of wine vineyards, some public institutions, among others, therefore have the Adega de Borba as one of their main sources of income.

The well-being of many hundreds of families in this region depends on the success of our company, and the Adega plays a key role in maintaining the competitiveness of wine growing in Borba, which is essential for its future.

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