Bodegas Torres encourages suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint

13 September 2015

The winery introduces joint work dynamics designed to encourage plans that help mitigate climate change

Bodegas Torres has extended its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions to include all companies in its supply chain. Following years of close collaboration with grape suppliers, during which time the winery has helped them significantly reduce their environmental impact, Torres is now focussing its attention on suppliers of auxiliary materials, with whom they will collaborate in the design of specific plans for carbon footprint reduction in an effort to attain their 2020 goal of 30% less greenhouse gas emissions per bottle as compared to 2008.

In a recent meeting in the Penedès facilities, Torres’ president Miguel A. Torres requested the company's principal suppliers of glass, cardboard, cork, aluminium and distillation materials to audit their carbon footprint and establish investment plans for both the implementation of process efficiency improvement measures and the development of eco-design proposals such as lighter bottles or packaging with reduced environmental impact.

Since 2008 Torres has reduced their carbon footprint by 10% across the board, in other words, taking into account emissions due to in-house activity (scope 1), indirect emissions from electrical consumption (scope 2) and scope 3 emissions, which include those passed on via suppliers of raw and auxiliary materials (upstream) and by distribution (downstream). If only the in-house and indirect emissions are taken into consideration, the reduction reaches a figure as high as 38% as a direct result of the Torres & Earth environmental programme which, since 2008, has accumulated investments of 10 million euros in the implementation of measures and actions that focus above all on energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies.
According to Miguel A. Torres, "Scope 3 emissions represent more than 80% of our carbon footprint. We are already working alongside vineyard owners and wine producers, but we also need a commitment by suppliers of auxiliary materials, especially bottles and packaging. The actions they implement in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions will be a key factor if we are to attain our 2020 objective".
Awards for suppliers

In an effort to motivate suppliers, Torres has announced the presentation of a series of annual awards, chosen by an independent commission, to those companies that show the greatest carbon footprint reduction, the best eco-design proposal in terms of CO2 reduction potential, and the best investment in state-of-the-art technology for emission reduction. The meeting was attended by the maximum representatives of the principal suppliers of packaging and distilling materials for Torres: VOA-Verrerie d’Albi, Vicasa, Vidrala, Cartonajes Bernabeu, Cartonajes M. Petit – Levante, International Paper - Cartisa, Avery Dennison Iberica, Guala Closures Iberica, Alcoholera Vinícola Mediterránea and Amorim, the world's first cork manufacturer, who presented an interesting cork prototype that allows bottles to be uncorked without the use of the traditional corkscrew.

For the winegrowers, who are responsible for the transfer of the most emissions to the company, Torres have developed a tool that will allow them to calculate the CO2 emissions of their grape crops, isolate the emission sources with the greatest impact and obtain recommendations for reducing the results.

Torres possesses ISO certifications 14064 and 14067 for greenhouse gas emissions verification, as audited by the accredited company Lloyds, and collaborates on both the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture register of carbon footprint, compensation and absorption projects and the Catalan Government (Generalitat) Acords Voluntaris Programme. The commitment of Torres to the environment has been recognised by a variety of media, including the British magazine The Drinks Business, which named it Green Company of the Year in 2010 and 2014 and awarded it the renewable energy implementation prize in 2015, and the prestigious magazine Time, which dedicated an extensive article to the company in 2011.

Adapting to climate change

According to Miguel A. Torres, "climate change is the greatest threat that the wine business in general, and wine growers in particular, face today, as vines are extremely sensitive to temperature changes. With rising temperatures many agricultural products will continue to be cultivated without any noticeable difference to the consumer, while in the particular case of wine, quality will be affected, and this is worrying".

Torres continues to adapt to the new scenario through the use of wine growing techniques that delay ripening of the grape, the use of renewable energies such as biomass – the fermentation tanks installed in the Pacs del Penedès winery have allowed for a 95% reduction in gas consumption and a 10% reduction in electricity consumption -, the optimisation of water consumption, the recuperation of grape varieties cultivated in former times and the purchase of higher altitude and latitude terrains in the search for colder climates. The company also participates in environmental research projects relating to, for example, the use of algae for fixing the CO2 produced during fermentation or the generation of hydrogen.