Chateauneuf du Pape - Wines - Domaine André Brunel - Les Cailloux

A Sustainable Development Approach

A Sustainable Development Approach

For a long time, André Brunel has been fully committed to a sustainable development approach. Concerned with minimizing its environmental impact and preserving the ecosystem while providing its employees with a stimulating work environment and a fulfilling project, it takes full responsibility towards nature, its customers, and its team.

This commitment is reflected in its achievement of the "High Environmental Value" (HEV) certification and the implementation of multiple impactful initiatives.

The High Environmental Value (HEV)

As the highest level of environmental certification for agricultural operations (the 3rd level), High Environmental Value certification is a voluntary process. André Brunel embarked on this journey several years ago and has been certified since 2020. The evaluation, which has been strengthened this year, needs to be renewed every year.

The High Environmental Value certification covers the entire operation, focusing on four main themes:

  • Biodiversity protection (insects, trees, hedges, grass strips, flowers, etc.),
  • Phytosanitary strategy,
  • Fertilization management,
  • Water resource management.

Based on principles of agroecology, it promotes natural cycles and mechanisms and the preservation of resources. This includes limiting inputs, rationalizing irrigation, reducing energy consumption, and favoring the presence of hedges. It also involves micro-level actions, such as installing bird and bat nesting boxes.

However, André Brunel goes beyond the requirements of this roadmap, surpassing mere compliance and developing various initiatives.

Water Sustainability

This is evident in its management of water used for its activities, both in the vineyards and in the cellar.

  • Our Domaine was one of the first to choose underneath irrigation for each replanting. This system prevents water loss through evaporation, avoids watering weeds that can compete with the vines, and promotes deep root systems. Coupled with weather stations spread across all our appellations, we only irrigate when absolutely necessary.
  • Our new cellar, entirely equipped with stainless steel tanks, requires reduced water volume for cleaning and washing operations. With an equivalent volume of wine processed, we have halved the water volume used compared to our old cellar.
  • We have also adopted innovative equipment, such as the Air Pulse, which allows us to clean pipes with compressed air rather than water.

Non-Carbon Energy Production

André Brunel also strives to give back to nature what it takes from it. It has installed solar panels on all its sites.

We also aim to be pioneers by initiating a solar panel installation project in the vineyards since 2019, which, after conceptualization and obtaining permits, is expected to be implemented in 2024. This will protect nearly five hectares of vines with panels, reducing evaporation for the vines, hence significantly reducing the need for irrigation, and providing non-carbon electricity production to meet the needs of five hundred households.

Waste Recycling

In addition to treating its wastewater and beyond the requirements of the HEV approach, we aim to minimize production waste. The plastic it uses is systematically compacted and transported, to contribute to electricity production. Cardboard is also systematically sorted, as well as office paper, personal waste, etc.

Next step: the installation of a composting facility at the workplace for employees.

Sustainable Human Resource Development

This environmental responsibility that we impose on ourselves must go hand in hand with social responsibility. A comprehensive and harmonious personnel policy has been developed accordingly.

Among these initiatives: encouraging team engagement and retention through the implementation of profit-sharing and an employee savings plan with their participation. This policy also includes objectives focused on ecological contribution.

Skills development is also a priority, with a significant training policy: on the use of new tools, certifications, and practices contributing to safety, or even on gentle pruning for the vineyard team!

There is also a strong emphasis on encouraging initiatives, which has led, among other things, to expanding our product range, much to the delight of our customers.

Lastly, and as previously mentioned, safety is a daily concern, addressed through the development and maintenance of good practices and the monitoring and proper maintenance of the equipment.

With this policy, we ensure that each employee is actively involved in the company's development, its harmonious integration into its ecological environment, and in meeting the expected satisfaction of its customers.