A carbon footprint calculator which works out the effect of emissions from waste management, fuel use, refrigeration and other winery operations is being tested in the New World.
The web-based Greenhouse Gas Calculator is being tested in Australia, New Zealand, California and South Africa.
Developed by Australian industry consultant Provisor and the Yalumba Wine Company, the calculator is designed to allow wineries to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and compare them with global standards.
The test calculator is available online now, and the final tool will be ready within 12 months according to Amy Russell, natural resource management coordinator with the Winemakers Federation of Australia.
Producers will be able to use the results to help reduce carbon emissions and also in sales negotiations.
The device calculates such variables as fuel use, refrigeration and fermentation emissions, carbon dioxide used in processing, nitrogenous fertiliser usage and carbon absorption by vines.
Waste treatment, packaging, freight and employee travel are also taken into account.
Wineries enter their production levels into a spreadsheet which calculates emission levels against the standard for each item.
The project was funded by Wine Federation of Australia, New Zealand Winegrowers, the Wine Institute of California and the Integrated Production of Wine Program in South Africa.
Written by Chris Snow