Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wine Australia targets 40% emissions reduction by 2030

Published:  13 September, 2023

A newly released Emissions Reduction Roadmap for the Australian grape and wine sector has outlined steps to reduce the sector’s carbon emissions by more than 40% before 2030.

Developed by Wine Australia with global sustainability advisory Edge Impact in consultation with more than 200 members of the grape and wine community, the roadmap highlights 11 initiatives the industry can adopt to achieve its target.

At present, the Australian grape and wine sector emits roughly the same emissions as a jet plane doing 609 laps of the world on an annual basis. Those emissions can be broadly broken down into four categories; packaging (49%), transport (29%), winery (12%) and vineyard (10%).

The majority of the sector’s emissions come from packaging and transport, chiefly the production of packaging and its treatment at end-of-life. In terms of solutions, the roadmap suggests improving packaging design efficiencies for transportation and selling or shipping wine in bulk (and bottling in market). There is room for improvement, in part, due to the traditional shape of glass wine bottles, which leaves excess space during distribution.

As for transportation, Australia’s geographic separation from its key overseas markets means that wine must be shipped over long distances. Therefore, the rapid uptake of electric trucks and alternative non-fossil fuels within shipping is recommended and will reduce transport emissions significantly according to the roadmap.

From a vineyard standpoint, the roadmap highlights increasing efficiencies in irrigation and tractor use as simple measures to reduce electricity and fossil fuel consumption. Other recommended actions include converting all diesel and petrol-powered infrastructure to electric equivalents, as they become available, and investigating the use of vineyard solar or the purchase of renewable electricity.

Wine Australia senior research and innovation programme manager, Dr Sharon Harvey, said: “Wine regions around the world are facing production challenges as a result of climate change, and global action towards a lower carbon future is accelerating. We all need to consider the emissions cost of our products to reduce our impact on the climate and to ensure access to key markets in the future.

“Backed by science, our roadmap identifies the current footprint of the Australian grape and wine sector, the key areas where emissions reduction can be achieved, and it provides practical steps for growers, winemakers, and other members of the value chain to start or further reduce emissions from today.

“With the initiatives modelled in the roadmap, we can have confidence that there is a 42% reduction opportunity that can be achieved by 2030. However, we will also review the roadmap at intervals leading up to 2030, and beyond, to see how we are tracking and to ensure that we take advantage of new innovations to support the sector’s goal of net zero emissions.”

The roadmap and details of its 11 initiatives can be found here.