How Much Environmental Impact Does a Bottle of Wine Produce?

In an article worthy of Pablo, the New York Times today brings our attention to a fascinating study by University of Palermo researches into the environmental cost of wine. The research team spent most of a year at a particular Sicilian vineyard measuring every imaginable facet of the winemaking process from pesticide use to labeling of bottles. The findings:

The production of a bottle of Terre della Baronia created more than a pound of waste and put 16 grams of sulfur dioxide into the air. Producing the 2004 vintage of 100,000 bottles generated 22,000 pounds of plastic waste, 11,000 pounds of paper and oceans of wastewater.

The findings also show that, despite large companies being labeled cuprits, 60% of commercial waste comes from smaller businesses. As a result, this particular winemaker has already made changes in several areas of the process to be less wasteful, and more profitable. But more importantly, the process that was used on the winery can be duplicated in many operations, agricultural and not. Plans are underway for a database of findings. Full article here.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.