Spanish wine powerhouse, Familia Torres, has reduced its carbon emissions per bottle by 30 percent across the entire emissions scope – from vineyard to consumer – compared to 2008 levels, according to the company’s 2019 carbon footprint inventory.
The family-owned winery in Penedès, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, has reached its 2020 target one year ahead of schedule.
Even so, the company is increasing its efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of the climate emergency.
This has led the company to set itself a new target: a 55% reduction of CO2 emissions per bottle compared to 2008 levels by 2030.
Miguel A. Torres, the president of Familia Torres, says, “We made an enormous effort to reach our emissions reduction target, which we considered very ambitious at the time”.
“Now is the moment to push for even more ambitious environmental actions to mitigate global warming and protect winegrowing from its effects.”
Several factors have contributed to the reduction in emissions, which applies to Scopes 1, 2 and 3. First, working with suppliers that have a low carbon footprint has made a big difference – Scope 3, which includes suppliers of raw materials, packaging, and distribution, impacts almost 90% of the winery’s carbon footprint.
The second factor is the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency measures, and sustainable transport, plus the introduction of more light-weight bottles.
Familia Torres works with a biomass boiler at its flagship winery in Pacs del Penedès, which has cut gas consumption by 95%.
The facility’s photovoltaic array will see its capacity increased by 100 kW for self-consumption, on top of the more than 1,500 kW of solar energy that power Familia Torres wineries across Spain.
Furthermore, 80% of the company’s vehicle fleet is hybrid or electric, and the purchase of another solar-electric train to use for winery tours has replaced the earlier diesel model.
Familia Torres is also studying the feasibility of using electric tractors in the vineyard and ran a trial at the beginning of the year.
For Miguel A. Torres, preventing carbon emissions is not the only concern – capturing greenhouse gases that are in the troposphere and cause global warming is equally important.
The winery is tackling this challenge on two fronts: first, through a vast reforestation project on a 6,000-hectare estate in Chilean Patagonia, which began in 2019 and will make it possible to capture 10,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Second, through the use of CCR (Carbon Capture Reuse) technology to capture and reuse the CO2 released during wine fermentation, which the plant had previously absorbed.
The possibilities of CCR are still being studied by the climate change department at Familia Torres. These actions are part of the Torres & Earth environmental program, introduced in 2008 in response to the undeniable reality of climate change.
Familia Torres earmarks 11% of its annual profits to fund the program. Having a global impact on the reduction of carbon emissions, however, requires the participation of the entire wine sector.
This is why, in 2019, Familia Torres joined forces with Jackson Family Wines in California to launch International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA).
The goal is to bring together wineries willing to make a real commitment to reducing emissions and decarbonising the wine sector.
They have set out to meet ambitious targets in terms of renewable energy self-generation and the reduction of their carbon footprint.
The initiative received a Wine Star Award 2019 from the American magazine Wine Enthusiast and another six wineries from around the world, including one from Spain, have applied to join the group.
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