Castel

Respect for the
Earth and for our Land

A responsible company
committed to sustainable development.

We feel a strong attachment to our regions and terroirs, and are proud of the quality of our wines. We cannot contemplate a vision of the future without considering the environment.

Pierre Castel

Some examples
of local initiatives
introduced.

Into our Châteaux

At Château du Lort, we have introduced a programme of recycling into the bottling process. This recycles more than 75% of generated waste.

Châteaux Mirefleurs, Latour-Camblanes and Tour Prignac use water from boreholes, wells and natural springs to clean agricultural machinery, and for various other agricultural cleaning processes.

Châteaux du Lort, Malbec et Mirefleurs use pheromones to prevent reproduction in harmful pests. This is an experiment, and has full approval from biological standards agencies.

Château Haut-Coulon uses farm animals in the field instead of tractors; this reduces CO2 emissions, and limits soil compaction.

Into our Castel sites

Castel South West Bordeaux (Blanquefort). These are Castel’s headquarters, and have a leading role to play : they themselves are constantly exploring new initiatives based around sustainable development, some of which include :

  • Recovery of warm air from compressors.
  • Automatic light detectors to maximise the use of natural daylight; regular maintenance of roof skylights.
  • Regulating water consumption by boosting pressure, decreasing flow, dry cleaning, leakage detection and self-closing taps at all usage points.
  • Improving facilities for recycling waste items such as glass, cardboard and plastic.
  • Introducing solvent-free adhesives for boxes.

Castel in the Loire Valley (La Chappelle Heulin) is one of France’s largest winemaking centres and bottling plants, and an example of building for the future, focused on sustainable development.
This relatively new structure is designed to :

  • Blend in well with the landscape.
  • Keep pollutants to a minimum.
  • Offer complete traceability of all products.
  • Offer a system of quality control above and beyond that currently required by legal standards.
  • A waste water treatment plant uses methanisation to ensure that pollutant levels are 10 times lower than the permitted legal limits.
  • Construction of a freight access road to carry goods to and from the facility, bypassing the local neighbourhood.

At Castel Nord (Caves Saint Arnould in Saint-Omer) 25% of electricity comes from renewable sources, and 70% of washwater is recycled.

Castel in Languedoc Roussillon (Béziers) is trialling adhesive labels with some of their local suppliers, to help in the recovery of secondary products.

Castel Provence (Vidauban) recycle rainwater.

In 2010, the Castel Training School provided 616 hours of training to 253 participants over 39 different training courses.
In the same year, 10 employees were promoted to management level, and 4 became line managers. We are taking practical measures to provide continuing professional education, and to favour promotion from within.

Sustainable Development
is a major strategic approach for Castel.

Major because it creates value.

We cannot continue to produce almost 640 million bottles of wine per year without addressing current issues around climate change, depletion of fossil fuel reserves, pollution, and any other damage we may be causing to our environment.

As a consequence, businesses have little choice but to apply new ideas and demonstrate social and environmental responsibility. They need to adopt an entirely new set of values.

Far from imposing impossible constraints, the drive towards sustainable development has been a new growth opportunity for our family business.

This is our chance to implement a more global approach to performance, taking into account ways to improve our processes, reduce risk and costs, and to build up intangible capital by establishing meaningful dialogue with all company stakeholders.

To ensure the perennity of our family business, we must ensure that Castel quality refers not only to the quality of the products, but also to the quality of the relationships between all stakeholders.

So we are making sweeping changes in order to create lasting value, worthy of a new generation of businesses.

Only a sustainable approach can create this real and lasting value. We are simply putting our beliefs into action.

Major, because the market demands it.

Today’s consumer expects appellation status to guarantee the quality and provenance of the product; but also wants a commitment from the producer to work in a responsible way across three core areas: environmentally, socially and economically.

From an environmental point of view, the consumer expects to see responsible practices and traceability from vine to table. Castel is already able to guarantee this.

From a social point of view, the consumer expects a return to people-centred business practices which promote personal and professional development.

From an economic point of view, the consumer expects to see the creation of collective wealth. Collectivity and sustainability – these are Castel’s priorities.

To retain our leading position and continue to deserve the trust our customers place in us, we are researching, planning and implementing procedures which will allow us to go forward in line with customer expectations.

We have a firm understanding of the situation: active listening and responding to our customers’ views shape our family firm’s actions across the board.

Major because it shows solidarity with the entire industry

Just as in any business, companies in the wine sector are very closely linked to their business partners.

Links such as these mean that sustainable development practices find their full expression when all stakeholders in the value chain have the same objectives and recognise that they have the same obligations.

We fully intend to play out our role as leader and driving force for the benefit of the whole industry, both from goodwill and from duty. The future of the industry is at stake, and this family firm is France’s leading player.

Faithful to the principles of environmental responsibility which have always informed the company’s evolution, the Castel Group now stands on the threshold of a new era with the launch of a new, proactive and ambitious sustainable development strategy.

Our commitment to minimising the negative environmental and social impact of our activities is not just a passing fad. It is a logical extension of the quality commitments we first drew up in the 1990s, now consolidated by our new Environmental Management System. At its core lies a clear economic logic: the Castel Group’s future success will be wholly dependent on achieving a close synergy with our «ecosystem».

This is why we implement and promote innovative initiatives in our vineyards and wineries, many of which set new industry standards. These initiatives will be progressively rolled out across the whole Group, to ensure that everybody is conscious of the importance of sustainable development.

For Castel, sustainable development is at once an urgent economic necessity, a crucial instrument for social cohesion and a key responsibility which we have towards the land which we work.
Let’s move forward together, with a new development philosophy which will ensure future success for all of us !


Pierre Castel
Founding President

Environment

  • Reduce the environmental impact of our activities
  • Preserve our resources
  • Develop a more responsible range of products

Economic

  • Guarantee our future by making sustainable development a priority
  • Earn the loyalty of our partners
  • Respond to the new expectations of our customers
  • Reduce our carbon footprint
    see the carbon footprint
  • Implement an Environmental Management System
  • Optimising our waste management
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Better management of effluents
  • Limiting our use of fertilizers and phytosanitary treatments
  • Limiting our water consumption
  • Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels
  • Obtain “Sustainable Agriculture” certification for our Châteaux and estates
  • Work towards achieving ISO 14001 standard
  • Keep one step ahead of future regulations, and innovate through our Research & Development department
  • Become a business which pioneers sustainable development in our industry
  • Guarantee the quality of our products and reduce the environmental impact of our production methods

We are adopting a practical
approach to global development

By shifting the focus of Quality policy to a wider-reaching system of environmental management.

Castel were awarded their first ISO certification in 1998.
Ever since, the company have maintained their commitment to quality, and now have an impressive number of accreditations to their name:

1998 ISO 9002
2000 BRC, grade A
2008 ISO 9001
2010 IFS, higher level
2010 NOP / ECOCERT
à terme ISO 14001

2010 and 2011 mark a major change in direction. Sustainable development has become the focus of Castel’s development strategy. The post of Environmental Director has been created, and the Quality Management System (QMS) has been replaced by an Environmental Management System (EMS).

By empowering all co-workers across all Castel sites.

To boost assimilation of best sustainable development practice across the network, we encourage our co-workers to identify and implement any improvements they feel would be beneficial in their particular environment.

Existing practices at the various Castel sites are evaluated; the most successful among them are introduced throughout the group.

By introducing a series of ground-breaking initiatives, along with other industry professionals.

Castel play an active role in several pioneering trade association-led initiatives within the Environmental Management System (EMS). As one of the leading players, we drive and support the changes which are essential for the industry’s future.

At our regional sites, these initiatives take many guises, including :

  • Taking part in trade organisation-led studies of sustainable development issues.
  • Forming new partnerships with suppliers to trial new bottles, new labels and new types of solvent-free adhesives.

We see it as our duty to lend support to exploring sustainable development in practice. Our “test beds” are essential if we want to identify and implement the best and most responsible practices.

horse vine