Taking action

November good news

Some reasons to be cheerful – our monthly report on some recent positive developments in wine sustainability.

Australian roadmap

Australian roadmap for reducing emissions

The Australian wine industry has set an agenda to reduce their carbon emissions by 42% by 2030. The country’s wine production currently emits enough carbon annually to fuel a jet flying around the world 609 times, so this will represent a significant saving. Wine Australia, the generic body which represent the industry, has produced a set of guidelines and resources to support producers as they work towards this goal. This includes steps such as lightweighting bottles, using electric vehicles and switching to renewable energy sources, and planting vineyards to enable maximum carbon sequestration.

Simonsig receives Fairtrade accreditation

Simonsig farmlands
Simonsig farmlands

Simonsig Wine Estate, one of The Wine Society’s producers who are making great strides in sustainability, has recently been accredited Fairtrade from the 2023 vintage. Simonsig is already an estate that prioritises people highly, hosting working families, schools and playing fields on land that they donated to the community, and supporting the local working families with childcare. They are now producing one wine under a Fairtrade label – the income from this wine will go into a trust controlled by the workers, using the money for themselves or their community; the trust is audited by the Fairtrade Foundation.

Nasa technology spots grape disease from the sky

Earlier this year, a paper was published which showed that a NASA-developed instrument can help detect vine diseases up to a year before they would otherwise be noticed. The instrument in question, already used to measure and monitor hazards such as wildfires, oil spills, greenhouse gases, and air pollution from volcanic eruptions, is now able to identify a viral disease called GLRaV-3. It does so from the air, saving time and labour in the vineyard, and the early diagnosis means winemakers have more time to address the disease in sustainable ways that are less damaging to the vines and the soil.

Bollinger

Bollinger becomes a B-corp

Bollinger has obtained the B-corp certification, making it only the second Champagne house to do so after Charles Heidsieck who became certified last year. B-corporations are businesses ‘verified by B Lab [the certifying body] to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability’ - essentially ensuring that they benefit the world around them.

Some stories supplied by Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, part of WineGB.

Amy Matthews

Acting Senior Editor

Amy Matthews

Amy is currently Acting Senior Editor at The Wine Society, including editing the Sustainability Hub. She has worked in wine for nearly twenty years for importers, wine bar groups and national retailers, as well as freelance drinks writing and content consultancy.

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