Ruffino’s €8m investment in sustainability

Sandro Sartor, president, explains why the Tuscan brand wants to “lead change and act as an example in our sector”…


Ruffino aims to convert production to 100% organic by 2025

Ruffino’s €8m investment in sustainability
  • Chris Boiling
  • 2022-04-20
Tuscany-based winery Ruffino plans to spend €8m on its ambitious sustainability plans over the next four years. This represents approximately 26% of the Pontassieve (Florence) company’s total investments.
In the last year, Ruffino has obtained SNQPI and Biodiversity Friend certifications for all its vineyards and more than half are undergoing organic conversion.
Plans for next two years include:

  • Powering two cellars by solar panels;
  • Using precision viticulture for 95% of the company’s 500ha under vine;
  • Bringing 100% of the company’s vineyards up to the national standard of sustainability for certified wine;
  • And setting out a roadmap to 2030 with objectives to reduce emissions and water usage.
Two latest-generation wastewater treatment plants have been constructed for the cellars. 80% of waste produced is recycled and 100% of production sites have been ISO 14001:2015 certified. The company also plans to convert 100% of the company vehicles to electric or hybrid models.
Other aims in the roadmap are:

  • Converting production to 100% organic by 2025;
  • Only using grapes from sustainable or organic certified suppliers.
Sandro 2
Sandro Sartor (above), president of Ruffino, told Canopy why sustainability is so important to them: “One of our priorities is to protect the environment, an essential resource for the survival and continuity of our business. We are therefore committed to converting our production to 100% organic by 2025, a challenging path but one in which we strongly believe, which will allow us to reduce our environmental footprint and meet the needs of consumers who are increasingly oriented towards the choice of sustainable products.”
He explained that “sustainability has been integrated into the (company’s) strategic plan and corporate objectives”, with its third Sustainability Report stating: “Our job, namely working the land and obtaining from it the fruit on which all our work and the success of our business depends, makes us naturally understand the profound importance of acting sustainably and heeding environmental and social best practices, in addition to innovation in terms of production methods and research into advanced managerial solutions.”
Since 2018, Ruffino, which was acquired by Constellation Brands in 2011 and produces 30m bottles of wine a year, has brought its sustainable aims and practices together under the umbrella of ‘Ruffino Cares’, which has the end goal of educating and communicating to internal and external stakeholders about the company’s commitment and responsibility regarding sustainable and ethical practices.
The latest Sustainability Report describes the Ruffino Cares policy as a “strategy developed to support the full integration of sustainability into our business model. This systemic and inclusive vision ensures that our commitment is separated into four key pillars”.
These pillars are: The Environment, Responsible Drinking, Giving Back, and Diversity and Inclusion.

  • Environment – protecting the environment and its biodiversity through sustainable vineyard practices, the gradual reduction of pesticides, organic conversion and precision viticulture.
  • Responsible Drinking – promoting responsibility and moderation when drinking wine through recreational and educational campaigns aimed at providing information about the harm caused by alcohol abuse and the socio-cultural value of responsible drinking.
  • Giving Back – supporting local communities through campaigns for local excellence, associations, weaker members of society and those in difficulty.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – promoting a culture of inclusivity characterised by a diversity of backgrounds and mindsets, which reflects their consumers and the communities in which they live and work and to which everyone feels they belong.
Weaved into the company’s sustainable strategy is the European Union’s Farm to Fork Guidelines, which are aimed at defining a ten-year plan to achieve sustainable food systems “from the producer to the consumer”.
Sandro says: “We firmly believe that we are the guardians of our land, which is why we lead change and act as an example in our sector and to our suppliers.”
I asked Sandro if this focus on sustainability has yet translated to the quality of the vines, juice or wines (such as the company’s Chiantis, Super-Tuscans or Proseccos).
Sandro replied: “The quality of the grapes and wine is now a fundamental assumption; we would not even be competitive without quality. What we are looking for is the quality of life itself.”

‘What we are looking for is the quality of life itself’

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