Online tool launched to address wine maker carbon concerns

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supply chain, Winemaking

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) will next week launch
a new online tool is says will allow the industry to better assess
how much of environmental impact transportation has on their
operations.

According to the group, the transport carbon calculator has been developed following calls from WSTA members for assistance in reducing carbon emissions across their operations. Industry pressure ​ With drink manufacturers under growing pressure to measure and then find new methods to cut the environmental impact of their operations, the calculator is just one of a number of new initiatives being considered by wine and spirits makers. WSTA spokesperson Kate Coleman told BeverageDaily.com that the system provides a solid estimate for manufacturers of their carbon emissions "We believe it represents an objective, reasonable and conservative assessment of emissions from what analysts agree is one of the most complex elements of the alcoholic beverage supply-chain,"​ she stated. Coleman added that the calculator was not for certification use, but instead, to give indication of possible areas for operational improvement. "This measurement will enable companies to consider potential benefits of alternative transport modes or evaluate appropriate levels for off-setting,"​ she added.​Development of the calculator, which was partly devised in collaboration with JF Hillebrand, started in February of this year, and was based on existing research supplied by industry coalition FIVS, the WSTA said. Further focus ​ Coleman said the association had decided to focus specifically on carbon emissions generated from transport due to their overall significance for the international wine industry. However, she added that additional focuses on reducing the carbon footprint in wine production were under discussion from others in the industry. "An international consortium, drawn from FIVS membership, is developing a wine industry green house gas calculator which looks as all aspects of the wine supply chain,"​ Coleman stated. In development since October last year, the calculator initiative is the work of wine makers from South Africa, California (US), New Zealand and Australia in a bid to find an international system to detail emissions sources should be included in the focus. Outside form their output, wine makers are also increasingly looking to address packaging use within the industry as well. Lightweight commitment ​ Back in March, major players in wine production announced they were teaming up with packagers and other stakeholders to improve cooperation in supplying lightweight glass bottles. The pledge was made at the closing of a forum between UK winemakers, retailers and their supply chain partners, aimed at discussing ways of increasing the availability of lighter weight glass bottles. A number of producers and packagers like Constellation Europe, Kingsland Wine & Spirits, and Ardagh Glass UK attended the forum. The participants agreed to improve communication and cooperation in the supply chain from bottle makers up to retailers on how to better obtain lightweight glass for packaging.

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