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Green Gas has made the headlines this week - it has reached a milestone whereby it supplies 1 million UK households. According to the G...

The UK is the largest importer of wine in the world, a business worth £7.6 billion. Almost half of the wine we consume is now imported from the New World. Bottling and transporting wine contributes to the production of C02 emissions ' the main greenhouse gas. WRAP's study illustrates where reductions in the wine trade's carbon footprint can be made. It contrasts the carbon footprint of wine imported from the Berri Estate in Australia and the Bordeaux region in France, and clearly demonstrates four areas which affect total C02 emissions: use of bulk containers instead of bottling at source; bottle weights; distance travelled; and method of transport.

The use of ISO tanks and flexi tanks for bulk transporting wine instead of importing bottles can reduce emissions by a third. With the growth of a global market for wine and the expansion of wine production in the New World, the environmental cost of transportation has become a concern and traditional methods of delivery, such as bottling at source, are being reassessed.

A single container can hold 10,584 litres of bottled wine, which compares to approximately 25,000 litres of wine in bulk tanks. That's more than twice the capacity for bulk shipping. In fact, shipping wine from Australia in bulk reduces CO2 emissions by 164g for each 75cl bottle.

Substantial savings can also be made in shipping from Bordeaux in France. Transportation in bulk containers, using a combination of road and sea, cuts CO2 emissions by almost 40g for each 75cl bottle.


Carbon savings ' facts and figures:

The carbon footprint of alcohol consumed in the UK is 1.5% of the total UK greenhouse gas emissions, of which one quarter is attributable to wine.

Shipping wine in bulk from Australia or France reduces CO2 emissions by 30%-40% compared with bottling at source.

In comparison to road freighting, transporting bottled wine by rail from France can reduce transport emissions by almost 30%, whereas transporting by sea can save about 20%.

Source : WRAP

Bottling wine in a changing climate
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Article Date: 20 December 2007