Crimson Wine Group – USA
Crimson Wine Group owns six wineries and associated estate vineyards on the West coast of the United States and sells wines at an average retail price point of $25 per bottle. Our wineries are located in Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Edna Valley, the Dundee Hills, and eastern Washington
Our primary objective was to lighten our glass weight to reduce our carbon footprint. Our glass weight has been reduced by 13% leading to an estimated reduction of 8% in our carbon footprint. During that exploration we’ve discovered other benefits beyond reducing our glass use such as simpler logistics, lower transportation footprint and higher warehouse usage.
PROJECT STARTING DATE: 03/01/2019| ENDING DATE:10/31/2019
Our understanding is that glass bottles can represent up to 60% of the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine due to the high energy required to make a glass bottle of wine as well as the high cost of transportation from the glass plant to the bottling center and from the bottling center to the final consumer. The carbon footprint of glass is proportinal to its weight. We those facts in mind, we thought that reducing our average glass weight would be the most important action we could take to reduce our global carbon footprint. Additionally, most of our glass was produced 8,800 km away from our bottling adding unnecessary transportation and logistical burdens.
The first step was to audit all of our different glass molds across our estates. From there we’ve started to discuss harmonizing the different shapes we were using in order to simplify purchasing and gain flexibility.
The second step was to interview domestic glass manufacturer and audit their processes and costs. Rapidly we found a local supplier that was able to match the pricing from our previous sourcing especially since we were reducing our glass weight in the process. During that audit we have discovered that all the supplies this glass manufacturer used (silica, limestone and soda ash) were mined locally. This knowledge increased our awareness of the entire glass manufacturing supply chain and helped us select a partner that also thought about its carbon footprint.
We then went to select glass molds with the manufacturer and tried to push down our average bottle weight as low as we could without compromising the brand image we were looking for.
Once an agreement was found we went to visit the manufacturer as a team to create a stronger bond between the teams.
In one year we have:
– dropped our average bottle weight by 13% to 505 g/750ml. This is taking out 300 tons of glass out of production every year. Assuming 60% of our carbon footprint came from glass, we have dropped the entire operation’s carbon footprint by 8%
– reduced the transportation footprint from the glass manufacturer to our bottling lines by 8,300 km for each bottle transported
– got us closer to our manufacturer and deepened our understanding of how glass is made. We are now sensitive about the entire supply chain and by the fact that our glass manufacturer sources all its supplies locally
– the drop in glass weight is allowing us to put more filled glass per truck by increasing our pallet sizes. We are able to reduce by 30% the number of trucks and store 30% more cases in our warehouses
Previous heavier bottle on the left – Current lighter bottle on the right
We are now looking at our other packaging supplies such as closure, labels and capsules.
We also are exploring other materials than glass to continue to drop our weight per container
This is easily replicable to any other wine producer