Sustainability at Santa Rita

A commitment to sustainability is one of our values, which we understand as the combination of environmental friendliness, social equity, and also having the capacity to run an economically viable business.

That is why our sustainability strategy at Santa Rita includes measurement and management of our performance in environmental, social and economic areas throughout the winemaking process. That is, from the field to the glass.


Main Aspects of the Sustainability Program

Our sustainability program focuses on four of the most important aspects of wine production and from this perspective measurement processes are incorporated for an effective administration of all sustainability aspects and to work on projects aimed at producing continual improvement.

1. Vineyards:

We have implemented measurement processes in our vineyards that allow us to efficiently oversee vineyards, implement a water management program, and to inform ourselves of the climate conditions that are affecting them so we can make informed decisions on the effective and responsible use of resources. Some of our projects are related to:

• Reduced water consumption: 70% of our vineyards use modern irrigation technology, which reduces the amount of water consumed per hectare by 35%, thus maximizing efficiency.

• Reduced use of synthetic fertilizers and nematicides:

  • Bloque Madre Project: This consists in obtaining top-quality plants that are virus-free and in optimal health conditions for cultivation and propagation in the field, once again with the objective of reducing the use of chemicals and water consumption. This project entailed an investment of US$ 300,000 over three years, obtaining 180,000 plants with said characteristics.
  • Compost Project: This has entailed incorporating over 1 million kilos of compost in our vineyards, obtained from the remains of grapes after the fermentation process.
  • “Nativa Organic Wines Project.” We have close to 78 hectares of our own certified organic plantations and 200 hectares of small partner producers with organic certification paid for by Santa Rita.

• Recycling of Posts: The machines that we use break 5% of posts, which are recycled with a new practice using shorter posts, thus reducing waste and demand for new wood.

2. Wine Cellars:

For Santa Rita, energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gases are fundamental to a sustainable process, as the winemaking sector is energy intensive. Santa Rita is not oblivious to this and we have undertaken the following activities in our wine cellars:

• Energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions:

The state-of-the-art technology in our warehouses achieves optimal energy efficiency that is translated in the quality of our wines and the sustainability of the process. For example, we use geothermal and aero-thermal energy, in addition to a special insulation system, to keep temperatures at ideal levels (between 15° and 18°) throughout the year at our underground wine cellar for bottles and our barrel cellar with a capacity for 4,000 units. This reduces energy use in this part of the process by 80%. We anticipate that by using renewable energies and other major energy-efficient initiatives, greenhouse emissions in this area of the winemaking process shall be reduced.

• Reduced glass consumption in bottling and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in transportation:

  • We have developed bottles that are 24% lighter, reducing glass consumption by 1,400 tons, in addition to the polluting greenhouse gases that are part of their manufacture and transportation.

3. Commercialization and Suppliers:

• Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in transportation:

  • We have entered into a strategic alliance with our bottle suppliers to use their trucks carrying empty bottles to transport wines for distribution on their way back, making efficient use of transportation and reducing the carbon footprints of both.
  • We have replaced plastic labels with paper ones, which are more environmentally friendly.

• Extension of sustainability to the value chain: We actively participate with the government in the development of small suppliers, sharing good sustainability practices and of the winemaking industry in general.

4. Workers, Community and Environment.

• Promote educational improvements, a social benefit: Santa Rita’s main shareholder and controller is the Claro Vial Foundation, a nonprofit educational foundation.

• Support for our human capital: We understand how important it is for our workers to enjoy better health, so we built a medical center in Buin to attend to our workers and also their families. This includes medical benefits, additional insurance policies, study scholarships, and cultural, family and recreational activities that complement our intention to foster a healthy work environment.

• Valuation of waste from bottling and packing process: The bottles, cardboard and plastic that are generated in the wine cellar are collected for administration and valuation by an organization that supports disabled people.


Achievements of Santa Rita’s sustainability program

Santa Rita was the first brand to certify all of its vineyards with the National Sustainability Code of the Chilean Winemaking Industry, a standard adopted by Chile’s main vineyards and WoC (Wines of Chile).

In addition, Santa Rita measured its carbon footprint in 2011 using the PAS 2050 methodology in the context of a project with the government. In addition to this, the footprint is measured with the corporate perspective of the GHG Protocol.

Furthermore, we voluntarily participate in the pilot Code of Conduct plan established by the state alcohol monopolies of Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland) for their suppliers, which is based on the BSCI.

The actions that we are taking to become a sustainable company are reflected in our annual Sustainability Report, drafted according to the Global Reporting Initiative G3 methodology. This methodology is used by the most important companies to communicate their sustainability performance, which ensures us that we are always measuring ourselves according to the highest standards in Chile and the world.