The Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWRT) is a unique coalition established in September 2021 by 49 leading companies and institutions from the wine and beverage industry. In the face of growing sustainability challenges, the SWRT aims to drive appropriate action and provide an international platform to discuss, develop and implement requirements, possibilities and strategies.
The SWRT is a global, independent non-profit organization open to all parts of the wine sector. To date, 18 EU and UN nations are represented at the table with Hochschule Geisenheim University as the only academic institution.
At the last meeting, SWRT members addressed the biggest problem of wine’s carbon footprint which is the packaging, especially heavy glass bottles. Following a cross-cutting presentation by Dr. Peter Stanbury, Director of the SWRT, the so-called “Pact for Packaging” was proposed by the SWRT members with the following objectives:
- No more glass bottles exceeding 700 g by end 2023
- No glass bottles exceeding 550 g by end 2024
- No more ‘own brand‘ glass bottles (SWR members) exceeding 420 g by end 2025
- Work collaboratively with glass industry to explore lighter bottles (350 g)
SWRT members that want to adopt the strategy include: Systembolaget (sole right to retail alcoholic beverages in Sweden), Alko Oy (national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly in Finland), Lidl GB (British arm of German discount supermarket chain), Whole Foods Market (US supermarket chain specialized in organic food with more than 500 stores), The Wine Society (170,000 members, Great Britain), Ahold Delhaize (one of the world’s biggest food retailers with about 375,000 employees, Netherlands), Waitrose & Partners (supermarket chain with 352 stores in Great Britain).
A broad discussion about packaging and the issue of heavy glass bottles would also be desirable in Germany for all parts of the wine industry, from producers to wine retailers!
Prof. Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz, Hochschule Geisenheim University