Thursday, September 21, 2023

At 150 Years Old, All Champagne Leader Pommery Wants to Celebrate Is Sustainability


As the Vranken-Pommery Monopole Group, the company behind Champagne Pommery, prepares to celebrate the brand’s 150th anniversary in 2024, it highlights its efforts in addressing social, societal, and environmental challenges, further bolstering its Corporate Social Responsibility program, Verité du Terroir.

Since committing to the principles of the Global Compact at the 1999 Davos Summit, Vranken-Pommery has gone above and beyond by creating its own Ethics Charter. The charter is based on six values and nineteen commitments, including environmental preservation, quality control, and human management. The efforts span across its 2,600 hectares of land at four vineyards in Champagne, Provence, Camargue, and Douro.

“Nature is our greatest source of inspiration,” the company says on its website. “Wine-growing is a subject that excites passion. Its situation in France and throughout the world is changing and evolving.”

The group’s wine-making activities range from production to marketing, with a strong commitment to promoting terroirs, sustainable wine-growing, and environmental conservation. Its brand portfolio includes Vranken, Pommery & Greno, Heidsieck & Co Monopole, Charles Lafitte, Bissinger & Co champagnes, Rozés and Sao Pédro port wines, Terras do Grifo Douro wines, Domaine Royal de Jarras and Pink Flamingo Camargue wines, Château La Gordonne Provence wine, and sparkling wines such as Louis Pommery California, Louis Pommery England, Brut de France, and Pink Flamingo sparkling wines.

Champagne leader Pommery turns 150 next year. | Courtesy

As of 2021, 97 percent of the group’s vineyards were either being converted to organic production or were already certified organic. Provence achieved 100 percent organic viticulture certification in 2021, and by harvest 2023, nearly all of their vineyards in Camargue will achieve the same certification. Vranken’s environmental sustainability goals include innovation in sustainable viticulture, preservation and enhancement of local biodiversity, controlling the environmental impact of their production processes, and the use of new technologies and renewable energy sources.

Vranken-Pommery’s “common sense winegrowing” approach is instrumental in achieving these objectives. The company has created a biodiverse reservoir at the heart of its vineyards, using natural pest deterrents free of synthetic chemicals, copper, and sulfur. The vineyards also protect local plant and animal species and use natural fertilizers. Since 2014, Pommery’s vineyards have had two eco labels ‘Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne’ and ‘High-Value Environmental’.

Water usage and waste production are monitored closely by the group. Efforts include automatic shut-off nozzles, installed water meters on each production line, monthly water leakage monitoring, and lower water-consuming tank rinsing processes. Pommery has also implemented a waste sorting process, resulting in a reduction of water consumption per bottle equivalent of 0.09 m3 and waste per bottle equivalent of 2.04 g at the Tours de Marne site in 2018.

Vranken-Pommery is committed to responsible materials sourcing, working with suppliers who share their dedication to environmental values. The company uses cardboard made from 75 percent recycled fibers sourced from FSC or PEFC-certified paper mills. In 2022, Vranken also transitioned to 100 percent paperless invoicing.

In addition, the group is focusing on lower-emission transportation, with a commitment to having its light vehicle fleet run entirely on electric power by 2024. The company is currently in the process of transitioning its commercial fleet from gas to electric, with 35 electric vehicles ordered in 2021 alone.

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