Grandes Vinos earns ECO-PROWINE certification as a sustainable winery

ECO-PROWINE is a label that recognizes wineries committed to sustainability. Created by the Circe Foundation, the certification awards wineries and winemakers that promote and pursue the industry’s ongoing improvement in terms of environmental, economic and social aspects.

Certification is obtained through a benchmarking system with more than 90 participating wineries and is endorsed by the European Commission. The label is the result of a research project that requires wineries and winemakers to demonstrate that their final product, grapes and packaging are truly sustainable.

This sustainability is assessed based on environmental impact, the cost of production and the economic and social impact on the local environment. ECO-PROWINE promotes a system of continuous improvement that promotes sustainability in the industry without affecting the quality of the wines.

Through benchmarking, participants can compare themselves with the average scores of other winemakers with regard to the environmental, economic and social impact of the winemaking process. This gives them the information they need to work towards the ultimate goal of improving sustainability.

When consumers see the label on the bottles, they know that the product comes from committed wineries that invest efforts in developing a sustainable industry.

Becoming certified

To earn ECO-PROWINE certification, a winery must pass an analysis that verifies a rating below the European average and agree to continue improving its sustainable performance year after year.

The process begins with a detailed analysis of the vineyard and the winery using the ECO-PROWINE method, which involves a questionnaire that inventories all the flows of both material and energy consumed and the related costs for the year to be certified.

After the evaluation of this inventory, the winery is given a global environmental score. If this is below the European average and meets the economic and social standards that have been set, the winemaker will be awarded the label.

The analysis also serves to detect areas for improvement, that is, those with the highest environmental impact throughout the winemaking process. Thus, starting from the vineyards up to the moment the product is bottled, the processes that could reduce its environmental impact (such as glass, fuel, electricity consumption, use of materials, etc.) are analyzed, as well as the average cost of production per bottle. Following this analysis, actions are suggested to reduce the impact.

After successfully completing the study, the label and the practical guide are delivered so that the winemaker knows how and in what format to use it on their bottles, packaging, brochures, catalogues, website, advertising, etc.

Choosing wine on the basis of sustainability

The certification is valid for two years, after which the winery will be required to repeat the analysis. The winery will also have to demonstrate a minimum improvement of 10% in its global score along with improvements in social and economic performance to prove that its entire winemaking process is more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Currently, 90 European wineries, 18 of which are Spanish, have ECO-PROWINE certification in recognition of their efforts to improve sustainability. In doing so, they have made an invaluable contribution to caring for our planet and have raised their visibility through campaigns to promote this label.

A study conducted in connection with the ECO-PROWINE project has concluded that sustainability does not play a decisive role in the final purchase, since there is a lack of in-depth knowledge about environmentally sustainable winemaking.

Thus, while consumers are unable to make clear decisions on this issue, they are nevertheless quite open to changing their purchasing preferences if more information were available.

The study concludes that the main purpose of a sustainability label should be to provide information about the environmental impact of winemaking.

In some of the wineries with the highest sales volumes, decisions are made on the basis of financial considerations and new investments, with environmental and social priorities taking second place.

An interesting conclusion was drawn from the European project: by following the expert-recommended measures with regard to wine sustainability, the winemakers manage to reduce global warming by 15.5% in terms of kg of CO₂. Moreover, they reuse 28.15% of the materials and reduce water consumption by 16.3%.

ECO-PROWINE certification has attracted the particular interest of small and medium-sized wineries, where the label is an opportunity to stand out in the market and increase their competitiveness while benchmarking them in relation to other wineries.

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