Sustainability the Bollinger way

For the past two decades Champagne Bollinger has been reducing its impact on the environment, a very broad goal and the following article is taken from their booklet “Sustainability the Bollinger Way” and sets out some of the past and lays out their goals to achieve by 2029. It is worth noting that as far back at 2012 Bollinger was the first vineyards in France to achieve High Environmental Value or HEV, so this is a company far from “jumping on the bandwagon.”

Sustainability the Bollinger way reflects the fundamental values of the house, anchored since its creation in 1829. It is a state of mind. It all comes down to a timeless style and preserving traditional savoir-faire. Their values and traditions remain the same. Bollinger’s sense of responsibility is rooted in time: it’s in the history of the Maison, in every decision they make, and in their vision for the future. Since 2017, Charles-Armand De Belenet has been Chief Executive Officer at Champagne Bollinger and with him Bollinger continues its traditional craftmanship while incorporating the best of innovative technologies. In addition to this, Denis Buner recently became Chief winemaker as Gilles Descôtes’ successor and aims to continue his legacy along with driving innovation.

Since 1829, Champagne Bollinger has been making great wines with a powerful, refined and complex style, expressing the aromas of the fruit in all its dimensions.

Among the legendary names whose work contributed to the history of the Maison is Elisabeth Bollinger, one of the Grandes Dames of Champagne. For 30 years, Madame Bollinger combined modern farming techniques with the efficacy of traditional Champenois methods. In particular, she continued to vinify in oak barrels: “It is the traditional methods that count, even if they appear outdated: the quality of my wines is proof of this.”

In 1967, she began to sell a champagne that she had developed herself: R.D. – Récemment Dégorgé (“Recently Disgorged”). This innovative champagne was unique in having been aged for years on its lees, and was a great success when it was released.

In another miracle for the region, Champagne Bollinger still owned two plots of vines that have been spared by phylloxera. Madame Bollinger therefore decided, in 1969, to make the first “Vieilles Vignes Françaises” (“French Old Vines”).

Their culture as winegrowers stems from the historic roots in the village of Ay, their passion for great wine has been handed down through their family for generations, and as they work the soil, they respect the seasons, biodiversity and their employees.

That’s why the Maison is now formally including these commitments in the brand


Our people

Commitment no1- Refining our unique savoir-faire.
The Vine: Champagne Bollinger safeguards a long cultural tradition. The Maison strives to conserve ancestral winegrowing techniques, with vineyards planted en foule, with no grafting, and all work done by hand. These make for an incredible cultural heritage; one that has been continued by the Maison for almost 200 years.

The house’s ambition is to Continue the Maison’s most important expertise by creating an in-house Bollinger School of Savoir-Faire. With its official in-house opening planned for 2025, the School intends to open its doors to the public, with a sponsorship programme and training grants.

Bollinger Fermenting Barrels

Commitment no2 – Developing our employees’ culture of excellence
Helping our employees achieve ever greater standards of excellence: At Champagne Bollinger, perfection comes from the everyday actions of our employees. The women and men of the Maison work independently, making the absolute best of their individual skills. The Maison also works to ensure that skills are shared internally, meaning savoir-faire is passed between teams.

Commitment no3 – Ensuring our teams’ wellbeing
Ensuring excellent working conditions: Growing and making wine means tough, physical labour that works in harmony with the seasons. Employee safety is a priority at Champagne Bollinger. Our working environment is designed to limit the risk of accident, and health and safety training is given to every team. Furthermore, we encourage employees to switch between different manual tasks as much as possible, reducing the risk of physical injury from awkward poses and repetitive strain. One example is from our vineyards, where workers switch tasks during winegrowing. Before bottles are labelled, employees change shift every 30 minutes for quality control.



Commitment No4 – Making our vineyards sustainable while preserving biodiversity.
Developing green ways of growing: Champagne Bollinger is deeply invested in the quality of the vineyard’s soil, and in its environment as a whole. Sustainable winegrowing has long been part of the Maison, and is testament to the durability of our vineyards. Looking beyond the traditional approaches in place, in 2012, Champagne Bollinger was the first wine house in France whose vineyards were certified as ‘High Environmental Value’ (HEV). Two years later, it was also the first to receive the Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne certification. These prestigious labels assure the highest standards in environmental practice. Herbicides have also been banned on our vineyards since 2016. Each and every day, the managers of Bollinger vineyards use natural techniques to limit the pressure on the soil. These include the establishment of cover crops, mulching and environmentally-friendly grazing.



Commitment No5 – Reducing our carbon footprint
Measuring, avoiding and reducing carbon emissions: Champagne Bollinger has carried out a carbon assessment since 2009 which measures the emissions generated from each of its business activities. This allows the Maison to identify ways that it could improve, as well as to implement lower carbon manufacturing processes. With this in mind, Champagne Bollinger is working to reduce its energy consumption. The Maison’s impact is further reduced by the use of renewable electricity and the introduction of electric vehicles such as tractors.

Commitment No6 – Developing the circular economy
Promoting efficient water consumption: Champagne Bollinger has been taking steps to improve how it uses water, a precious natural resource. Large quantities are currently used throughout the winemaking process. The Maison keeps its water consumption to the strict minimum.


Our roots

Commitment No7 – Continuing our family heritage
An independent, family-owned business: The Maison has been inextricably linked to the Bollinger family ever since it was founded. The Maison’s heritage representatives, family members and employees guarantee that the excellence of the Bollinger style will stand the test of time. This stability has allowed the Maison to evolve with each new generation, all while maintaining its authenticity and values.



Commitment No8 – Supporting the local ecosystem
Developing lasting partnerships: The Maison has always strived to create strong, ethical partnerships with each of its suppliers. The Champagne Bollinger Sustainable Purchasing Charter lays out the best practices that have always been in place, highlighting the lasting partnerships the Maison so values.