UPM Raflatac has cooperated with leading Italian wine producer Cielo e Terra on a life-cycle assessment (LCA) to study the environmental impacts of wine bottles. The comprehensive study took into account the full life cycle of the wine bottle and related packaging elements, and was performed in accordance with ISO 14040/44 standards. The study will be presented in a congress organised in connection to Vinintaly, international exhibition on wine and spirits, on 12th April 2016.
“Our aim is to better understand the environmental impacts related to our products and, together with our suppliers, find new ways to reduce them. The impacts of our recent investments in renewable energy are clearly visible in the results of the LCA study,” says Giampietro Povolo, Finance and Operation Manager, Cielo e Terra. “When comparing the years before and after the investments, we can identify reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 10% and water consumption of 24% during the life cycle of a wine bottle.”
The LCA demonstrated that glass production has the most significant environmental impact in the wine bottle product life cycle. Energy and fuels used on site, as well as secondary and tertiary packaging such as boxes, pallets and plastic wrapping, are also significant for a number of life-cycle impact categories.
Corporate social responsibility has long been an important focus for Cielo e Terra, and the company already prints a significant proportion of its labels on UPM Raflatac’s FSC and PEFC-certified materials, sourced from sustainably managed forests. Cielo e Terra also participates in UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle programme, where the discarded glassine backing paper from the label application process is collected and recycled into new paper at UPM Raflatac’s specialist Plattling mill in Germany.
“Our cooperation with Cielo e Terra in sustainability topics began with the RafCycle programme in 2013, says Stefano Pistoni, End-Use Manager, Wine and Spirits at UPM Raflatac EMEIA. “The joint LCA study is a natural continuation of this dialogue and a unique example of how a label producer and wine bottler can work together on sustainability topics.”