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Naked Wines to reduce weight of 3.5 million bottles

Published:  24 February, 2022

For Naked Wines, lighter bottles are greener bottles as the online retailer looks to reduce its carbon footprint.

By the end of 2022, Naked Wines is committing to reducing the weight of 3.5 million wine bottles and ensuring that a further 2.5 million bottles contractually remain as light as they are.

For those 6 million bottles, Naked estimates that lifecycle carbon emissions will reduce by nearly 10%.

James Crawford, MD for Naked Wines told Harpers: “We started the journey by footprinting our greenhouse gases. We came out at just over a kilo of Co2 per bottle of wine, which is about 10% lower than average. 

“We used that information to better understand what we can control to continue on that journey towards lower emissions.”

He added: “We found a raft of opportunities to make bottles lighter, which we believe will save about 450 tonnes of glass or about a million wine bottles, which we thought was a substantial number, and we hope the rest of the industry will be coming on the same journey.”

However, with 19 billion glass bottles sold into the global market annually – change has been slow-moving in the industry in general. 

According to Crawford, Naked was well-positioned to lead by example: “With some companies, change can be a logistical nightmare, but Naked is a single integrated unit that works closely with its winemakers, so we can be bolder and quicker in terms of making decisions like this.”

For some, there seems to be a perceived correlation between the weight of the bottle and the quality of the wine. Naked, however, says its data tells a different story.

Crawford added: “Our rating scores for the same wine in a box versus glass are similar, or in most cases, slightly higher. 

“It’s one of the benefits of our business model, that we can inform our customers of innovations and changes in the company as and when they happen. 

“So when we launch the next vintage and send the email out to customers, we can build the explanation about why they might see changes to the bottle and reassure them that the liquid inside is exactly the same.”

Could more innovations see the industry ditch glass bottles completely? Box and paper formats have certain usage occasions, but current paper-based technology doesn’t offer the same shelf life as glass bottles. 

Crawford said: “I don’t see, as of today, that we will be fully eliminating glass as an industry, but as Naked has shown, you can take steps quite quickly to reduce 10, 15 and hopefully in the future greater percentages of that glass, which benefits everybody.”