“5 + 5: Caring for the Planet” is the new reality in sustainability in González Byass, a company owning wineries and distilleries in the major designation-of-origin areas. All of these are strongly committed to protecting the environment, through a responsible use of natural resources, directed towards a balanced growth that can bring benefits to the environment both locally and globally. With a long-term vision, never losing sight of the things to come.
“5 + 5″ represents the five generations of the González family that have led the company to the 21st century, and the next five generations who will continue this mission from the work already done. It also denotes the high level of commitment to nature implemented in González Byass, through the use of sustainable practices in all the areas of the company, from the vineyard to the winery through suppliers, the design of products and the distribution to customers.
Since Manuel María González founded the company in 1835, González Byass has been aware of how important the protection of the natural environment really is. This environmental awareness has been passed from one generation to the next and also been extended to all the company’s employees. The result is a philosophy of environment protection, pollution prevention and the preservation of the environment, based on a Continuous Improvement principle. All in all, the term refers to “5 generations taking care of the planet so that the following 5 can continue this mission”.
González Byass’ 10 Sustainability Commandments
- Reducing emissions to the atmosphere. By means of decreasing the fuel consumption used by of tractors in the vineyards, the use of electric vehicles within the wineries’ facilities, the promotion of video conferencing to reduce travel and the planting of 10,000 native tree species in vineyards in the next 5 years.
- Decreased energy consumption. By means of the installation of high-efficiency lighting and motion detectors in the wineries, temperature control of air-conditioning equipment, the use of automatic temperature controllers in the cellars, the implementation of night harvesting and periodic energy audits, and the replacement of old equipment with more efficient one.
- Increased use of clean energy. By means of biomass boilers to reuse organic waste from the vineyard and transform this material into energy, and the use of solar panels to heat water at the facilities.
- Saving water consumption. By means of reservoirs for harvesting rainwater, the use of “controlled deficit irrigation” techniques to irrigate the vines, the collection and reuse of the water used to clean the harvesting equipment, as well as the water used for cooling the fermentation tanks and for the rinsers at the bottling plants. In addition, proper management of wastewater discharges has been implemented in all the centres, each having a water treatment plant.
- Reducing the amount of waste generated by the activity. By means of the recovery of fermentation and distillation by-products, the combination of the stems from the destemmers and cow dung for use as compost and the recycling of 100% of the paper, cardboard, glass and plastic waste generated at the different facilities.
- Commitment to suppliers and eco-design. By means of lighter glass bottles, the use of containers and packaging made with recycled materials, the purchase of boxes of cardboard and wood coming from PEFC certified forests and the provision of technical support and training to providers in order to achieve improved environmental performances.
- Implementation of sustainable agricultural practices in the vineyards. By means of eco-friendly integrated production techniques, organic fertilising, organic production in some vineyards and the replacement of chemical treatments with biological control whenever it is possible.
- Conservation of biodiversity in the environment. By recovering native and ancient grape varieties, protecting endangered wildlife and maintaining specific gardens with their native species.
- Commitment to society. By offering a range of sustainable and environmentally friendly products, by cooperating with CIDIMA (“Quality, Research, Development and Innovation and the Environment”: Spain’s first private research centre, founded in 1955) and by implementing training programmes and organising corporate volunteer days. In this aspect, and in collaboration with WWF, the company is planting native species to recover landscape connectivity through forest improvement.
- Social engagement with employees. With certain benefits such as flexible working hours, the granting of academic scholarships for their children, a social fund to assist in special need situations and the concern for the employees’ career development, with a strong emphasis on their training.