What sustainability means to us

Sustainability has always been important to us. For nearly 150 years, we have been working closely with the best suppliers and growers to offer great-value wines to our members – and we want to continue doing that for the next 150. This means we need to do much more. 

The world is changing fast, with ever-increasing pressures from an unpredictable climate, biodiversity loss, new legislation, worker exploitation, increasing prices and a fickle job market. Many growers are already facing significant challenges from climate change, which impacts harvests, wine quality and, ultimately, price. To continue to thrive, we must take care of the natural world that we need to grow our grapes, as well as the passionate people we need to make and transport our wine to members’ doors.  

That’s why we have created a sustainability plan with a series of ambitious goals. We’re committed to making sure that everything we do at The Society, across all aspects of the business, is good for the people we work with, good for the products we sell and, above all, good for the planet.  
   
Acting on sustainability is not only the right thing to do, it makes clear business sense. We’re planning ahead to ensure the long-term prosperity of The Society, so we can continue to offer our members great wines for many years to come.

Sustainability is a wide-reaching concept, so we’ve broken it down into five areas:

Our focus areas

A fuller breakdown of the five key areas of our sustainability plan, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

Acting on Climate

Acting on climate

We minimise our climate footprint, from the vineyard to our home, and then onwards to yours

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Protecting and regenerating our environment

Protecting and regenerating our environment

We drive action among producers to protect and regenerate the natural environment and strive for a world free of waste

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Sourcing responsibly and ethically

Sourcing responsibly and ethically

We buy with integrity, working to improve the lives of workers in our supply chain and minimise our environmental impact

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Caring for all our people

Caring for all our people

We foster a Wine Society for all, from grape to glass – ensuring care, fairness and respect for colleagues, members and people throughout our supply chain

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Inspiring action

We cannot do this alone. That’s why we invest in building knowledge and collaboration among members, suppliers and the wider wine industry, so that together we can accelerate action on sustainability

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We want The Wine Society to be the most sustainable wine retailer in the world

A transparent approach

We want The Society to be one of the most sustainable wine retailers in the world. This goal is firmly rooted in a clear mission to continue providing delicious, high-quality wines to our members for many years to come. It is ambitious – we don’t have all the answers and we certainly cannot do it alone. We will need to work together with our members, growers, producers and the wider industry so we can tackle the big challenges together. And we will need to infuse sustainable thinking and action throughout The Society, so it becomes a normal way of working. 

That’s why we have launched this new sustainability section on our website to explain our goals in more detail, update on progress and enable members to hold us to account. 

Our key goals

  • Calculate our carbon footprint, set science-based reduction targets and develop a road map to reach net zero by 2040, across our business and supply chain
  • Gather precise data on the packaging we use and set 2025 reduction targets
  • Develop our new approach to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 

  • Minimise energy and waste consumption
  • Set 2025 reduction targets for our cardboard, glass and plastic packaging
  • Sign up suppliers to our new sustainability-focused code of conduct
  • Send zero waste to landfill
  • Launch The Society’s sustainability Knowledge Hub
  • Implement our new diversity, equity and inclusion policy 

  • Be carbon neutral across our direct operations
  • Implement minimum social and environmental standards for our suppliers
  • Implement a sustainability scorecard for our own-label wines
  • Launch a range of own-label wines in alternative, more environmentally friendly packaging formats
  • Launch The Society’s training and mentorship scheme for disadvantaged groups
  • Launch a supplier forum to share tools and success stories on sustainability
  • Measure the impact of our new approach to employee health and wellbeing 

  • Conduct social and environmental risk assessments on all own-label suppliers
  • Have set goals to enhance biodiversity in our supply chain
  • ‘Right weight’ all our packaging
  • Trial packaging reuse and ‘take-back’ systems
  • Introduce a ‘Sustainable Choice’ range within our own-label selection

  • Have reduced greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in our operations (vans, warehouses, office) to zero 

  • Be net zero across our business and supply chain. 

Protecting the wines we love today and tomorrow

Play Video
We're proud at The Wine Society to launch our sustainability plan, to help protect the wines we all love for the future. Video transcript

Video transcript

Members and growers know too well that one of life's pleasures is sharing a glass of wine. Fantastic-tasting wines have been at the heart of The Wine Society’s approach for the past 150 years, and we’re determined to continue to do that for the next 150. 

Our growers and winemakers around the world are facing real challenges. Vineyard damage from fires, floods and frosts, rising global temperatures, declining water supplies and changing weather patterns are all serious issues and threaten the long-term future of our favourite bottles.​

In the last ten years, we have seen a major increase of the weather fluctuations. We have lost three crops entirely in the last five years, two with the frost and one with the hail.

We're committed to ensuring that everything we do across all aspects of our business, is good for our members, good for the people we work with, good for the wine we sell and above all, good for the planet.

That's why we've launched a sustainability plan. We will reduce carbon emissions, minimise our use of resources and ensure we’re taking care of people right across our supply chain, and we'll be working with our suppliers, encouraging them to do exactly the same thing.

We want to have the most ethical and environmentally sustainable wine supply chain in the world, and we’re confident our plan will help us achieve that.

It’s a big challenge, so we’ve divided our sustainability plan into five areas, each one playing its part.

Our short-term goals include sending zero waste to landfill, reducing packaging and becoming carbon neutral, with the aim of being net zero across our business and supply chain by 2040.

We're going to help the growers and wineries we work with become more sustainable, too, and set up a sustainable scorecard for the wines we sell. This will really help our members understand the footprint of our wines, so they can make more informed choices about what they want to drink.

It’s the interaction of humanity, altering the landscape, changing the way that nature does things that is provoking so much of today’s climate change. Our actions, whether they are big, or small have an impact. The wine industry can take an extraordinary position of leadership on the issue of climate change across the world.

The Wine Society needs to be sustainable so we can provide members with delicious wines for many years to come.​ The good news is that our sustainability plan is already under way.​ We do hope you join us on this journey.​

Producers making a difference

Producers making a difference

Discover a selection of wines from our producers making great strides on sustainability.

From grape to glass

From grape to glass

Our sustainability plan covers all stages of wine, from the vineyard to our home, and onwards to yours.

Meet our sustainability team

Dom de Ville

Dom de Ville  

Our sustainability plan is not a standalone project: it’s something that needs to be infused through everything The Wine Society does, becoming a mindset and a part of everyone’s role. We are delighted to be joined by Dom to help us achieve this. Dom has overall responsibility and accountability for our sustainability plan, and has been involved in sustainability for most of his 20-year career, including ten years in international development. Dom joins us from leading consultancy Sancroft.  

Simon Mason

Simon Mason  

Simon has been at The Society for more than a decade, heading up our Tastings Team before moving into our Buying Department. Now head of wine sustainability, Simon works with our suppliers to encourage and accelerate collaboration and improving sustainability throughout our wine supply chain. It’s important we support, enable and encourage the growers with whom we work, and Simon’s experience across the wine industry makes him the ideal person for the job. 

Isobel Cooper

Isobel Cooper 

A name and a voice many members will be familiar with, Isobel led our Member Services team for 26 years before taking up her new role to focus on the people-based goals of our sustainability plan. Isobel’s focus will be making The Society a more inclusive organisation that represents all of our members, the organisation’s values, the health and wellbeing of our employees and efforts in the wider community such as supporting charities, fundraising and our new training and mentorship schemes. 

FAQ's

If you have a question or looking for further information on sustainability please visit our FAQ’s

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