The SW Summary: On Treasury Wine Estate’s net-zero commitment, HVE under scrutiny, collective certification in Austria, wine fraud and blockchain technology, and the era of the ‘Eco-wakening’

By Hanna Halmari
Treasury Wine Estates pledges net-zero by 2030

Treasury Wine Estates has joined the race to net zero, pledging to decarbonise by 2030. Rather than depending on offsets, the wine company has committed to achieving net-zero status through reducing its emissions. According to Kirsten Gray, Treasury’s chief corporate services officer, the company is confident it can achieve its ambitious climate goals within an accelerated time frame.

HVE under scrutiny and dispute over eco-scheme eligibility

Writing for Meininger’s, Barnaby Eales discusses the damaging effects of a leaked report from the French Biodiversity Office (OFB). According to the report, the High Environmental Value (HVE) certification provides “no environmental benefits in the vast majority of cases.” This has stirred unrest among organic farmers, as earlier this month the French Ministry of Agriculture announced that HVE certified and organic vineyards would be eligible for the same eco-schemes under proposed reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy. France’s National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB) is calling for the French government to “reopen the eligibility criteria” of the schemes.

A united path to sustainability in Austria

According to Meininger’s, around 200 wineries belonging to the Austrian producers’ association Vinea Wachau are working collectively to achieve the “Sustainable Austria” seal. The plan is to have all members using the sustainability seal by 2023 and the association will provide particular support to smaller wineries to meet the certification’s social and environmental standards. 

Tackling wine fraud with blockchain technology

Writing for Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery highlights the potential of blockchain technology for reducing fraud in the wine industry. With estimates of counterfeit bottles in the premium wine market ranging from 20-50%, blockchain can enable producers to prevent fraud and provide consumers with “verifiable provenance and assurance” of their purchases. Mowery discusses how blockchain technology can resolve multiple wine supply chain issues, from quality control during production to transportation. Read more here.

The era of the ‘Eco-wakening’

A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) commissioned by WWF reveals that the world has “[entered] a new era of change,” or an “Eco-wakening.” The report, which covers 54 countries, finds that people are increasingly aware of issues related to nature and biodiversity loss and are actively searching for ways to live more sustainably. These trends are reflected across both high-income and emerging countries. The report highlights how citizens are demanding businesses and governments alike to act responsibly and take meaningful action on climate and biodiversity issues. Read a summary of the key findings here, or find the full report here.

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About the author

Hanna Halmari

Hanna Halmari is the editor at Sustainable Wine and the head of conferences at Innovation Forum. Hanna specialises in sustainability research and events across various industries. She holds an MSc in international development from Kings’s College London, where she developed a strong interest in political economy and post-communist transformation. Hanna speaks Finnish, Bulgarian and English. In her spare time she is a dedicated Radio Lollipop volunteer at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, enjoys travelling, and tasting new wines.