Champagne has become the first region in France to announce a clear breakdown of its carbon dioxide emissions, and set out strategies for reducing them.
Speaking at the official launch of the Bordeaux Carbon Initiative this week, representatives from the Champagne region revealed the results of their own carbon study, first undertaken in 2003.
Climatologist consultant Jean Marc Jancovinci, together with CIVC spokesperson Arnaud Descotes, revealed that the region produced 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – or approximately 700g per bottle.
This doesn’t make it the worst offender. According to a 2006 study published by the Guardian newspaper, an average UK city produces 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year in gas consumption alone. The UK’s private cars produce 91m tonnes.
However, as industry across the world starts to take the carbon challenge seriously, many wine regions are considering their own emissions.
In Champagne 24% of the emissions came from viticulture and winemaking, 13% from transport (of wine and workers), 39% from bottling and packaging, 8% from products used in the cellars and vines, 11% from machinery and 5% from ancillary services such as office workers in marketing, insurance and others.
Descotes told decanter.com, ‘We now have 10 groups working on reducing emissions in each of the categories, comprising winemakers, the big Champagne houses, suppliers, architects and industry experts.’
He added, ‘Our objective is to reduce emissions by 25% by 2020, and by 75% by 2050.’
Descotes added that there may be problems with marketing, due to the reliance on luxury packaging for many Champagnes, ‘but we are convinced that it is not incompatible to have a luxury image and ecological packaging. Twenty five of the biggest Champagne houses have conducted their own studies and are looking at their own solutions.’
Written by Jane Anson