Caring about the environment means making a difference when buying your next bottle of wine

Whether you are a consumer just enjoying the occasional glass of wine, a business, or with government, we are all facing the same question: how can each one of us contribute toward lowering the carbon footprint associated with our next bottle of wine?

The study from the University of Helsinki and Humboldt University of Berlin offers food-for-thought for us in Finland. It shows that we can make a difference already with little effort, for example by encouraging the industry to use lighter-weight bottles, when we buy the next bottle of wine: the study found that the use of light-weight bottles could by itself reduce carbon emissions by approximately 6%.

Yet why not say good-bye to bottles altogether, and switch to other packaging formats, since our study suggests that there are even bigger gains to be made here – though depending on country of origin (and keeping in mind that wine sold through the hotel and restaurant sector could not be accounted for in this Finnish study).

In short, we as consumers can make a huge difference, and yet only those in charge of bottle labeling – government agencies and businesses – have the ability to enable us as consumers to make more informed and more sustainable choices. It’s time for a French Revolution in your shopping basket, rewarding those wines that make a difference, and asking for more sustainability-related information!

Bodo Steiner, Professor, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Economics & Management.

(For full study details: Ponstein, H. J., Ghinoi, S., & Steiner, B. (2019). How to increase sustainability in the Finnish wine supply chain? Insights from a country of origin based greenhouse gas emissions analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 226, 768-780.)