Cité du Vin increases its commitment to the ecological transition

July 3, 2024
Cité du Vin increases its commitment to the ecological transition

Already holding NF environment - Visitor sites and CSR Sustainable Entertainment certification, the Cité du Vin is continuing to make its mark as a committed player in culture and tourism by going even further to make its activities as environmentally friendly as possible. With the development of a CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy, participation in CEC Nouvelle-Aquitaine, performing a carbon audit, raising awareness, recycling, etc., the Foundation for wine culture and civilisations (which manages and develops the Cité du Vin) is stepping up its move towards more sustainable and responsible activity.

Committed CSR policy & road map

With 400,000 visitors every year, the Cité du Vin has been committed to sustainable development since its creation, implementing initiatives to meet the major environmental and social challenges of our time, particularly in relation to climate change. After incorporating seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into the management of the Cité du Vin, the Foundation for wine culture and civilisations has gradually rolled out its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy based on three pillars (sustainable development, employee well-being and visitor satisfaction) which now underpins all its activities, making sure the Cité du Vin is a player in future change. Already certified NF environment - Visitor sites, Tourisme & Handicap, and “Sustainable Entertainment: responsible emotion” at Experienced level, in summer 2023 the Foundation also joined CEC Nouvelle-Aquitaine – a movement that places companies at the heart of the ecological transition and, by the end of 2024, will establish a committed and demanding road map for the next five years. The Foundation for wine culture and civilisations has also performed its first carbon audit, which shows a carbon footprint of 1,200 tCO2 (excluding visitor travel) for 2022 (uncertainty rate: 12%), for which the main items are construction work, energy, the professional footprint of employees (travel and meals), the temporary exhibition and the cultural programme. These results have led to the implementation of a decarbonisation plan for activities at the Cité du Vin.

Increased awareness raising in the Permanent exhibition and cultural programme

Beyond its own operations, the Foundation for wine culture and civilisations has taken environmental issues into account in the cultural offer at the Cité du Vin. Visitors to the Permanent exhibition at the Cité du Vin and participants in its cultural programme are increasingly being made aware of issues relating to nature, climate change, sustainable development, and so on. The new cultural and scientific project implemented through the 2023 renewal of the Permanent exhibition gives greater prominence to the theme of People and the Living World. Some of the themed areas focus more on the role of climate in winegrowing, while others present the specific characteristics of the terroirs and the impact of change on the wines they produce. As part of this, the “Terroirs of the world” module will be expanded in the coming weeks to include testimony from Miguel Torres, a highly committed winegrower from the Penedes region (Catalonia, Spain), on the impact of climate change, and the lack of water in particular, on winegrowing. The public are taking notice of the various messages presented in the Permanent exhibition: in surveys carried out since the beginning of 2024, 76% of visitors consider that the subjects covered in the Permanent exhibition make them aware of the need to conserve the environment (source: email survey, 670 respondents from January to May 2024). In terms of the cultural programme, among the many events on offer to the public, a series entitled “The Environment and Wine” was created in 2023 to explore how wine and the vine are changing in response to environmental and climate issues. Since then, a growing number of events (workshops, screenings, meetings) in this series have been offered to participants in each new cultural season. In recent months, these have included a 2-Tonne Workshop, a Wine Fresco, a masterclass on biodynamic wine and a keynote interview with Saskia de Rothschild, during which the CEO of Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite explained the environmental commitment on her estates.

Ongoing action to reduce environmental impact

On a daily basis, actions both small and large are taken at the Cité du Vin to help reduce its ecological footprint. With 400,000 visitors a year and many activities that include wine tasting, the disposal of glass bottles represents a major challenge. To this end, the Cité du Vin works with Ben Recyclage to collect the bottles, which are then sorted, cleaned and reused, notably by the company Eco-In-Pack. Reuse is also an issue for cultural activities such as the Permanent exhibition. Much of the furniture from the old staging has been recycled or reused. One of the latest examples is the “In the vines” module, with its furniture recently installed in a motorway rest area to offer a new interactive quiz on wine culture entirely developed by the teams at the Cité du Vin. This is a way of reaching out beyond the walls of the Cité and making this heritage accessible to all. Communications material can also be given a new life. Two advertising banners previously displayed at Bordeaux train station were recently transformed into beach bags, passport wallets and A5 pouches with the help of Nomads Surfing, a committed workshop located just a few hundred metres from the Cité du Vin, which recycles this type of material into responsible personalised objects. They will soon be on sale at the Cité du Vin's Boutique. The advertising signs for Via Sensoria has also been reused. After spending many months on the gates of the Cité du Vin during the 2023 season, it has now been covered with a new visual and is back in service for the 2024 season! As far as waste management is concerned, all bio-waste (particularly from the restaurants) is now collected by bicycle and recycled by another neighbour of the Cité du Vin, Rest’O valor, to be transformed into compost which is then distributed to the region’s market gardeners. Lastly, employees of the Cité du Vin are also naturally involved in this change. They regularly take part in training sessions (with Arthur Keller, The Week coaching, Butterfly training, etc.) or in initiatives to reduce their digital footprint (IT servers, mailboxes). Through its day-to-day commitments and actions, the Cité du Vin has established itself as a cultural player in the ecological transition.

The sustainable development approach at the Cité du Vin is supported by the patronage of Distillerie Douence.

Press releases in partnership with cChic News and cChic Magazine

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