What initiatives have you at Symington put in place to ensure your winery are run as sustainable as possible?
- We have several certifications in quality, safety, environmental and regulatory compliance, including: ISO 9001: 2008; ISO 14001: 2015; BRC Global Standard for Food Safety-Issue 8, and OHSAS 18001: 2007.
- We manage waste water treatment plants at all our wineries, we have a water efficiency programme aimed at reducing litres of water used per litre of wine produced, our fermentation by-products are sold and used in secondary processes, we manage recycling centres at all our main installations, we use energy efficient LED lighting, we monitor and aim to actively reduce our number of workplace accidents.
- We sow cover crops on our vertically planted vineyards to increase species biodiversity and reduce erosion.
- We are regenerating 100ha of indigenous forest in the Alentejo.
- We support the Vila Real (UTAD) University’s Wildlife Rescue Centre that rehabilitates injured birds of prey and releases them back into the wild.
- See below for sustainable viticulture approaches and CO2 reduction measures.
How do you work to minimize your carbon footprint?
- Measured our carbon footprint (Scopes 1-3) with external expertise from Ernst & Young (we achieved a 23% reduction per litre of wine produced between 2015 and 2017).
- Manage an ongoing carbon footprint reduction project, publishing goals and results annually.
- Installed solar panels on the roof of one of our main bottling facilities.
- Ongoing energy efficiency project that is reducing electricity used per litre of wine produced.
- We aim to maximise the proportion of zero-pump wine transfers, using gravity, not electricity, to move wine.
- We use 70% electric forklift trucks in our winery and bottling operations.
- We use autovinifiers in our port wineries, using CO2 from fermentation to pump the juice over the skins, avoiding the need for electricity.
Do you have any certifications linked to organic/biodynamic farming, sustainable farming, carbon footprint etc?
- All our vineyards are certified annually under the Integrated Production Management certification. This is a strict minimum intervention protocol that aims to reduce the amount of vineyard treatments.
- We farm the largest area of certified organic vineyard in northern Portugal (127.5 hectares).