For over 100 years the House of Townend has developed, and continues to maintain, strong sustainable and ecological credentials through all parts of our business. We constantly review our impact on the environment and our relationships with the local community, our people, and our suppliers. We call this 'The Sustainability of Relationships' and we use these fundamental principles across our entire business, not only because it makes sense to care for and maintain our environment for future generations, but also it makes sense to us as a family business established over 116 years ago, who are passionate about creating a sustainable future.
House of Townend has a continual commitment to the environment across all aspects of our business. Recent examples of this are the installation in December 2022 of 500m2 solar panels on our warehouse roof, capable of generating enough power to not only supply the needs of our offices and cellars (our buildings are already incredibly energy efficient) but, more importantly, reducing our carbon footprint by 400 tons annually. We have also moved away from single serve plastic bottles to wine cans, which has in turn removed 200,000 plastic bottles per year from our business. We have introduced paperless invoicing and statements across all depots, and have a policy of recycling all packaging materials. Additionally, we have begun the process of moving to electric vehicles for our local deliveries. As a business, we have a policy of investing in sustainable methods and infrastructure so that our legacy as a business has an ever-decreasing environmental footprint.
Within our supplier base, House of Townend has always sought out and championed growers and domaines who grow and make wine in an environmentally sustainable way. Chemicals cost money, both for the product and also the time and equipment to introduce them into a vineyard and winery. Within our 1,200 strong wine portfolio, over 50% are Organic, Biodynamic or farm under ‘Lutte Raisonee’ principles.
As a successful family business founded in 1906, House of Townend continues to foster and maintain positive relationships with every person within the business, whether that is our colleagues, suppliers, or customers.
We offer a flexible and family friendly approach to work/life balance, a fact reflected in the longevity of our colleagues within the business who have an average of 10.2 years working at House of Townend. As well as offering our colleauges a wide range of benefits such as WSET & Staff Improvement courses, job-specific training, 5 weeks paid holiday, quarterly staff lunches, we also have a Mental Health First Aider onsite to safeguard our employee’s wellbeing. Over the current Cost of Living Crisis the company recognised the importance of supporting our people and as such paid a one-off financial payment to help working colleagues.
House of Townend has a strong and proactive relationship with the local community, supporting a wide range of activities and causes annually.
In addition to the financial support that we offer to a local Hospice (Dove House) through donations and fund-raising, House of Townend offers all of our staff two days of paid annual leave to volunteer for local charitable causes within our community. Examples of this are working with elderly patients in care, volunteering in local charity shops, working with the Commonwealth War Graves and charity bike rides. Further support goes to our discount scheme for ‘Blue Light’ Workers.
House of Townend sources 92% of all products directly, with no 3rd party intervention and as such we understand and can trace the provenance of the vast majority of our products – ‘Grape to Glass’ is not a phrase we use lightly. As a business, we promote honesty, integrity and sustainability throughout our buying process, encouraging all our suppliers to adopt our principles of building a wine business for future generations.
Our portfolio of wine domaines points to the Sustainability of Relationships, with family domaines dominating our supplier base and working relationships that have lasted for many decades. Sichel, Audy, Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Rioja Vega, Plaimont, LGI. As a wine business we focus on the product and the family, building relationships based on trust, honesty, integrity and quality. We have a large number of wine domaines practicing Organic and/or Biodynamic and farming sustainably under Lutte Raisonee principles.
House of Townend has a progressive policy of reducing glass weight in our wine bottles from 600g to 400g, in addition to our unique policy of only bottling wine at source. Whilst marginally more expensive, this policy of bottling in the country of origin means that the quality of the wine is guaranteed, involves less handling and manipulation and is totally traceable.