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Donnafugata: 10 years of “best practices” in sustainability, from quality certification to respect for the environment

Its goals and challenges for 2011: a cork forest to offset CO2 emissions and ISO 22000 food-safety certification


For years committed to endeavors that respect the environment and are socially responsible, Donnafugata is multiplying its efforts and refining its projects in this context. The latest concern the augmented commitment to quality management, food safety and environmental issues as well as a brand new project compensating for consumed resources.


“At Donnafugata quality management – explains José Rallo – is synonymous with caring for details and is defined in regulations the winery has been implementing. Today we have a quite advanced Quality Management System, able to achieve interesting results when it comes also to the efficiency of working processes, offering guarantees to the consumer and environmental protection. In order to reach this state – underlines José Rallo – it is necessary to maintain an entrepreneurial model that is full of skills, well defined and above all compact; thus compatible for sharing a quality-oriented “modus operandi”,  at present one of the main keys to competitiveness”.


Having obtained ISO 9001 certification in 2000 for its Quality Management System and ISO 14001 in 2004 for its Environment Management System, 2011 brings new challenges for Donnafugata.


The first goal is to extend the Quality and Environment Management System to  vineyard cultivation as well. The second, a consequence of the first, is to obtain ISO 22000 food-safety certification. The latter makes it possible to evaluate and demonstrate grape and wine production conformity to food safety standards and ensure effective control of the various risk factors. It is a type of certification required by several foreign markets having state monopolies for alcoholic beverages and also by a number of contemporary distribution channels. The standards guarantee food and produce safety “from field to table” on the basis of internationally recognized parameters (GMP, GHP, GAP, HACCP).


Another new project for 2011 concerns environmental sustainability and is shared with the Istituto Grandi Marchi, the Italian association that has 17 members among the leading wineries, and AzzeroCo2, a consulting firm that develops plans for reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. The project, which will be presented at Vinitaly with a press conference at the Palaexpo on Friday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m., stems from the awareness that however committed a winery may be to protecting the environment, its mere existence consumes resources.


Analysis by AzzeroCo2 revealed that Italian wine production amounts to about 56 million hectoliters (1,479,363,493 gallons) annually, with an average of 1,620 kg (3,564 lbs) of CO2 emitted for every 0.75-liter bottle. This means that the Italian wine market produces a good 120,960,000 tons of CO2 each year.


The Istituto Grandi Marchi consequently decided to compensate for wine’s carbon footprints with a forestation project in Italy, thus creating an absolute first in the wine sector and becoming an example and testimonial in Italy promoting the environmental sustainability concept. This project involves planting a cork oak forest in Sardinia (the region from which 80% of Italian cork comes). Furthermore, to get cork from a cork oak forest it is not necessary to fell the trees but, instead, to conserve them and tend a forest that will endure through time – with ulterior advantages in terms of protecting the environment and the Mediterranean maquis.


For more than 10 years Donnafugata has been committed to its territory’s eco-compatible and cultural development. The nighttime grape harvest – one of the main reasons that Donnafugata was given the National Award for Social Responsibility in Enterprise by the President of the Italian Republic – was a technical decision taken in 1998 that affords a 70% energy-savings in grape cooling prior to pressing.


To help protect the environment Donnafugata has also installed three photovoltaic plants over the years to produce clean energy totaling 118 kW, partially covering the winery’s needs. Today it is estimated that these installations make it possible to save 106,000 kg (233,200 lbs) of CO2 emissions per year. Due to this decision, since 2002 (year of the first installation), Donnafugata has been a member of the Kyoto Club, the Italian association committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


If we look at Pantelleria, we find two examples of sustainable agriculture, which are: Donnafugata’s recuperation of a vine more than 100 years old, a fine exemplar of bio-diversity with extraordinary organoleptic potential, and the Pantellerian garden, an example of an agronomic system self-sufficient from the watering standpoint, which the winery restored and donated to the FAI (The National Trust for Italy).



Public Relations:

Baldo M. Palermo [email protected] tel. 0039 0923 7242267

Laura Ellwanger [email protected] te. 0039 0923 724258

  • Com_St_2011_04_04_Ambiente_ENG.pdf
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