Soalheiro – Sustainable Packaging Can Make Business Sense


Thinking about environmental efficiency has allowed us to reinvent the company, reinforcing core values for Soalheiro such as consistency and quality.

The aim of this project was to develop a new packaging with improved functionalities that made business sense and at the same time contributed actively to our sustainable path.

The processes embraced changes both in the bottle and in the outer box design.


Quinta do Soalheiro has a Research Centre, the first in Portugal, to have an I&D and Innovation certification, that was responsible for the development of these projects.

The company had previously obtained the environmental certification for all its activity and, since 2006, it has had the organic certification of the vineyards owned by the company.

All these certifications are, for us, an opportunity for continuous improvement. The organic certification of the vineyards has allowed us to increase the biodiversity of the plots and the development of wines such as Nature or Terramatter which are already iconic products from the Soalheiro brand. Environmental certification reflects the development of a collective awareness within the company which, in 2020, provided a 10% reduction in cardboard and plastic waste.


Regarding the bottle transformation:

  • We invested in a customized model and an eco-efficient design that enabled a 19% reduction in CO2 emissions in the manufacture of the bottle. Until now, the bottles were produced in the centre of Europe and so, by challenging a Portuguese Glass supplier to produce these bottles in Portugal, we were able to reduce our CO2 emissions from transport by 8.5 times.
  • This bottle also presents several improvements: it is more practical to store in the fridge or on a shelf, thinking of family homes, restaurants and wine shops; it is easier to make the precise and elegant cut of the capsule due to the double marisa, thinking not only of the sommeliers, but also of the new wine lovers.
  • Finally, we engraved the word Soalheiro on the glass, as a signature of the whole team and all of the winegrowers who contribute to writing our history and whose efforts we want to be recognized in each of our new bottles.

Our outer boxes have also been customised, now using 39% less cardboard in each package, having a lower ecological footprint associated with transport and using only cardboard from Sustainable Forests (FSC certified).

While designing the prototype of the new box, we decided that the box should meet the versatility that characterizes our wines: On one hand, its aromatic freshness is revealed when consumed young using the box in an upright position. On the other hand, its great capacity for aging, which constantly surprises us, when it is developed in a bottle – the box can be kept lying down, an ideal position for those who want to keep the wine and allow it to evolve in the bottle in the best possible way and be used as a wine home cellar to organize your wines.

November 2019 – November 2020


Reduce the impact and carbon footprint of our packaging.


IDI from Soalheiro and Suppliers of bottles and outer box, Distribution in Portugal and Communication board (External Agency and Internal Soalheiro Communication)


Soalheiro wants to adapt to the future of market needs concerning sustainable packaging, which will have a strong focus on carbon footprint to achieve a neutral or positive carbon strategy. This concern is also something that Soalheiro incorporates as a value of its brand and that we believe reinforces our image and positive connection with customers.


A multidisciplinary team has been created with the objective of achieving environmental goals, and increasing the value perception of the new bottle and outer case.

The bottle and the outer case were developed at different moments.

We started with the outer case study, aiming to achieve 4 simultaneous objectives: automatization, reduction in cartons, FSC use and positive communication with consumers on the new values and improved functionalities of the boxes.

  • Automatization of the bottling line production (we have a box with horizontal packaging), because we need a box that has vertical bottles.
  • To maintain the same functionalities of the horizontal outer case because the design included two positions, one for logistical purposes, with the bottle vertical and another one, horizontal, to age the wine in the wine cellar.
  • Change the box cardboard to FSC origin.
  • Reducing the weight of the box.

For the bottle we also defined 4 main objectives:

  • Reduction of the weight
  • Bring the production to Portugal without an increase in the bottle cost
  • Optimize the reusing of pallets with the bottle producer
  • Increase the attributes on the bottle (conic to protect the label, cutting capsule part, branding).


  • Reduction of CO2 emissions in transport by 8.5 times – we changed supplier from the centre of Europe to Portugal.
  • 19% Reduction in CO2 emissions in the manufacture of this bottle – we invested in a customised model and in an eco-efficient design
  • 39% Less cardboard in each package – Eco-design of the boxes
  • Reduction in the ecological footprint associated with box transportation
  • Use of FSC-certified cardboard on the box
  • Increase the functionality of the box.


It is possible to reduce the environmental impact of packaging increasing the functionality and value for the brand and customers.

Nevertheless, all changes bring challenges, and we have faced some:

  • To find a company in Portugal that was available to develop and produce a new bottle that combines a balanced and elegant look with the lowest possible environmental impact.
  • To choose the correct design and supplier for the boxes that enabled both automatization and reduction of cardboard use. Our first trial was removing only the partitions of the boxes, but we realized that it was not feasible due to the double functionality of the boxes. So we looked for a different supplier that could offer a box model with the two incorporated partitions.


Amplify this new packaging that represents more than 90% of the total bottles produced and whose transition will end with the launch of the 2020 harvest during 2021.

All changes required from now on to be analyzed under a sustainable perspective.



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