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12.2008

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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archivedOnWineReport

FETZER SEEKS SMALLER FOOTPRINT

GOING GREEN is certainly the thing to do these days. Fetzer Vineyards one of the largest US wineries, will lightweight its entire line of wines to reduce its environmental footprint, continuing the winery’s more than 2O-year history of environmental responsibility and a decade-long commitment to help alleviate global climate change. On an average annual basis, the new bottles reduce glass usage by 16% (more than 21OO tons) and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions (or carbon footprint) associated with glass bottles by 14% (3OOO tons of CO2e). This is equivalent to planting 7O,OOO trees and growing them for ten years – or nearly tripling all the trees planted in New York’s Central Park. The change in Fetzer’s wine bottles will continue with both 75Oml and 1.5L sizes and all varietals. On average, Fetzer’s bottles will move from 2O.3 ounces to 17 ounces. In all, more than twenty-three million bottles of wine will be replaced with the environmentally friendlier package. The 16% glass savings is a result of technological innovations in bottle design, reducing the glass thickness and eliminating the punt, or traditional indentation at the bottom of many wine bottles. These changes result in multiple environmental impacts through the wine bottle lifecycle as it not only reduces the glass used, but also the energy necessary to produce the glass, and the energy required to transport the wine from the winery to consumers. “Fetzer’s pioneering efforts at being the ‘Earth friendly wine’ is more than just an advertising tagline, it’s a philosophy that permeates everything we do at the winery,” said Dr. Ann Thrupp, Manager of Sustainability, Fetzer Wines.  “Lightweighting our bottle is a double-bottom line innovation – good for the environment and for efficient operations – that supports our goal of being a sustainable business.”
To quantify and measure the comprehensive environmental benefits of the new bottle, Fetzer commissioned Best Foot Forward, a sustainability consultancy, to conduct a detailed analysis of environmental impacts. Their analysis modeled the impact of producing bottles, transporting empty bottles to Fetzer, and transporting filled bottles to distributors, retailers, and from the store to a consumer’s home. The study further includes end-of-life landfilling and recycling considerations.
Fetzer previously conducted a greenhouse gas accounting (Scope 1) publicly disclosing the carbon footprint results on the California Climate Action Registry. Fetzer also purchases 1OO% renewable (green) energy – such as solar, wind and geothermal – for all its winery operations and has the wine industry’s largest solar array atop its bottling facility. Additionally, Fetzer uses recycled materials in all packaging – wine bottles are made from 35% recycled glass on average and box partitions use 1OO% recycled material — and has reduced waste to landfills by 95% since 199O. Fetzer’s well founded environmental efforts have been recognized far beyond just the wine industry, with broad awards ranging from the 2OO7 Best-of-the-Best Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency to recognition last year as a Brand with a Conscience by the Medinge Group. “We took a look at Fetzer’s business practices and commitment to sustainability. Overall, the data received from Fetzer was impressive when compared to similar studies we’ve undertaken,” said Simon Miller, Principal Consultant for Best Foot Forward.

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