I have been looking lately at the environmental impact of screwcaps closure and I came accross an interesting survey from a company called “Quantis” related to the carbon footprint of the wine supply chain. I think the study was sponsored by the European Aluminum producer, so not fully removed from the industry but Quantis is a serious third party with good credentials: http://www.quantis-intl.com/
Above is the chart that sort out the different sources of carbon emission during the supply chain – from the vineyard to the consumer’s table. Several very interesting points:
1) The winery impact is really small, may 9% of total carbon emmission. So solar panels, water reduction program and other winery improvements are nice but really they don’t move the needle much – though at Pacific Rim we have very good water, waste and electrical conservancy program
2) Glass is about 40% of the total carbon emission – holy molly, that is a lot. Please note that Pacific Rim is using 95% EcoSerie glass, the lightest glass available in the USA (made in USA – 393 g/bottle). We also don’t use pallets for our case goods (they are heavy, they take room, they have a carbon footprint from manufacturing, etc..)
3) Stopper is really not a big deal as far as carbon emission is concerned – Retail transportation (ie from the winery to the retailer) is more important than closure – again light weight glass would help here
4) The other big carbon emiter is the consumer driving to the store, picking up the wine, using the wine etc… – about 25% of the carbon footprint. We should buy 12 bottles at a time to make things more efficient!
Will report on my screwcap findings next week