During the second half of 2017 we evaluated the technical feasibility of installing photovoltaic solar panels to generate enough energy to cover 100% of Viu Manent’s needs. The project was approved, with an investment of approximately US$500,000.
Taking this initiative makes us the first Chilean winery to fully operate with photovoltaic power installed in 100% of its areas. The plants, which have a total capacity of 460 KW, have already been installed in each of the three vineyards, the cellar, and the tourism area and will become operative in January 2018.
The “Wine, Climate Change & Biodiversity Program” is a scientific initiative by the University Austral of Chile’s Ecology & Biodiversity Institute aimed at showing the compatibility between the conservation of biodiversity and the development of the Chilean wine industry.
The program began in 2007 to promote the protection of the biodiversity of Chile’s Mediterranean ecosystem, which is sub-represented in the National System of Protected Areas. Central Chile’s ecosystems, which contain more than 50% of the species of flora and vertebrates in Chile, have been greatly affected by human activity.
Our research focuses on understanding how natural landscapes can continue to provide environmental services to the industry as well as to local communities in a setting of increasing human impact and future climate change.
At Viña Viu Manent we have applied the following actions that contribute to the development of the biodiversity in our vineyards.
– Biodiversity Awareness: the process began by working with every area of the company to raise awareness of the importance of these issues.
We had a Biodiversity Seminar so that representatives from every area of the company could learn about the program and see in practical terms the many ways and areas that improvements were possible.
Later field trips helped them put what they had learned into practice and truly see the importance and value of biodiversity in practical terms and then be able to share their experience and knowledge with the people around them.
After this initial stage we undertook a series of other actions, such as:
–Defining areas for the conservation of biodiversity within our vineyards.
-Installing platforms for birds of prey.
-Preparing a professional inventory of the biodiversity.
-A program to monitor the species harmful to the native fauna.
-Programs to eradicate introduces plant species (such as acacias and eucalyptus)
-A reforestation program for native species in conjunction with CONAF.
-Encouraging the proliferation and conservation of biological corridors.
All of these measures have contributed on a daily basis to the development of biodiversity (native flora and fauna) in our vineyards, which will gradually deliver the ecosystemic benefits they provide.
We at Viu Manent take a number of actions focused on our commitment to sustainability.
These ecological actions are key from the legal perspective, given that they enable us to comply with Chile’s current laws and regulations. They also help us minimize our largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Because glass bottles are made at extremely high temperatures, their production requires enormous amounts of energy (fuel consumption) and results in significant emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). Therefore, reducing the amount of glass used in each bottle significantly reduces the amount of energy used in producing each bottle.
Light-weight bottles also result in tremendous fuel savings with respect to the transport of wines due to the lower weight of the shipments.
Our goal is to use bottles that are lighter-weight and environmentally friendly without sacrificing their elegance to help reduce the tons of glass waste produced around the world every day.
Glass bottles are the primary source of greenhouse glass emissions in our operational processes, and therefore, reducing the amount of glass used with respect to the number of liters bottled has a significant impact on our objectives, making it essential to use lighter-weight bottles with less glass.
We expect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions every year through the use of light-weight ecological glass bottles.
As part of our ongoing concern for the environment and using environmentally friendly processes, we have established a management policy based on the concept of:
–Reduce: This is applied to the acquisition of and search for products that require less packaging and/or that are made with recycled or recyclable materials or those that have less environmental impact, always under the premise that they are sustainable products.
We are currently applying this concept through the use of: Light-weight bottles (that use less glass) and cardboard boxes with adjusted dimensions (that use less corrugated cardboard)
– Reuse: This refers to the use of waster materials that can be reused in their original form with the objective of extending the useful life of a product or packaging to thereby postpone its final disposal. We are currently applying this concept by: reusing barrels that are no longer of use in the winemaking process. They are reconditioned for use as promotional material. They are also sold for use in handcrafts.
-Recycle: This refers to waste material that is reused as raw material to create another product.
We are currently applying this concept by:
Recycling Glass: Viu Manent participates in a glass recycling campaign with CODEFF, which takes 100% of the broken glass or excess generated by production activities.
Recycling Cardboard: We participate in a cardboard recycling campaign with the SOREPA company.
Recycling Plastic: We have also added a plastic recycling campaign with the Rhecikla company, that removes all plastic material from packaging and triple-washed plastic containers.
The Liquid Industrial Wastes (LIWs) from our production plant that result from the vinification and bottling processes are treated in our LIW treatment plant at the San Carlos de Cunaco estate, according to the favorable environmental qualification of the “Wastewater Treatment System for Disposal into the Soil Project.”
The process begins with a primary treatment in the winery that separates out the larger solids (> 2 mm). The effluent moves by gravity through a parabolic filter (reception chamber) and then passes through a decanter (10 m3) where it separates the suspended solids from the effluent.
From the sedimentation zone, the effluent is sent directly to the accumulation tank (600 m3), waterproofed and aerated for its subsequent neutralization and disposal into the soil.
This treatment allows us to comply with the applicable and current environmental regulations.
Energy efficiency and climate change are priority issues for Viu Manent that we consistently address with the objective of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our energy efficiency.
We are currently employing different practices that directly benefit both the environment and our community.
-Reduce Greenhouse Gases through Electricity: through the more efficient use of electricity. We expect to decrease the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) year after year through the use of electricity in the winery, vineyards, and administrative offices.
-Reduce the effects of Greenhouse Gases through the use of diesel fuel in agricultural processes: through more efficient use of diesel fuel in the agricultural area. We expect to decrease the GHG emissions each year through the use of diesel fuels in our agricultural sites.
-Energy efficiency: We also participate in Consorcio Vinos de Chile’s “Energy and Greenhouse Gases Project,” whose objective is to research and develop expert tools for making decisions regarding the incorporation of technologies dedicated to energy efficiency, renewable non-conventional energies, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions in the wine industry.