Wine Quarterly Q4 2023: Why weight? Wine’s biggest sustainability problem is also the easiest to fix

Packaging is the number one source of GHG emissions associated with the wine industry, and cutting the weight of their glass bottles is the best way for the industry to reduce their impact. However, according to Rabobank, fewer than 50% of US wineries have started the lightweighting process. Here’s why.

Earlier this year, Rabobank worked with WineBusiness Monthly to develop the magazine’s 2023 packaging survey. More than 200 wine industry professionals, most of them with intimate knowledge of their organization’s packaging strategy, completed the survey. It touched on a wide range of topics, including costs, lead times, sustainability, and alternative packaging materials and formats.

To better understand the survey results, we shared the key findings with more than a dozen industry leaders, packaging suppliers, retailers, recycling operators and lobbyists across the US and Europe. In the coming months, we will leverage the results of this survey and subsequent industry discussions to produce a series of reports on wine packaging.

Our first report in the series focuses on what wineries can do right now to unilaterally and dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions without compromising their ability to grow a portfolio of premium wine brands: lightweighting.