“Increasingly, the market will look for products and producers that comply with a strict path to Net Zero, that’s when we will have a competitive advantage”
Interview with Rafael De Haan, co-owner of the Herència Altés winery. We are talking about decarbonisation and sustainability in the wine sector.
Herència Altés is a family-owned winery in Terra Alta (Spain) devoted to vine-growing and the production of organic wines. They are firmly committed to organic agriculture and sustainable winemaking and they are pioneers in emissions reduction. From January 2022, Herència Altés is one of the 4 Spanish wineries adhered to the International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) initiative.
We talked to Rafael De Haan, co-owner of the winery with Núria Altés, about his commitment to decarbonisation and his collaboration with our circular metrics team.
What does invest in sustainability mean to you?
The two pillars of the company are quality and sustainability. All decisions we make must be consistent with these values.
Before we became members of the IWCA we made various investments under the umbrella of sustainability, such as installing solar panels in the winery and developing an environmental project. Now, as members of the IWCA, we have a clear roadmap: to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. As silver members of the IWCA we participate in the United Nations “Race To Zero” and we are preparing a reduction plan to reach Net Zero by 2025, and a 50% reduction by 2030.
The main investments are:
- – New lithium batteries to store sunlight and avoid the group’s diesel consumption.
- – Expansion of solar panels.
- – Installation of a water purification system to clean the washing water from the winery to avoid transporting it to the field by lorry.
- – Reducing the weight of bottles by 30%. Almost universal impact on our carbon footprint.
- – Change the vehicle fleet to electric and install electric chargers on the winery for workers, visitors, and transporters. These chargers are 100% solar-powered.
- – Selection of suppliers aligned with Race To Zero. There are already major hauliers signed up to this initiative.
What does membership of the IWCA bring you?
Now, being a member of the IWCA gives us:
- – Internal organisation. because there is a very clear roadmap that we have to follow, such as the “Race To Zero”, the calculation of our emissions every 2 years and the reduction of these emissions every year.
- – The collective part is very valuable, as there are round tables and briefings on technology that can help us reduce emissions.
- – The recognition of the IWCA throughout the wine sector is growing. We hope that it will help to position Herència Altés as a reference or, at least, to recognise us as participants in the wine sector’s movement towards sustainability.
What are the benefits you receive from your commitment to sustainability?
Some of the investments and actions we have implemented help us to reduce costs, such as the installation of solar panels and batteries or the reduction of bottle weight. In the medium/long term we think that the market will increasingly look for products and producers that comply with a strict Net Zero path and this is where we will have a competitive advantage.
What have you been able to determine after calculating your carbon footprint? What are your challenges for the future?
Indirect emissions (Scope 3) represent 91% of our carbon footprint calculation, and logistics has the biggest impact on this part. We have to find a solution to reduce these emissions, certainly with a selection of suppliers aligned with us, even if their service is worth more than other suppliers.
What do you highlight about working with inèdit?
It is an integrated partner that is accompanying us on the journey towards sustainability. Together we are discovering and learning a lot. We share experiences with other participants in the sector and try to optimise all the opportunities for help that exist to carry out the necessary actions.
We see that the complete carbon footprint calculation study that you have carried out with our circular metrics team is published on your website.
As members of the IWCA, our data should be published. One of the most important values of the IWCA is transparency and scientific rigour, we don’t want to hide anything from our customers and stakeholders.