Measuring wine carbon footprint For small winegrowers
How ironic is it that the term “carbon footprint” (CFT) was broadly introduced to the world by a major fossil fuel company in the early years of the millennium? It is now a common expression of our daily vocabulary when addressing the climate crisis and our efforts to reduce it, namely the utter need of dropping the use of… fossil fuels.
Whether we are talking about individual or collective CFT, it stands for the estimate of the full climate change impact of something, caused by the release of greenhouse gasses and CO2 in the atmosphere due to human activity. And to reverse this trend, we need to reduce and remove carbon from the air.
In terms of wine value chain, its CFP is thoroughly known, starting with the weight of the bottle that, together with transportation, accounts for approximately 40%, energy consumption throughout production, chemical fertilizers, among other elements.
And if a business is to reduce its CFP, the first step is to calculate it. Or is it not?
There are various tools available worldwide. Various approaches. You can measure per product or the whole business impact. You can measure scope 1 (direct emissions) and 2 (indirect emissions-owned) and/or 1,2 and 3 (indirect emissions – not owned).
Furthermore, there is no universal tool for measuring the carbon footprint of wines. Different companies, tools, measure in different ways. So how accurate is it to compare the Carbon footprint of different wines, different businesses that have been measured in distinct ways? The costs involved are significant and also vary.
Within this context, is measuring its CFT fundamental for a small (or any size) company to reduce its carbon emissions? Are there other approaches that can impact positively this path? Nevertheless, all steps should be towards lowering the carbon footprint of your business.
In this Climate Talk we will explore the tools, the challenges, barriers, benefits and insights in general from various players of the wine value chain that have experienced this process of addressing the Carbon footprint in the wine value chain.
We will bring to the table the importance of small steps with big environmental and financial impact, that can be adopted by anyone, even before measuring their emissions.
We will listen to different players and producers from various geographies on how they addressed their carbon emission reduction and the process they went through.
What are the low hanging fruits that you can go for in the quest to reduce emissions?
What benefits has measuring your carbon footprint brought? And cost vs benefits?
What does it teach about the wine value chain? About the business?
Where to start?
ALEXANDRE RELVAS. ALENTEJO. PT
CEO and Head Winemaker at Casa Relvas
CHRIS FOSS. UK
Chair of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB)
Chris Foss, Chair of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB), is half-French and Bordeaux-trained. Whilst in Bordeaux, he managed the family vineyard in the Entre-Deux-Mers and worked in in Sauternes (Chateau d’Yquem) and St Emilion, becoming Winemaker for the GFA Leclerc vineyard group.
He moved to Plumpton to launch programmes in Wine Production in 1988. Plumpton College is now an international centre of excellence in wine training, education and research. Chris lectured principally in vineyard establishment and management, vine protection, and sustainable viticulture, and established and managed Plumpton’s 10-hectare vineyard. His principal research interests lie in climate change and vineyard sustainability and he was a member of the Life+ ADVIClim research group. He publishes regularly in the industry journals and has presented at conferences in France, Austria, Germany, Spain, Australia, China, Romania, New Zealand and the USA. He was Chair of the South East Vineyards Association (and thus Council Member of the UK Vineyards Association) for 10 years and led the team that designed the academic programme for the highly successful ninth International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, held in Brighton (UK) in May 2016.
Chris is now actively encouraging and supporting grape growers and winemakers in producing sustainable wine through SWGB. This aims to create a strong and vibrant community within the English and Welsh wine industry that actively promotes sustainability through information sharing and a certification scheme that is inclusive, effective and well-respected by our customers.
ALICE RULE . NZ
Founder of 3sixty2
Alice founded 3Sixty2 on two guiding principles – sustainability and guardianship of the land – the principle of kaitiakitanga. As a start-up operation, Alice had to incorporate new technology into her business for better operating efficiency, making 3Sixity2 agile and not bound by legacy systems or ideologies.
Alice won an AGMARDT scholarship June 2019 to undertake research through Kellogg Rural Leadership program. For six months she studied the circular economy of glass in NZ’s wine industry and researched producer responsibility schemes all over the world.
The knowledge and leadership skills gained through the programme have positioned Alice as an authority in sustainability and transparency within the wine industry. By leading this conversation in the sector, she believes we can position NZ wine as the most prestigious on the export market.
STEFANO STEFANICCI. ITALY
Director at Equalitas
Stefano Stefanucci did graduate in Natural Sciences at the University of Parma, where he carried out an internship at the Department of Evolutionary Biology, after an experience at the School of Biology and Biochemistry at the Queen’s University of Belfast For more than 15 years he worked at Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), the main Italian Union of wine producers, as a consultant and trainer for wine companies, focusing on quality systems management. He co-wrote the “Guidelines for Traceability in the Wine Sector” and the “Wine Process Phases Legal Guidelines” published by UIV, and is author of several articles on sustainability. He has been daily engaged in the writing of “models” that UIV has delivered to its members in order to provide widely shared interpretations on matters such as food safety and traceability. He is a qualified 3rd party auditor on the ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 scheme, and passed the examinations to qualify as GSFS (BRC) auditor version IV, V, VI, VII, VIII. He was part of the Secretariat of the Tergeo Technical-Scientific Committee, the sustainability programme promoted by the UIV. In 2016/17 he was given the role of Chair of the ENVI-RD Committee of the CEEV – Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins and member of the « Steering » of the PEF wine pilot. Since 2014 he has been part of the ENVIRO Commission of the International Organization of vine and wine (OIV). Since July 2017 he is operational director at Equalitas, the sustainability initiative promoted by Federdoc, the association for the Appelation of Origin Consortia. Since 2013 he is a “lecturer on call” at the Università degli studi di Trento, Faculty of Law, course of “Wine Law”, and at the Università degli studi di Torino Department of Agronomy, Forestry and Food Sciences, course of “Oenology and quality management systems”. Since 2017 he is also an “official” RSPH HACCP level 2-4 trainer.