Wine Business & climate change: Jason Haas, Joan Esteve, Luís Cerdeira and Marta Mendonça

The business sense of Internalizing climate change – II Edition

From extreme weather events to water scarcity, to shifts in the ripening phase and grapes composition, these are just a few of the consequences wine regions around the world are experiencing due to a changing climate.

Furthermore, there are many aspects of wine production that contribute to increase CO2 in the atmosphere: from glass packaging to carbon emissions from wine fermentation, to the nature and quantity of pesticides used in viticulture, monocultures, water spent, fossil fuels used along the various stages of production, from transportation to tractors. But there are also many things that can be done to minimize this impact: cover crops, drip irrigation (or no irrigation at all) to conserve soil and water, reducing the bottle weight or opting for less impactful materials.

Climate change also offers business opportunities to companies, to those who aim to improve their resources management, for example, by increasing energy efficiency, to drive innovation, inspiring new products and services which are less carbon intensive and ultimately enhance the resilience of their supply chains by reducing reliance on price-volatile fossil fuels by shifting towards renewable energy. Together, these actions can foster competitiveness and unlock new market opportunities and will certainly be less costly as we speak than if the unavoidable is postponed.

Ultimately, is the long-term consequence of not internalizing climate change the survival of the industry (ours?) itself? And isn’t that the reason why it makes business sense to do so?

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