This blog post is based on a recently published article in the journal “Sustainability” on the role of territorially embedded innovation ecosystems accelerating sustainability transformations: a case study of the transformation to organic wine production in Tuscany (Italy).
Although cellar door sales generate greenhouse gases that may negatively affect the wine industry’s environmental sustainability, wine tourism also offers many benefits. A regular inflow of visitors can be critical to the survival of many small and medium sized wineries. Moreover, wine tourism contributes to the cultural preservation and social stability of rural communities, and makes significant contributions to the economic and social sustainability of many wine producing regions. To understand both the costs and the benefits of wine tourism, it is time to add a consideration of its carbon footprint to the industry’s comprehensive efforts towards achieving both financial and environmental sustainability.
The bag-in-box is the preferable alternative, followed by the aseptic cartons that had only slightly worse environmental performances. Compared to single use glass bottles, the impacts of bag-in-box were from 60% to 90% lower. Therefore, in order to improve the wine packaging sustainability without substituting glass for wine packaging, a glass bottle reuse program is a convenient alternative only when considering the local market. The study provides useful indications for industry and government stakeholders seeking out new strategies for enhancing the sustainability of the wine life cycle as well as it contributes to counter the prejudice that glass packaging would be more sustainable than plastic or multilayer packaging.