Various energy-saving lights at a restaurantVarious energy-saving lights at a restaurant

Our objective: to continually increase energy efficiency and reduce consumption. We are guided in this by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

LED lighting in the Ristorante OrnellaiaLED lighting in the Ristorante Ornellaia

LED and motion sensors

Rudi Bindella – father and son – are convinced that the elegance of your surroundings has an effect on you. That is why the Bindella Ristoranti are full of «cose belle», beautiful things. Paintings, sculptures, candlelight, harmonious colours… You need the right light for a pleasant ambience – which is why the switch is being made to LED (and motion sensors where appropriate) at all the restaurants and at the headquarters. The transition is already 30 to 40 per cent complete. We are sticking with it!

Santa Lucia delivery service on the road with an environmentally friendly motorbikeSanta Lucia delivery service on the road with an environmentally friendly motorbike

Aerodynamic trucks

Spoilers are not exclusive to racing cars; they are also found on heavy goods vehicles. Not to make them faster, but to ensure they are more environmentally friendly. At high speeds, a roof spoiler can reduce fuel consumption by up to five per cent. This is why we are currently fitting spoilers to all our Bindella trucks. As yet the spoiler installation is too recent for us to be able to use our data to make clear statements about the effective fuel consumption. If we compare the fuel consumption to last year, we are making an annual saving of 345 litres of diesel per vehicle.

Photovoltaic cells at Tenuta VallocaiaPhotovoltaic cells at Tenuta Vallocaia

Sustainability for winegrowing too

We have been making wine at our Tenuta Vallocaia in Tuscany for 40 years now. We pay attention to nature and the local traditions, and are firmly convinced that sustainability should go without saying. That is why we have opted for things like solar panels and solar heating, are planting greenery around our vineyards – and have been using lightweight bottles since the early 2000s. Now we exclusively use 500-gram bottles for our entire production. In this way we have been able to reduce the CO2 emissions for the production and transport of the glass by around one third.


Regionally sourced wood in a pizza oven at Santa LuciaRegionally sourced wood in a pizza oven at Santa Lucia

Regionally sourced pizza wood

In 1965 the Bindella family opened its first wood-fired pizzeria: Santa Lucia on Limmatplatz in Zurich. It was one of the first in all of Switzerland! The Neue Zürcher Zeitung described this exotic food as an «Italian tart» and claimed it was nothing more than a fad that would surely go away soon. Well, history had other ideas.

Today we burn around 450,000 kilograms of beech wood per year at our Santa Lucia and Più Ristoranti (for all the wood nerds out there: split into 50 cm pieces with an edge length of 5 to 10 cm and a maximum of 20 per cent residual moisture). Naturally the wood is sourced from the region.  The wood used at the Zurich Ristoranti comes from a wood processing plant based in Oetwil. They get the wood from forests in the canton of Zurich and from eastern Switzerland. The wood for the Bern locations is cut in Wohlen.


A heat recovery boiler is installedA heat recovery boiler is installed

Heat recovery

In two thirds of our Ristoranti we are already using waste heat from refrigeration machines for heat recovery. This waste heat is fed into a heat recovery boiler, which provides us with hot water free of charge. At Più Zug, for example, this covers about 2/3 of our hot water needs. Plus, since the waste heat is transferred to the heat recovery boiler, the external cooling fans do not have to run as often, which also saves energy. It’s a win-win!


Santa Lucia delivery service on the road with an environmentally friendly motorbikeSanta Lucia delivery service on the road with an environmentally friendly motorbike

Efficient routes mean less diesel

We deliver wine to restaurant owners all over Switzerland. Since 2017 we have been using a dispatch solution that helps us optimise our drivers’ routes so that they drive as efficiently as possible. This has reduced our diesel consumption from 32,000 litres a year to 27,000 litres. It has also enabled us to reduce our fleet from eight vehicles to only six. And we are constantly exploring other ways to optimise.

Santa Lucia delivery service on the road with an environmentally friendly motorbikeSanta Lucia delivery service on the road with an environmentally friendly motorbike

Electricity for pizza delivery

Our Santa Lucia delivery drivers bring wood-fired pizza, pasta and wine to your door in an environmentally friendly way – with 14 e-scooters from the Swiss company Etrix (plus a Fiat 500e for large orders). We have opted for e-mobility because the scooters generate no noise pollution in Zurich’s residential districts and of course environmental sustainability is close to our heart. The packaging is biodegradable and a dispatch tool calculates the most efficient route for the driver. The scooters get 100 kilometres per charge, and have travelled 640,000 kilometres since the start of the delivery service in 2019. And once the scooters reach the end of their life cycle they are upcycled in Spain.


Chart: Electricity consumption in the food industry Chart: Electricity consumption in the food industry

Employees save energy

Besides the energy needed for cooking and washing up, the biggest power guzzlers in a restaurant are the refrigerators, freezers and ventilation systems. In addition to constant monitoring of energy consumption and technological optimisation (for example, we use timers for our coffee makers and lower the indoor temperature at night), a major piece in the energy-saving puzzle is raising awareness among staff. That is why, in cooperation with Lemon Consult, we have developed action plans for saving energy.

Electricity meterElectricity meter

Smart meters

Smart meters, which measure energy use, let us monitor, optimise and reduce our power consumption. If a measurement goes up the system sounds the alarm – and the Bindella technicians investigate to find out why. The reference values and previous experience from our 46 restaurants across Switzerland come in handy here, such as when Santa Lucia location X is found to be using one third more power than location Y despite the fact that the overall conditions appear to be the same. Another nifty solution: thanks to the constant measurement of the indoor air, the ventilation system turns itself down when it detects the right nitrogen content in the room. We are currently installing smart meters in the first 12 locations, with others following on a rolling basis.

Compressed cardboard boxesCompressed cardboard boxes

Compact cardboard

A lot of used cardboard piles up in wine shops, because wine is often transported in cardboard boxes. In the past, this amounted to 300 industrial-sized bins of cardboard per year, which had to be disposed of 60 times per year, requiring 1,200 kilometres of driving and 240 litres of diesel. In 2015 Bindella acquired a cardboard compactor and now contracts the Model company to pick it up and recycle it. By compressing the cardboard, the volume decreases so much that instead of 60 trips per year only five are necessary now.


> Link to blog (as soon as «SL Repo» magazine appeared in May 2023)