Sustainability from A to Z

What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of wine and sustainability? Healthy vineyards with lots of cover crops, flowers, bees, chirping birds. Is that all? By Alexandra Wrann.

Alexandra Wrann, Editor-in-chief Weinwirtschaft
Alexandra Wrann, Editor-in-chief Weinwirtschaft

Flowers, birds and bees?

The gentlest possible approach in the vineyard is the starting point for any sustainable action in the wine sector. But the flowers and bees are not the only aspect that must be taken into account - even though the image of a happy environment for flora and fauna makes for great marketing. Because when consumers think of sustainability, the environment is what they are likely to think of first. No wonder, then, that products marketed as sustainable are packaged and marketed in ways that focus on lush greenery, bees and flowers.

Professionals in the sector, jhowever, know there is more to sustainability than just green vineyards. The famous three pillars of sustainability - environment, social welfare and economy - should be familiar to everyone by now but somehow, almost everything still seems to revolve around the first of these.
 

Packaging, social issues, business management

This is where Meininger's International Wine Conference comes in: Without denying the importance of biodiversity, spray reduction etc, we want to approach the other crucially important levers that can open up numerous opportunities for more sustainable management, especially in the wine industry.

  • First and foremost, energy. From the way electricity for the winery is generated and the fuel used to drive cars and tractors, to the CO2 required to produce and transport the wine once it has been made, recent cost rises have made this a huge financial as well as an environmental concern.
     
  • Second, packaging: more and more innovative products are coming onto the market and there is increasing interest in reusability. Of course, the hugely diverse bottled wine market cannot be turned inside out overnight. But the growing range of options should give plenty of grounds for thought – and action. Climate neutrality as a goal can only be achieved if the CO2 footprint is reduced.
     
  • But people are crucial too. Social sustainability does not end with the pay slip. Working hours, further training, opportunities for promotion and the right to have a say are important for sustainable cooperation in the company. Commitment to society is an essential part of a social approach.
     
  • Last but not least, but first and foremost from a business point of view, is the question of profitability. Will sustainable management cost me more? This is a topic we will discuss at the conference, but this much can already be revealed: A sustainable economic approach means setting up a business that can provide a livelihood for future generations. This means recognising the consequences of one's actions, and adapting to changing conditions, including all of the challenges of climate change. Otherwise, the business will not survive and a failure to embrace sustainably will have cost many times more than grasping the nettle today.

 

New marketing opportunities

At the same time, sustainability can also open up new sources of income. Those who react to the growing consumer interest in sustainable products strategically at an early stage, and position themselves accordingly, can also be the first to profit. It should be obvious that move towards higher average prices?

"From production to selling: Sustainability redefined"

Meininger's International Wine Conference seeks to give explore and offer practical steps forward for all of these topics. Top-class speakers will provide facts, assessments and experiences covering sustainability across a wide range of aspects. Because only if we look deeply into sustainability in all its facets and recognise and implement the holistic nature of the concept, will we be able to lay foundations for the viticulture and wine trade of tomorrow. Be part of it and register now!

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