Castel Mimi – example of a sustainable business

July 10, 2023

Castel Mimi – an example of a sustainable business In addition to producing tasty wine, fine dishes and grand events, Castel Mimi has also taken care to build a team of professionals who think about the future of the company and its impact on the environment.

The term ‘sustainability’ is being used more and more these days, but what exactly does it mean? What does a sustainable company or a sustainable product mean?

“It’s often confused with organic, organic, organic products, but I would define a sustainable product as one that has a positive impact on the environment, that does not deplete its natural resources. It is a product designed to be environmentally friendly from the manufacturing stage to the end when it is consumed or used. At Castel Mimi winery, we want to become as sustainable as possible, which is one of the company’s major goals.

We are moving steadily and confidently in this direction, and to achieve our goals, we have developed a long-term sustainability strategy. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to manage to integrate our activity into nature in such a way that there is no negative impact, zero”, explains Adrian Trofim, CEO of Castel Mimi.

In 2022, Castel Mimi completed the first stage of construction of the photovoltaic park – which provides 45% of its annual energy consumption.

“In 5 years we want to have full energy autonomy, which will help us avoid the risks of energy market fluctuations and give us an economic advantage by reducing production costs. This will enable us to offer better prices to our customers. In 2022 we have already managed to do two sustainable events where all the electricity used came from the sun. These are VinOpera and Wine Day at Mimi Castle,” says Adrian Trofim.

New technologies implemented for energy independence

To become energy independent, Castel Mimi plans to implement the latest heating and cooling technologies for the hotel and restaurant spaces. Heat pumps, using geothermal energy, and photovoltaic panels will contribute to this independence. Although they require a significant initial investment, they offer much greater benefits in the long term. The new Castel Mimi hotel is designed from the outset with energy efficiency and minimising negative environmental impact in mind. The specialists involved in the project are focusing on technological solutions that will help us achieve this result.

An important aspect is also the carbon footprint that the company leaves, i.e. the difference between CO2 produced and CO2 consumed. Carbon dioxide, with the chemical formula CO2, is produced as a result of the consumption of gas, electricity and fuel. Glass, corks and other materials needed in the wine production and bottling process also generate CO2 emissions when they are produced. However, the level of CO2 emitted can be reduced by creating green spaces, recycling materials and using alternative energy sources.

“At Mimi Castle we try to minimise our CO2 footprint in several ways. We do our lighting exclusively with LEDs, whose footprint is 9 times smaller than standard lighting. The 6 hectares on which Mimi Castle is located are lit with over a thousand LED bulbs. Compared to a standard light bulb, an LED luminaire generates 70 kg less CO2 per year. So the thousand LED bulbs installed at Mimi Castle allow us to generate 70 000 kg less CO2 each year. I think this is a huge positive impact.”

Castel Mimi CEO Adrian Trofim

At the same time, Mimi Castle promotes transport by train – which is considered to have the lowest carbon footprint per passenger. Therefore, for some events organized at the Castle, a “wine train” has been “put on the tracks”, on the route Chisinau – Castel Mimi – Chisinau, where people have the option to give up their cars and travel in a more environmentally friendly way by train.

Creating green spaces has always been a goal for the Castel Mimi team. More than 10 thousand trees and plants have been planted on the territory of the Castle and in the villages of Bulboaca and Speia.

Another method of reducing CO2 emissions is applied to the export of Castel Mimi wines. Logistics is a huge producer of CO2 and the effect is reflected in every bottle of wine exported. That’s why we always promote light bottles and run away from heavy bottles, because every truck has a weight limit it can carry. The more bottles that fall within these limits, the less CO2 per bottle is produced by the transport.

“We learned that from the Nordic countries. To export to Sweden and other countries, we have to meet certain standards: light glass, screw cap, 12-bottle box. These requirements aim to reduce the CO2 produced by logistics, but also to make it possible to sort for recycling later,” explains Castel Mimi CEO Adrian Trofim.

Recycling is a separate, and also extremely important, chapter. Castel Mimi avoids the use of plastic as much as possible. Plastic tableware is not used in restaurants, outdoor events or for take-away food. At all events, only glass cups are provided, which are taken for recycling if they break. The same applies to empty bottles. Cardboard and paper are also sorted and taken to the recycling centre, as is plastic.

“In addition to sorting glass, plastic and paper, we have been even more ingenious about this. Old pallets become furniture, used barrels become tableware or decorative pieces. We try not to impose limits on our creativity. Now we are also planning to install an organic waste collector to turn it into compost and use it as a natural fertiliser for our garden and vineyard,” says Adrian Trofim.

In addition to reducing its carbon footprint and ensuring energy self-sufficiency, Castel Mimi aims to gradually shift vineyard management towards reducing its negative environmental impact.

“Organic grapevines are a major objective. With small but firm steps we can achieve this. We have selected an area of 7 ha that we have decided to cultivate with organic plantations. In a few years we will have our first organic wine. All the work done in the vineyard aims to reduce the impact on nature. This can be achieved by optimising the work. If a new tractor is purchased, it must be equipped in such a way that it can do more operations in the vineyard.

This optimisation gives us not only a reduction in the negative impact on the environment, but also a lower cost of grape production. The use of facilities to forecast an advantageous environment for disease development in the vineyard helps us to be as efficient as possible in spraying. Information is the most powerful resource today. By always being informed about new technologies you can create a strategy and action plan to develop a sustainable business. By implementing these new technologies you get both economic benefits and a positive impact on the environment in the long term”, concludes Adrian Trofim, CEO of Castel Mimi.