Alcohol makers set fewer sustainability goals according to an article in Environmental Leader. The article says that alcoholic beverages producers have ‘fewer public sustainability goals’ than companies in many other industries: A review of goals set by the 11 top beer, wine and spirits companies on the Forbes Global 2000 list found that all have between two and five public sustainability goals compared to most of the other companies studied that had an average of five specific sustainability goals. Not surprisingly, water-use targets seem as important to beverage companies as greenhouse gas goals. In defense of the findings, Green Research founder and principal analyst David Schatsky points out: “Just because a company has not announced a specific goal for a particular sustainability issue, doesn’t mean that it’s not working on, talking about and making progress on that issue.”
Nonetheless, it it a bit disturbing. Especially when considered along side the EL article “Research: Cut Alcohol Consumption to Help Reduce Climate Change” which says:
The alcohol beverage industry is responsible for at least 1.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK through creating the drinks and the use of energy in pubs, clubs and restaurants, according to the UK’s Food Climate Research Network, Life Style Extra reports.
Although a bit sad, I’m not terribly surprised that largest beer, wine and spirits companies are not great on sustainability. The fact is that most don’t want to absorb the extra costs of implementing sustainability practices. Yet, these practices actually correlate to higher quality wine.
The fact remains that if you’re interested in supporting sustainability-minded businesses it makes sense to support smaller producers, many of which are on top on sustainability. Small producers embrace sustainable practices because it not only reduces waste and saves money, but also because it improves the quality of their products. One can only wonder what a review of 1,000 small producers would have uncovered? I can only imagine it would have been more favorable.
Photo: TwoMile Wine