Global Wine Industry to Tackle Carbon Footprinting

Global Wine Industry to Tackle Carbon Footprinting

Sensing an opportunity to expand markets and boost its brands and image, the global wine industry plans to explore the calculation of its carbon footprint.

Wine trade groups in California, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia have joined forces to develop the International Wine Industry Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol, while the revered region of Bordeaux, France, launched a study to measure its overall emissions.

The industry's multi-pronged approach to scrutinizing its own environmental impact could unearth financial opportunities, such as carbon credit accounting or access to retailers interested in the carbon footprint of the products they sell. The ensuing marketing opportunities could also prove lucrative.

The Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol will include a calculator to help wineries of varying sizes examine their emissions. Using the protocol established by the World Resources Institute as a guide, the team identified three scopes of emissions in the wine life cycle.

The first scope involves the direct emissions that companies can control, such as fuel consumption of water heaters, boilers and farm equipment.

The second scope relates to indirect emissions form buying electricity, heat or steam. The third scope includes indirect emissions from everything else bought within the supply chain, such as fertilizers, packaging materials and transporting products to market.

"The International Wine Industry Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol is a natural complement to the California wine industry's commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership in sustainable wine growing," said Robert Koch, president and CEO of the Wine Institute of California. "Our wineries, the majority of which are family owned, believe that tools such as this are important to the long-term viability and health of their businesses."

Separately, the Bordeaux region of France wants to measure the amount of emissions it generates. During the next six months, the French Environment Agency will work with the celebrated region's Wine Board to create the project "Bilan Carbone" to study emissions from growing and tending vines, as well as making, bottling, storing and delivering wine, AFP reported.

Other activities, such as those related to personnel, packaging, vine treatments and waste management also will be examined.