Distillerie Francoli (Fratelli Francoli S.p.A.)

Sustainability

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More about Distillerie Francoli (Fratelli Francoli S.p.A.)

Status Operational
Established: 1951
Owner: Not supplied
Capacity: 1 million bottles of grappa
Visitor Policy: Not generally accessible
Tel: +39 (0)163 844 711
Website: http://www.francoli.it
The Francoli family have been distilling since 1875 and established their grappa distillery in Ghemme in 1951. Fratelli Francoli remains a family owned and family run business. The company grew rapidly in the 1960s and seventies due to the reputation of its grappa and this continues to drive sales of Luigi Francoli branded grappa to this day. Over the decades the Francoli family have also become well-known for the quality of liqueurs and wines but what is less appreciated is the family’s ethical approach to the environment which led to the company being certified for zero environmental impact since 2006.

Address

20 via Romagnano
Ghemme
28074
Italy

It could be argued that grappa production is itself a form of recycling, as the pomace it is made from is waste material left from wine making. So you’d think there is little of value left in the pomace after grappa production. However, after processing this is a valuable fuel.

The spent pomace is dried in a huge rotating heated drum, entering at one end with 50% moisture and emerging at the other with just 3-4% moisture. As the pomace leaves the drier the seeds are separated from the dried skins and stalks. Around 17% of the weight of the dried seeds is valuable grape seed oil which is extracted with the remainder of the seeds used as a fertiliser.

The dried skins are burnt in a boiler producing steam to power both the drier and stills with sufficient extra energy to also heat the offices. Hence, the distillery is powered by renewable fuel. Emissions are minimised by an electrostatic precipitator and are considerably below legal limits.

The CO2 produced by the fermentation and burning of the pomace is neutralised by grape vines absorption of CO2 while growing. Thus Francoli is a neutral impact producer. However, the Francoli family’s ethical approach led them to go even further and seek zero environmental impact certification, something they achieved in 2006.

To offset the carbon emissions related to commercial activities such as supply and haulage of goods, car and air travel, the company contributes to the protection of 22 hectares of tropical forest in Costa Rica, an area sufficient to absorb enough CO2 to offset all of Francoli’s emissions.

Installation of solar panels to generate electricity was a first step towards energy independence but in 2012 the Francoli family built a 1,000 kilowatt power plant next to their distillery. This burns waste wood and vegetable matter to produce steam that drives turbines producing electricity. Around 10% of this is used to power the distillery and offices with the remaining 90% feeding the national grid. The waste ashes produced by the plant are used to make fertiliser.

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