According to Wine Spectator, the Bordeaux Wine Trade Board (CIVB) has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent, along with the European Union’s 2020 Climate Plan.
A nine-month study conducted by the board found that the greenhouse gas “emissions generated by the Bordeaux wine industry’s various activities, from grapegrowing to worldwide shipping, indicated that it produces some 203,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Much of this output is linked to the fabrication and transportation of bottles and cardboard boxes, as well as the fuel used by tractors in the vineyards,” according to Wine Spectator.
“About a quarter of emissions are generated by bottles,” said CIVB technical service director Laurent Charlier. “If we reduce their weight by 15 percent, we can decrease the total output by 5 percent.”
While vineyards are not mandated by law or incentivized to make these changes, some, like St. Julien’s Château Lagrange, have already begun implementing green initiatives. The chateau recycles vine shoots into compost for the vineyard, teaches its employees efficient ways to drive vineyard machinery, encourages carpooling and is looking to eliminate the need for heated vats in its cellar. “It’s up to the prestigious properties to set an example,” said Lagrange’s quality manager, Gervaise Ruton.
Additionally, the CIVB is encouraging a number of other means for reducing emissions. It is also studying how to make bottles lighter and improve upon glass and cardboard packaging manufacturing.