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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Towards sustainable wine: Comparison of two Portuguese wines

Journal of Cleaner Production Volume 183, 10 May 2018, Pages 662-676 Author links open overlay panelAntónio A.MartinsaAna R.AraújoaAntónioGraçabNídia S.CaetanoacTeresa M.Mataa a LEPABE, Faculty of Engineering-University of Porto (FEUP), R. Dr. Roberto Frias S/N, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal b Sogrape Vinhos, S.A., Aldeia Nova, 4430-809 Avintes, Portugal c CIETI, School of Engineering (ISEP), Polytechnic Institute of Porto (IPP), R. Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida S/N, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal Received 20 December 2016, Revised 2 February 2018, Accepted 6 February 2018, Available online 10 February 2018. crossmark-logo https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.02.057 Get rights and content Highlights • A comparative sustainability assessment of two Portuguese wines is performed. • Wines differ in terms of winemaking process, produced volume and market value. • System boundary includes winemaking, transportation of must and grapes, bottling and packaging. • Sustainability indicators use data mainly from real industrial practice. Abstract A correct definition of the most adequate strategies and/or course of action to improve the sustainability of the wine industry must start with an evaluation, as objective and accurate as possible, of the sustainability performance of its products and processes. The main goal of this work is to perform a comparative sustainability evaluation of two Portuguese wines: a high market value “terroir” wine produced in small quantities, using grapes from a single vineyard, and a branded wine with lower market value, produced in large quantities using grapes from various regions. The evaluation follows a life cycle perspective and is based on seven sustainability indicators, selected taking into account the main issues pertinent to the wine industry. The functional unit is 0.75 L of wine produced that is the most common capacity of the wine bottles. The environmental and economic information used for the evaluation is mainly primary data obtained from the company, and complemented whenever necessary with secondary data from the literature or life cycle inventory databases. Results show that the main differences between the two wines are their water intensity and wastewater generated, being the values of the branded wine more than double those of the “terroir” wine, which is attributable to differences in the winemaking process, in particular the need to remove the SO2 added in the branded wine production. The calculated values for the carbon emissions are in good agreement with literature works. Some recommendations for improvement of the process sustainability are given. Keywords Indicators Life cycle assessment LCA Sustainability evaluation Portuguese “terroir” and branded wines 1. Introduction The last decades have witnessed an increased awareness of the environmental impacts of human activities, mainly the result of current patterns of consumption and production. Although already recognized as fundamental to the future of humankind, it was from the publication of the Brundtland Report “Our Common Future” (WCED, 1987) and the 1992 Rio Conference on Sustainable Development that sustainability was placed at the center of the main international, national and even regional agendas. Currently, many strategies or policies exist to promote or facilitate the transition to a more sustainable development, at global, national or regional scales, or specially designed for particular areas of activity. Examples at a global scale include the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015) and at a regional level, the European Union Strategy for Sustainable Development (CEC, 2009a). The strategies and/or policies to be successful must take into account the specific regional and local aspects from a geographic point of view, or sectorial aspects if aimed to specific areas of activity. Some of the key aspects include the competing goals of the various stakeholders, resources availability, specific local environmental and/or climatic conditions, consumer behavior towards sustainability, production process' operational parameters, among others. The wine industry has a role to play in the path towards a more sustainable development, taking into account its specificities, the environment and the stakeholders with which it operates (Martins et al., 2016, Martins et al., 2017). Words such as green, biologic, biodynamic and organic wine have become increasingly popular around the world, denoting an increasing understanding of vine growers and winemakers about the impact their practices have on the environment and the need to improve them. Besides, legislation and the necessity to comply with specific regulations, stakeholders and customers are giving increasing importance to the sustainability related issues, compelling companies to react and change the way they do business at every level of their activities (Petti et al., 2015). Nevertheless, the concepts of sustainable viticulture and winemaking are currently underdeveloped and there is a need for guidelines and/or standards to support winemakers improve their sustainability performance. This has encouraged several organizations representing the wine growers and producers (Dodds et al., 2013), as for example the International Organization of Vine and Wine, OIV, the largest multilateral international organization operating in the wine sector, to provide information and tools to facilitate the adoption of production processes in line with the principles of sustainable development. A key problem is the need for tools that allow the quantification, as accurately as possible, of the sustainability or the contribution to sustainable development of a product/service or process. This measure is crucial to ensure that a proper management of sustainability issues is done, allowing the identification of the most effective course of action and of the aspects to be dealt with firstly, or if there is a real improvement and even new strategies and policies that are necessary. Hence, this work first briefly reviews the current state of the art concerning the sustainability evaluation in the wine sector, considering not only the works available in the literature but also how industry understands the concept and how it is considered. Second, it presents and discusses a case study of a comparative sustainability assessment of two Portuguese wines, a small volume production “terroir” wine and a large volume production branded wine, both produced by the same company. The study uses mainly primary data from process operation obtained from the company, complemented when necessary with data from the literature and life cycle inventory databases. The evaluation follows a life cycle thinking approach, based on the calculation of selected indicators adequate to the wine industry. It allows to identify if the wines market positioning, production volume, and specific details in the production process, have a significant impact in their sustainability performance and to propose some solutions for improvement of the wines sustainability. 2. Sustainability in the wine industry Currently, there is a growing interest of the wine industry for improving its contribution to sustainable development. This is confirmed by the release of guidance documents from national or international organisms working in the wine sector (OIV, 2008, Vinos de Chile, 2012). Furthermore, in some wine production regions there was the launch of project groups and communities, as for example the California Sustainable Wine Growing Program (https://www.sustainablewinegrowing.org) and Sustainable Australia Winegrowing Maclaren Vale (http://www.sustainableaustralia.info). Moreover, there is an increasingly growing body of academic and industrial work in the area, the result of an increase interest in the area due to the increasing importance given to sustainability (Santini et al., 2013, Gilinsky et al., 2016). These activities aim to analyze and evaluate production processes, to set up specific sustainability programs, to develop best practices and ensure continuous improvement, to promote the benefits of sustainable winegrowing and producing practices, to communicate, both internally and externally, the performance achieved in terms of sustainability, and to take into account the goals of all the relevant stakeholders. It is consensual that a proper assessment of a product or process' sustainability has to adopt a Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) perspective, considering all the life cycle steps involved in its production or operation (UNEP, 2011, Zamagni et al., 2013, Guinée, 2016). Besides ensuring a systemic view of a product/production system, facilitating the identification of hotspots for improvement, it avoids burden shifts between different life cycle stages. Currently, sustainability assessment and certification schemes of products and processes in which agricultural production systems are a key part, are already based on a LCT approach (CEC, 2009b, Mata et al., 2011). In the case of wine production, this involves viticulture, wine making, bottling and final distribution. Thus, several areas must be accounted for when considering sustainability in the wine industry (Petronilho, 2015), including agriculture, marketing and logistics, waste treatment, regulatory compliance, among other aspects. This can make the analysis and improvement of the sustainability of wine production a daunting and difficult task, involving the input and expertise of various or different technological and scientific areas. When evaluating sustainability, apart from the savings in reducing the use of certain inputs (e.g. energy, water and phyto-pharmaceuticals) due to changes in specific production steps, the focus should be given to continuous improvement. This is one of the cornerstones of most sustainability programs, which try to encourage implementation of more eco-efficient processes, opening the way to discover new and better forms of doing things. With reference to consumer interest in wine from sustainability oriented production systems, there is yet no clear evidence that the pursuit of sustainability enhances the perceived value of products and the tendency of consumers to buy sustainably produced wines (Sogari et al., 2016). This may be due to the lack of knowledge and the non-existence of specific information on wine bottle's labels or specific environmental labels. In spite of the lack of knowledge of consumers about more sustainable products, the public interest is on the rise (Zucca et al., 2009). Consumers are more willing to pay a premium price for a wine produced using environmentally friendly practices (Barber et al., 2009a, Forbes et al., 2009), but the price they are willing to pay remains an important question as thecustomers are not willing to pay a significant large premium for a certified sustainable wine (Berghoef and Dodds, 2011). Also relevant to the customer's choices, concerning the selection or not of a sustainable wine, are the questions concerning the perceived quality of the wine from a certain region (Delmas and Lessem, 2017>) and the difficulty of transmitting the information to wine consumers, not familiar with the questions of sustainability though eco-labels (Ginon et al., 2014). In the next subsections, a brief overview of the most relevant activities and works in this area are presented and discussed. More complete reviews can be found in literature (Petti et al., 2015, Flint et al., 2015, Santiago-Brown et al., 2014, Corbo et al., 2014). The first, deals with some of relevant institutional and certification schemes devised to assist winemakers to increase the sustainability of their activities. 2.1. Institutional initiatives on wine sustainability The sustainable winegrowing concept began in the early 1990s, in particular in some of emerging wine regions of the world. One of the earliest examples is the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, in the California central valley, that in 1995 established demonstration vineyards, following sustainable winegrowing practices monitored over time (Zucca et al., 2009). These included for example, monitoring of pests and vineyard inputs such as water, fertilizers and pesticides. Later, several other regional winegrowing associations and regions in California adopted and adapted to their specific constraints the Lodi's sustainable winegrowing program. In 1994 the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand was established (SWNZ, 2016) program by the New Zealand Winegrowers organization. This programme, introduced in 1997, provided best practice models of environmental practices in the vineyard and winery, in order to guarantee quality from vineyard to bottle, and address consumer concerns regarding products made respecting the environment. These early activities led to the development of specific programmes and/or frameworks aimed in assisting wine makers in being more sustainable, providing them with the tools and expertise they need. Some examples are listed below. • In 2001, the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), developed the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Workbook as the basis for the Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP, 2016). This framework uses performance indicators to help wine makers improve its performance. Examples of indicators include water and energy use (vineyards and wineries), greenhouse gas emissions (vineyards and wineries), and nitrogen use (vineyards). In 2002, CAWG launched the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW), a third-party state-wide certification program, aiming to give growers and vintners, tools to assess their practices. • In France, in 2007, the Cooperative Wine Institute (ICV) Group launched the “Commitment to Sustainable Development”, an initiative among several cooperative wineries, which culminated in 2010 in the successful creation of the trademark “Vignerons en Développement Durable” (VDD, 2016). VDD is a certification scheme developed by an association of leading French wine-producing cellars, committed to a sustainable development strategy. • In 2009, in Australia, it was launched “Entwine”, the Australian Environmental Protection System, as a voluntary sustainability program designed with flexibility to suit the changing goals and needs of the Australian grape and wine producers. It also aims to provide information for wine industry research, development and extension activities that can be used by members for benchmarking. Under the Entwine umbrella, there are two components for members: the reporting of sustainability metrics to the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), and the participation in an approved certification program independently audited by a third party (Entwine, 2013). • In 2011, there was the creation of the Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile (CSWC, 2016), a National Sustainability Code certification from the Chilean Wine Industry. It is a voluntary instrument created in response to the commitment of the industry for an environmental responsible production, and the need for an efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. The sustainability of the wine industry is understood as “creating value through opportunities and effective administration integrating economic, environmental and social development”. • The Alentejo wine production region in Portugal has developed, in collaboration with wine producers from the region, a set of guidelines to support the production and marketing of more sustainable wine (WASP, 2016). A set of sustainability indicators is proposed, including not only the environmental but the economic, societal and even cultural aspects. A certification scheme based on their values was implemented, as a way of promoting continuous improvement. Most frameworks are based on the definition and calculation of indicators and measures that assist in managing processes and improve performance. Moreover, they are coupled with certification schemes that show to the stakeholder, in particular to consumers, that the wine was produced following the most sustainable practices available and help wine makers learn how to improve their overall sustainability, increasing the adoption of sustainable practices, promoting measuring and communicating continuous improvement. The existence of various frameworks and/or certification schemes, usually valid within some limited regional settings, may lead to confusion among the stakeholders and difficulties in comparing certified wines. To ensure a common standard in sustainability practices and certification of wine, OIV has discussed and adopted the definition and general principles of sustainable development applied to vitiviniculture ( OIV, 2004), and established guidelines for the production of grapes, wines, spirits and other vine products in accordance with these principles (OIV, 2008). Sustainable winegrowing is defined by OIV as a “Global strategy on the scale of the grape production and processing systems, incorporating at the same time the economic sustainability of structures and territories, producing quality products, considering requirements of precision in sustainable viticulture, risks to the environment, products safety and consumer health and valuing of heritage, historical, cultural, ecological and aesthetic aspects” (OIV, 2004). To implement in practice the previous definition,OIV defined a set of criteria that constitutes the basis of a coordinated and effective approach of the international wine industry to improve its sustainability performance (OIV, 2008). In addition, OIV provided guidelines for certain specific aspects, deemed relevant for a proper assessment of the sustainability of wine production, including selection, biodiversity protection, waste disposal, soil management, water use, among other aspects. For example, the new carbon footprint calculation and reporting guidelines issued in 2017 (OIV, 2017). Within the framework of the new strategic plan for 2015–2019, sustainability is placed at the core of OIV's interests (OIV, 2015). Such policies focus on a holistic vision of sustainability, involving the whole supply chain, taking into consideration all three dimensions (environmental, social and economic), defining public and private responsibilities and identifying innovation and cooperation as the keys to breaking down the barriers that hinder the achievement of certain goals. They will complement the guidelines proposed in 2008 (OIV, 2008), with a focus on the environmental aspects and neglecting the economic, social and even cultural aspects of sustainability. Although international, national and regional sustainable wine initiatives are a good strategy to improve the sustainability of wine production, its impact is still limited. Szolnoki (2013) has looked at the sustainability point of views of wine producers in various European countries, concluding that most wineries still relate sustainability mainly with the environmental dimension, although the social and economic dimensions are starting to be taken into account. However, there are still some difficulties in incorporating sustainability in management, and there are limitations in the flow of information between the various stakeholders. Gilinsky et al. (2015) in a study about the perception of sustainability in wine producers in various countries have found significant differences in the perceived benefits, focusing some in cost reductions and others, in market differentiation. 2.2. Academia and research institutes initiatives Concurrently with the development of the institutional initiatives, mostly involving wine producers, academia and research institutes in the sector also started to look with more attention to the questions posed by sustainable development in the wine sector. A LCT approach was adopted in most studies, as it is currently the consensual way for performing a sustainability assessment. The various life cycle stages are taken into account to various degrees, depending on the main goals of the study and data availability. Currently, most of the studies focus on the environmental dimension of sustainability. The reasons for this are the availability of data and the experience already gathered in assessing the various environmental impacts resulting from the process operations. Although the goals and methodologies are different, one can consider a LCA study of wine production as a sustainability evaluation analysis in which only the environmental dimension of sustainability is evaluated, and most of the studies available in the literature are of this type. In the literature, it is possible to find some LCA studies dealing with wine production. A review of the current state of the art can be found in Petti et al. (2015). Most of the studies consider the life cycle stages from viticulture to distribution. Retail and consumption is seldom considered (Point et al., 2012), as data from these life cycle stages is difficult to obtain and can show too much variability and error. An example of the application of LCA to wine production is the work of Petti et al. (2006) that performed a study of the wine produced in a winery in Abbruzo, Italy. The study considered aggregated indicators that can be obtained directly from inventory life cycle data, in particular: material choice, energy and water intensity, solid waste, and water and air emissions. The results showed that significant improvements can be reached by lowering the bottle weight. The authors concluded that the bottling/packaging stage has the largest impact, mainly due to the production of glass bottles. Other examples of studies include the work of Gazulla et al. (2010), which made the LCA study of an aged wine red produced in the Spanish region of La Rioja. The impact of the oak construction and utilization is explicitly considered in the impact assessment, and two distribution scenarios are considered. The results show that in terms of carbon emissions viticulture and bottle production are dominant, but for other impacts the relative contributions of the other life cycle stages vary significantly. Point et al. (2012) analyzed the life cycle of a wine produced in Nova Scotia, Canada, considering also the retail and consumption of the wine, coupled with container recycling. The results showed that viticulture and consumer shopping are the most relevant life cycle stages, even though bottle manufacturing continues to be relevant in terms of carbon emissions. The conclusions concerning the viticulture are confirmed by Neto et al. (2013), that performed a LCA of a white wine (Vinho Verde) from the north of Portugal taking into account the utilization of fertilizers and other phytosanitary in the agricultural process. Some studies do not consider the full life cycle. For example, Vázquez-Rowe et al. (2012) performed a cradle-to-gate study (not considering distribution, retail and consumption) of a white wine produced in Galicia, Spain. Some variation in the values of the environmental impacts was found, mainly due to variations in the regional climatic conditions that affect the wine production in different years. Iannone et al. (2016) considered a comparative gate-to-gate LCA study (without viticulture and distribution) of four wines produced in the southern Italy: two reds, one of high and the other of medium quality, and two white wines, one of high quality and one of low quality. The comparison showed that the red wine of higher quality presents the higher environmental impact due to the aging process. Proposals to improve the wines environmental performance were presented and assessed. Villanueva et al. (2014) considered only the viticulture phase in the comparison between biodynamic and conventional agricultural activities in North East Spain. The results showed that the biodynamic practices have significantly lower environmental impacts, but the land use and human labor impacts should be further analyzed. Other studies only consider specific environmental indicators. One of the most commonly used indicators is the carbon emissions that corresponds to the overall emissions of gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect (Pattara et al., 2012, Kavargiris et al., 2009). In wine making, this indicator is directly related with energy consumption and also, with agricultural practices, as the plowing and fertilizer utilization can lead to significant emissions of greenhouse gases. An overview of the available methods to calculate the carbon emissions in the wine sector is given by Rugani et al. (2013). Bonamente et al. (2016) calculated the carbon and water footprint of an Italian wine and found a correlation between both indicators. Jiménez et al. (2014) analyzed the integration of LCA in production systems' models, as a way to incorporate environmental impacts in management process. Presenting as case study the wine sector of the Spanish region of La Rioja and using real data, the authors showed that the environmental impacts can be minimized, and that the grape processing and fermentation is the life cycle stage with larger environmental impact. In some studies, there was an effort to assess other dimensions of sustainability besides the environmental one. One example is the work of Strano et al. (2013) that combined LCA and Life Cycle Costing, LCC, to analyze various scenarios for wine production in southern Italy. The results allowed the authors to rank different production systems and to identify which ones are the most adequate given the regional specific conditions. Falcone et al. (2015) also combined LCA and LCC, but focused in the wine growing within a southern Italy context. The study allowed the identification of the best cultivation methods among a range of different possibilities. Falcone et al. (2016) extended the methodology including multicriteria design, and showed that the results of the sustainability evaluation depend strongly on the selection of the indicators and functional unit. Even thoughthey are much harder to assess, in recent years some studies tried to analyze explicitly the social aspects of wine production. An example include the work of Arcese et al. (2017) that studied how the Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) methodology, as defined by the UNEP guidelines (UNEP/SETAC, 2009) can be applied in the wine sector. The authors concluded that, although the SLCA can be applied to wine making process, there is still much work to be done, in particular in data collection and how the social impacts can be properly assessed. The analysis of the available literature shows that most studies use primary data from wine making companies. However, significant variability between the studies exists, making the comparison between them complex and hard to be objective. In particular, as there are variations in the processes involved, e.g. in agricultural practices and distribution scenarios, the sets of sustainability indicators and impact assessment methodologies varies between studies, and most of the works were performed for only some of the relevant wine producing regions, such as Italy and Spain. Additionally, most of the studies consider small vineyards or wine produced in specific regions, which grapes are exclusively used to obtain a specific brand of wine. For large companies that produce wine in different regions, some at a global scale, with very different scales of production, the results of the studies available in literature may be not comparable, as differences in the production processes may have a significant effect on the sustainability performance. Moreover, there is a need for methodologies to take into account the economic and social aspects of sustainability, and perform LCA in other important wine production regions. 3. Comparative sustainability evaluation of two Portuguese wines In the wine sector, achieving sustainable practices is a systematic process requiring realistic, small and measurable improvements in the several life cycle steps: from viticulture, winemaking, bottling, packaging, storage, retail and distribution, to consumer use and final disposal or recycling. Thus, an objective framework is necessary to evaluate sustainability, in order to know the current situation and identify which aspects to improve. 3.1. Sustainability evaluation framework Fig. 1 shows the framework used in this work for the sustainability evaluation. It comprises a sequence of interrelated steps based on a life cycle thinking perspective, currently seen as the best way to evaluate the sustainability of products and processes (Martins et al., 2007). The framework is based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, as defined by the ISO 14040:2006 standard. It is robust and has already been applied to different products and processes (Martins et al., 2007, Mata et al., 2011, Mata et al., 2012, Mata et al., 2014). The framework has an iterative nature, as continuous improvement is required to increase the sustainability of products and processes and to fulfill stakeholders' demands. Fig. 1 Download high-res image (184KB)Download full-size image Fig. 1. Sustainability evaluation framework. The first step of the sustainability evaluation framework is the definition of the study goal and scope, including the system boundary, equivalent to define the life cycle stages to include in the analysis. Depending on the system particularities, study goals and data availability, different parts of the process can be considered in more or less detail. In the second step, all the relevant environmental, economic and societal impacts and their relative significance are determined. This procedure involves the identification of all relevant aspects that may have an impact in the sustainability performance of a product or process. One of the most relevant is the quantification as accurately as possible of the main inputs/consumptions and outputs/emissions (e.g. energy, water, materials, product, by-products, wastewater, gas emissions, and solid wastes) associated with the various life cycle stages, a procedure akin to the inventory analysis of LCA studies that evaluate environmental impacts. However, in a sustainability assessment, it is considered also the economic and social impacts. In addition, other information/data can be relevant, such as legislative and regulatory, applicable to the system under study or other studies available in the literature for similar systems (Mata et al., 2012). The third step of the framework involves the indicators selection and prioritization, based on conditions imposed and data/information gathered in previous steps. A proper definition and quantification of indicators is essential to support strategy and decision-making, for example helping identify which aspects to improve first, to facilitate stakeholder communication, to comply with specific legislation or regulations requirements, among others. The set of indicators should follow some rules, in particular (Martins et al., 2007): • the total number of indicators should be as small as possible, specific (focusing in one dimension/aspect of sustainability), objective and independent of each other; • they should be widely used or accepted by the main stakeholders directly involved in the system activities, as it ensures for example that decision-making is more robust and less prone to controversy; • they should be relevant, in the sense that they give insight into the system sustainability performance; • they should be quantified using readily available data, or using accepted and simple calculation methodologies; • they should allow the tracking of the system performance in time. The indicators prioritization depends on the goals of the sustainability assessment and other constraints imposed in the study. The result of the third step is a list of indicators that takes into account the product or process life cycle. Thus, in many situations the environmental indicators defined for LCA studies can be used as indicators to evaluate the environmental dimension of sustainability. In the fourth step, the indicators are evaluated and quantified considering all the information and assumptions made in the previous steps. Only then, in the interpretation step (that can be seen as the fifth step in a first iteration of the sustainability framework) the results can be interpreted, and decisions can be made, based for example in the comparison with existing standards or other process or products or in the identification of the life cycle hotspots. As seen in Fig. 1 and similarly to the LCA methodology, the interpretation step is common to the other steps, and it is accomplished during the sequential application of the framework. For example, in practice the first steps are performed together, as the availability of data is one of the key constraints when deciding the inclusion or not of the various system parts. The interpretation step is also relevant in the decision to carry out the other steps again, for example due to changes in the company strategy or legislation/regulation to comply with. 3.2. Study goals and scope As stated above, the main goal of this study is to perform a comparative sustainability assessment of two Portuguese wines produced by the same company. One of the wines is a “terroir” wine from the upper Douro valley region, produced in small quantities, using grapes from a single vineyard associated with the winery where the grapes are processed, and the fermentation occurs. The other wine is a branded wine, produced in large quantities, using grapes from several Portuguese vineyards, mainly located in the north of Portugal but with significant differences in climatic conditions and even agricultural practices. The “terroir” wine has a significant high market value, when compared with the branded wine, and more attention is paid to its production to fulfill higher quality standards. Moreover, the market positioning and distribution of both wines is significantly different, mainly due to the differences in market value and quality. From the results, the hotspots in the life cycle that have more negative impact in the overall sustainability performance will be identified and proposals for improvements will be made. Additionally, this study aims to perform a comparison between both wines and other wines presented in the literature, to validate the study results and identify possible limitations of the study. 3.3. System boundary definition Fig. 2 shows the system boundary defined for both wines. It includes only the winemaking and bottling life cycle steps, akin to a gate-to-gate perspective. The viticulture and the distribution steps are not considered in the analysis to ensure a more objective comparison between both wines. Concerning the viticulture, unlike the “terroir” wine, the cultivation conditions for the branded wine vary significantly, because it is produced using grapes from various vineyards and different climatic, soil and even agricultural practices. Besides the potential allocation problems that may arise, the lack of data may limit the inclusion of the viticulture step in the analysis. Concerning the final distribution step, each wine aims different markets and customer segments, with different distribution channels. Thus, a meaningful comparison is not possible, which combined with a lack of data led to the exclusion of the distribution step in the sustainability assessment. Fig. 2 Download high-res image (187KB)Download full-size image Fig. 2. System boundary including the wine's life cycle steps considered for the study. The branded wine's life cycle starts with the reception of grapes from the vineyards nearby (20 km radius) in the wineries where the grapes are weighted, washed and pressed. Long distance transportation of the grapes to a single wine making facility is not possible, because fermentation starts as soon as the grapes are harvested. At each winery site the grapes are fist weighted and their sugar content is estimated by refractive index measurement of the juice obtained from a sample of grapes, with the goal of determining the potential alcohol degree of the fermented wine. The grapes are then loaded in hoppers and conveyed through a tubular heat exchanger to lower the temperature, since the pressing must be carried out at 14 °C. Then, grapes are conveyed to crushers. Depending on the wine producing facilities the grapes may be destemmed or not. In the first case, the grape stalks, resulting from the destemming operation, are composted and used as fertilizer (by-product) in the vineyard. In the second situation, the stalk acts as a drainage aid, facilitating pressing and separation of the musts and in this case, the stalks are collected with the marc that is sold for distillation and production of wine spirits (by-product). During this operation it is added Sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the proportion of 50 mg SO2/kg grapes that, besides avoiding fermentation, also acts as antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal. In the pressing room a first separation of the liquid/solid phases is performed. This process results in 80% liquid (musts), which is separated by gravity. The remaining 20% correspond to 10% of the so-called press's wine and the remainder corresponds to the marc. The suspended solids are removed by centrifugation. The clarified musts are pumped to decanting vats where they stay for 12 h at 12 °C. After the decantation the musts are stored in vats, where it may be mixed with musts produced by other wine producers. Depending on the branded wine demand the musts aresent to fermentation tanks. To restart the fermentation the musts are desulfited using vapor under pressure. Yeasts are added that will convert glucose and fructose into alcohol. After fermentation the wine is centrifuged and stabilized. The wine is then transported by truck to the bottling facility, where it is stored before being bottled and shipped. Since the branded wine is produced in large quantities it is bottled depending on the demand, as the storage costs will be too high if the entire production was to be bottled and stored. In this step the wine may be blended with wine bought from other producers, to fulfill demand and to ensure that the wine quality remains the same. For the “terroir” wine process, the grapes are harvested in the vineyard adjacent to the winery. The grapes are registered on the arrival to the winery, by weight and grape variety, and analysis are made to a juice sample to determine the sugar content (which gives a measure of the probable or theoretical alcohol content of the resulting wine), density, pH and total acidity. On site, the reception of grapes is done in hoppers that convey them to crushers/destemmers, where they are also washed. The crushed grapes are then conveyed to the fermentation tanks, where various oenological products are added to control de fermentation, in particular yeasts and tartaric acid. Contrarily to the branded wine, no SO2 is added. The fermentation takes about 6 days on average, after which the wine (liquid) is separated from the marc (solid) by pressing. The pressed marc is sold to produce brandy and wine spirits (by-product). The wine produced is stored in stainless steel vats for a few days and then it is transported in tanker trucks to warehouses (located in other installations) where it is stored in barrels for about one year of aging period before it is bottled. After the aging period, the wine is transported to the bottling plant and it is bottled and stored in bottles before final distribution. Both bottling processes are similar and use the same bottling line, the main differences between them are the materials used, of higher quality and more expensive in the “terroir” wine, for example with the utilization of tin capsules not used in the branded wine. 3.4. Functional unit The functional unit (FU) selected for the study is 0.75 L of wine, which represents the capacity of the majority of wine bottles available in the market. Thus, most of the production size effects are minimized, allowing a more direct comparison of the sustainability of both wines in this study with other wines available in the literature. 3.5. Indicators selection As stated above, the sustainability evaluation should be, as much as possible, based on quantitative measures or indicators. That way, it is possible to have a better idea of the current situation in terms of sustainability and from it is easier to identify which processes or parts of the life cycle steps should be improved, thus supporting decision-making and the definition of effective strategies and/or policies, among other aspects. Moreover, the indicators should be relevant to the wine sector, taking into account the main aspects of the processes involved and who are the stakeholders. Also, the selection of the indicators must take into account the information available in the literature, concerning the sustainability initiatives in the wine sector, studies published in the open literature, and data and goals of the wine producing company. Although there are some efforts to consider the social and cultural aspects, in most cases only environmental and economic indicators are taken into account (Mata et al., 2014). In this work, also no social indicators were considered. Besides the lack of data and information, the same company produces both wines. Thus, as the working conditions and relations with the main stakeholders are the same, in this comparative sustainability assessment it is not worthwhile to include specific indicators for the social dimension of sustainability. Nevertheless, the remaining indicators indirectly consider the social dimension. Bearing in mind the previous considerations and the main aspects of the life cycle stages considered, the following set of indicators was defined: • Energy intensity (MJ/FU) • Carbon emissions (kg CO2 eq./FU) • Water intensity (L/FU) • Material intensity (kg/FU) • Solid wastes (kg/FU) • Wastewater (L/FU) • % of the company's global EBITDA (Earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization) Energy intensity and carbon emissions are both consensual indicators (Rugani et al., 2013, Petti et al., 2015). Wine making involves transportation between different facilities, and it is necessary to control the process operational temperature to ensure product quality that requires significant amounts of energy. Thus, the indicators quantify the process energy efficiency and the greenhouse gas emissions, respectively. Although both indicators are related, the carbon emissions takes into account the incorporation of renewable energy in the process and the fermentation process, even if the energy intensity does not change. They are also relevant for other sustainability aspects, for example economically as energy costs and supply security problems are increasing, environmentally as the consequences of climate change are increasingly evident, and regulation compliance as companies are under pressure to reduce their net carbon emissions. As in any agro-industrial activity, water consumption is very significant in all life cycle stages of wine production. This includes installation cleaning, bottle washing, among others. In many world regions, in which Portugal is included, climatic change and the increased use of the limited freshwater reserves is resulting in supply problems, with the associated environmental, economic and even social problems. In particular, the “terroir” wine is produced in a region where precipitation is low and extensive drought periods are common and it is expected a reduction in precipitation in the next decades because of climate change (Jones and Alves, 2012). Thus, being able to efficiently use water in the process is a key factor for the wine sustainability and the water intensity measures just that. The remaining environmental indicators are directly related to the specific product and processes analyzed, assessing the process efficiency and potential environmental impacts. They are also pertinent from an economic point of view, as raw materials and waste processing normally represent a cost. Regarding the chosen environmental indicators, they are consistent with the recommendations given in the available Product Category Rules (PCR), as proposed to develop the Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for specific brands of wine (Life HAproWINE, 2013, Envirodec, 2015), and published guidelines for sustainable wine growing (CAWG, 2012). EBITDA is the economic indicator considered in this study that represents a direct measure of the company ability to generate revenue and cover the operational costs from its activities. As the two wines have significant different market values and distribution channels this indicator makes it possible a direct comparison of the economic impact in the company of both wines. This is the only indicator not calculated per FU, as the information available did not allow that calculation. 3.6. Reference years for the study Climatic conditions have a strong influence on wine production, both in terms of total quantity as well as wine quality, and can also be a significant factor on the environmental impacts (Vázquez-Rowe et al., 2012, Petronilho, 2015). To minimize this source of variability, the data from three consecutive years was used. For the branded wine, the reference years are 2012, 2013 and 2014. For the “terroir” wine, that needs to have a barrel and bottle aging period, the chosen bottling years are 2012, 2013 and 2014, considering that the fermentation of the “terroir” wine occurred during 2010, 2011 and 2012 followed by an aging period during 2011, 2012 and 2013. The values of the three reference years were used in the calculation to obtain average values of all the sustainability indicators, with the exception of the EBITDA for which no averaging was done. The comparison between calculated values of the sustainability indicators and values reported in the literature was done based on the average values. Table 1. Table 1. Data/information used in the calculation of the sustainability indicators and source. Energy consumption Electricity consumption Company primary data - invoices Natural gas consumption Company primary data - invoices Fuel consumption for transportation Secondary data Carbon emissions CO2 from electricity consumption Company primary data - invoices CO2 from natural consumption Company primary data - invoices CO2 from fuel consumption SimaProTM CO2 associated with purchased wine IWCC CO2 emissions during wine fermentation Secondary data from literature CO2 of oenological products consumption IWCC e SimaProTM CO2 associated with packaging materials SimaProTM and literature data CO2 associated with wastewater US EPA Water intensity Water consumption Company primary data - invoices Material intensity Oenological products Company primary data - invoices Sanitation products Company primary data - invoices Oils and lubricants Company primary data - invoices Packaging materials Company primary data - invoices Wastewater Wastewater volume Company primary data Solid wastes Solid wastes generated Company primary data EBITDA Company primary data 3.7. Inventory analysis and data sources Table 2 lists all the data/information used to calculate the sustainability indicators. Both primary data, supplied by the company, and secondary data were used in this study. About the latter, the data/information was obtained from several sources. In particular, the EcoInvent V2.0 database and Simapro V7.3 software, US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) for wastewater treatment, for some processes or compounds used specifically in the winemaking process from the International Wine Carbon Calculator (IWCC) and published studies in the area. Concerning the IWCC, it is a tool developed and freely available, aimed to assist companies in the wine sector to determine its carbon emissions (IWCC, 2008). Table 2. Emission factors for the oenological products. Oenological products Emission factors (kg CO2 eq./kg) Sulfur dioxide (SO2) 0.42 Yeasts 0.32 Tartaric acid 2 Phosphate diammonium (DAP) 1.57 Potassium caseinate 0 Perlite 1 Bentonite 2 Diatomite 0 Cellulose 0.37 Citric acid 4.8 Potassium sorbate 0 Carbon dioxide (CO2) 0.79 Oxygen (O2) 0.15 Potassium metabisulfite 0 Fermentation activators 1.57 As described above, different types of transportation steps are considered in this study involving the transportation of grapes and wine. They include: (1) transportation of grapes from the vineyard to the winery (several trips performed with average distance of 19 and 2 km, respectively for the branded and “terroir” wine); (2) transportation of “terroir” wine to warehouses for maturation and then bottling (several trips performed with average distance of 230 km). The aging period of the “terroir” wine occurs in the same installation where it is bottled; and (3) transportation of the branded wine to the bottling plant (several trips performed with average distance of 149 km). Taking into account the data available in the EcoInvent V2.0 database and Simapro V7.3, it is assumed that the grapes are transported in agricultural truck, with a capacity between 1 and 3 tones, and the wine transportation is done in tankers with a maximum capacity of 32 tones. To estimate the fuel consumption in the transportation steps no data/information was found for the Portuguese reality. Thus, the average values for heavy duty vehicles in the United Kingdom were used (UK Department for Transport, 2016) instead, an approximation deemed appropriate as both countries are part of the European Union and the vehicles used are similar. In most cases, the primary data was supplied aggregated for all facilities involved in the production of the two wines compared in this work. As other wine brands are produced simultaneously in the same facilities, there is a need to define allocation procedures. Taking into account that the production processes of the various company wine brands are very similar, two proportional allocation procedures based on the total quantity of wine produced or processed were defined. For each winery the data is multiplied by the ratio between the quantity of wine of each type divided by the total quantity of wine produced in the facility. For bottling the data is multiplied by the ratio between the total quantity of wine bottled for each type of wine and the total quantity of wine bottled in the facility, regardless the wine brand. 3.8. Calculation of the sustainability indicators The indicators of water intensity, material intensity, wastewater, solid waste and EBITDA were calculated using only primary data provided by the company. For calculating the energy intensity, it was used data provided by the company on the consumption of electricity and natural gas. The calculation of the carbon emissions is more complex and takes into account the carbon emissions due to the generation of electricity used in the process, the production of the oenological and other products used in the processes, the transportation steps, and the carbon emissions due to the fermentation of the grapes. For each term of materials and energy consumption, emission factors were obtained from the literature or determined using the inventory data available in EcoInvent V2.0 database, calculated using the CML 2001 impact assessment methodology (Guinée et al., 2002). In this work the baseline version was used, that includes the impact categories normally used in LCA studies (Acero et al., 2014). For the electricity consumption, the Portuguese electricity mix was used, and the emission factors were obtained from the Portuguese main electricity company (EDP, 2016). For the transportation, the emissions factors calculated are equal to 1.54 kg CO2 eq. per ton and km for the agricultural trucks, and 0.12 kg CO2 eq. per ton and km for the 32 ton tankers. As referred above, in the branded wine production a certain amount of must and wine is bought from other producers and added to wine produced by the company. Thus, it was also necessary to include the carbon emission associated with the wine bought. As no information is available on the carbon emissions associated with its production, the emission factor recommended by the International Wine Carbon Calculator (IWCC, 2008) of 2.7 kg CO2 eq. per liter of wine was considered instead. Concerning the emissions due to the alcoholic fermentation, in which glucose and fructose are converted by yeast (in particular Saccharomyces cerevisiae), the Equation (1) describes the overall process and the CO2 emission. (1) According to the literature (Jin and Kelly, 2009), the fermentation of 1 kg of glucose or fructose generates 0.51 kg of ethanol and 0.49 kg of CO2, according to the reaction stoichiometry. Thus, by knowing the wines alcohol content, and information obtained from the company, using the previous relation it was possible to estimate the carbon emissions due to the fermentation. Table 2 presents the emission factors for the oenological products used in the various processes per kg of product used. The emission factors for the tartaric acid and bentonite were obtained from the IWCC (IWCC, 2008). The data for the yeast was obtained from a carbon emissions study for yeast production in the European Union (PricewaterhouseCoopers/COFALEC, 2017), and the emission factor for citric acid was obtained from De Beer (2011). The remaining emission factors were obtained using the inventory data available in the EcoInvent V2.0 database and calculated using Simapro V7.3 software. For the packaging materials the corresponding emission factors are presented in Table 3. They were obtained using EcoInvent V2.0 and Simapro V7.3 software, with the exception of the aluminum capsules and cork stoppers that were obtained from a life cycle study commissioned by the Portuguese cork processing company Amorim (PricewaterhouseCoopers/ECOBILAN, 2008). Table 3. Emission factors for packaging materials. Packaging materials Emission factors (kg CO2 eq./kg) Green glass bottle 0.87 Aluminum capsule 0.04 Tin capsule 82.3 Cork stopper 0.002 Paper Labels 2.01 Polypropylene and polyethylene labels 7.35 Cardboard 0.66 To estimate the carbon emission associated with wastewater treatment, the methodology proposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA, 2010) was used, based on Equation (2). (2) where Q and CQO represent the flow rate and chemical oxygen demand of the wastewater, Ef is the treatment efficiency, Fcco2 and FCCH4 are conversion factors that ensure the maximum conversion for CO2 and CH4, and λ represents the biomass production. Fcco2 assumes a value of 1.35, and FCCH4 and λ depends on the wastewater processing process. For the case under study the wastewater are treated by an activated sludge process, thus the factors are 0 and 0.65 respectively. 4. Results and discussion This section presents and discusses the results of the sustainability evaluation, in particular the calculation of each sustainability indicator defined before. Based on the results, it is identified which are the processes or parts of the wine's life cycle with the most significant impact on the system's sustainability, proposing potential solutions and/or improvements for them. The two wines analyzed in this work are compared, identifying the differences and the reasons behind them. Additionally, it is performed a comparison of the carbon emissions and energy intensity of both wines with other wines from selected studies available in the literature, trying as much as possible to identify the reasons behind the differences observed in the calculated values and how they may relate to the production processes. Before starting the presentation and discussion of the comparative sustainability assessment, it is necessary to clarify how the comparison with other studies was done. In particular, since the wine's life cycle stages of viticulture, distribution and final consumption were not considered in this work, the comparison with the wine's LCA studies available in the literature cannot be done directly, because of the different system boundaries. Thus, in this work special care was taken to ensure that only the results of the life cycle stages considered in this work were used in the comparison, as shown in Fig. 2. Depending on the assumptions made in other life cycle or sustainability evaluation studies, the comparison can be more or less objective. For example, in this study the external transportation of grapes and wine is accounted as part of the winemaking step. In other studies, external transportation is not accounted for or it is accounted as part of other life cycle steps, such as grape production or viticulture (Neto et al., 2013, Bosco et al., 2011). The energy intensity and carbon emission indicators are related with each other, as most of the energy consumed in the process and used in transportation is obtained from fossil fuels. However, the energy intensity indicator is directly related to the energy consumed to produce the wine, a factor important to the company competitiveness and product final sale price, as the energy is a significant part of the overall production costs. This indicator includes the use of electricity in the winemaking and bottling steps, the use of diesel for transportation of grapes (in trucks and agriculture tractors) and transportation of wine (in tankers) and the use of natural gas in stationary combustion units (boilers) for producing steam for bottles cleaning and sterilization. The calculated values of energy intensity are 4.17 and 4.47 MJ/0.75 L of wine, for the branded and “terroir” wines respectively (Fig. 3). Fuel use is the highest contributor, with 86 and 89% respectively, for the branded and “terroir” wines, being the remainder electricity. The vineyard dispersion in the branded wine and the steep landscape of the vines from where the “terroir” wine comes, with mountain and rural roads of difficult access, together with the distance between winery, warehouse and bottling installations, explain the high fuel consumption in transportation. Fig. 3 Download high-res image (42KB)Download full-size image Fig. 3. Relative contribution of fuel and electricity use to the energy intensity of both wines. A comparison of the energy intensity of both wines with other wines reported in literature show that the calculated values are higher than those reported in the literature (Fig. 4). The wine studied by Bosco et al. (2011) is a red wine from Maremma rural district in Tuscany that reports an energy intensity of 1.26 MJ/0.75 L due to electricity and diesel consumption in the winemaking, bottling and packaging steps. However, the fuel consumption in the external transportation of grapes to the factory site is not accounted for, a factor that would increase its energy intensity. The wine studied by Neto et al. (2013) is a Portuguese white wine from the demarcated region of Vinho Verde. It reports an energy intensity of 1.48 MJ/0.75 L for the winemaking and bottling steps combined, due to electricity and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) consumption in the factory site. Again, fuel consumption in the external transportation of grapes and must is not accounted as part of winemaking and bottling steps, which would increase this energy value. Hence, even though the values obtained for both wines in this study are higher than the values reported in the literature for other wines. The non-inclusion of the all the transportation steps may partial explain the differences observed. Fig. 4 Download high-res image (37KB)Download full-size image Fig. 4. Energy intensity of branded and “terroir” wines with the relative contributions of the winemaking and bottling steps and comparison with wines reported in literature. Concerning the relative contribution of the winemaking and bottling life cycle stages to energy intensity, the results agree qualitatively with the literature, in particular the fact that winemaking has a larger energy intensity when compared to bottling. Thus, any factor to reduce the energy intensity of wine production should focus its attention in the winemaking step, in particular in the transportation of grapes and must. A possibility involves the utilization of renewable energy, for example biofuels, or electricity from photovoltaic systems to power electrical vehicles, or even to power the winemaking process. Yet, some obstacles may hinder these goals, as for example legislative and/or regulation limitations, or the investment necessary may hinder the adoption of these solutions, as they may involve the acquisition, installation and operation of renewable energy systems. The indicator of carbon emissions is related to the energy intensity indicator, due to the emissions associated with the production of electricity and fuel consumption. Additionally, there are emissions of greenhouse gases from other processes or system parts, as for example wine fermentation and purchased wine (IWCC, 2008) to fulfill the production goals. Additionally, there are carbon emissions from the production of oenological products and packaging materials, and from the wastewater treatment plant. Values of 1.10 and 1.23 kg CO2 eq./0.75 L were obtained for the branded and “terroir” wines respectively, as shown in Fig. 5. The relative significance of the various aspects that contribute to the carbon emissions are similar between both wines. In particular, the largest contributor is the packaging materials in both wines, being the production of glass bottles (with large CO2 emissions from the glass furnace) the main factor. Additionally, other packaging materials are also relevant, in particular the carbon emissions associated with the tin capsules used in the “terroir” wine. The comparison between the wines shows that the percentage of the carbon emissions due to packaging is higher for the “terroir wine”. The packaging should reflect the fact that the “terroir” wine has a higher market value, resulting in a more complex and heavier package. This fact, combined with a potentially more efficient process of the branded wine due to processing of higher volumes, may explain the differences observed in the carbon emissions. Also relevant for the branded wine is the carbon emissions embodied in the purchased wine, needed to meet production goals. Fig. 5 Download high-res image (95KB)Download full-size image Fig. 5. Carbon emissions of the branded and “terroir” wines. When compared to the values reported in the literature, the carbon emissions of the branded and “terroir” wine are somewhat higher (Fig. 6). For example, the values reported in literature for the carbon emissions are between 0.68 and 0.93 kg CO2 eq./0.75 L (Benedetto, 2013, Neto et al., 2013, Point et al., 2012, Bosco et al., 2011). As in the case of the energy intensity indicator, the differences are mainly due to variations in the system boundary assumptions and life cycle steps considered in the various studies. For example, due to lack of information Benedetto (2013) excluded transportation from the scope of the study, despite its important contribution to carbon emissions. Neto et al. (2013) reported a value of 0.68 kg CO2 eq./0.75 L but it does not take into account the emissions from the production of packaging and labelling materials used in the bottles, such as cork stoppers, emission from wastewater treatment and associated with electricity production and fuel consumption in the transportation of wine and must. Fig. 6 Download high-res image (43KB)Download full-size image Fig. 6. Carbon emissions of the branded and “terroir” wines in comparison with other wines reported in literature. Among the different literature studies, including this one, bottling is the life cycle step with the largest contribution to carbon emissions (Benedetto, 2013, Neto et al., 2013, Point et al., 2012, Bosco et al., 2011). A possible improvement with the potential to reduce the carbon emissions involve the usage of lighter glass bottles or made from other compatible materials with lower embodied carbon emissions such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Other possibility is the utilization of aluminum instead of tin capsules for the “terroir” wine. In particular, the last measure can reduce the carbon emissions associated with the “terroir” wine from 1.23 to 0.94 kg CO2 eq./0.75 L. However, changes in the packaging materials used in the wine bottling and packaging can have a significant impact on the consumer willingness to buy and drink the wine. This is especially important for the high market value wines, because the cultural aspects and entrenched ideas play a significant role in the buying decision process (Barber and Almanza, 2006, Barber et al., 2009b, Lal et al., 2015). Moreover, with the two suggested changes, there is an increase in the probability of accidents to occur with lighter glass bottles due to breakage, or flesh cuts from the aluminum capsules, thus decreasing the social sustainability of these options. As stated above, wine making as an agro-industrial activity, may consume significant amounts of water, which in water stressed regions may result in significant environmental, economic and even social problems. Significant differences are observed for the two wines compared in this work. In particular, the water consumption for the branded wine is more than double than the value for the “terroir” wine respectively, 4.93 and 1.58 L of water/0.75 L wine (Fig. 7a). Although there is an additional aging step for the “terroir wine”, its relevance in terms of water consumption is small, as seen in Fig. 7 b. This is explained by the differences in the winemaking process of both wines. Fig. 7 Download high-res image (304KB)Download full-size image Fig. 7. Water intensity of the branded and “terroir” wines for the life cycle stages of winemaking, aging period and bottling: (a) in terms of their relative percentages and (b) in terms of their total water consumption. In the branded wine, the winemaking includes a desulfitation operation that consumes large quantities of water, about 71% of the water consumption in the winemaking step that does not exist in the “terroir” wine process (Fig. 7). Thus, the higher water intensity of the branded wine is associated with the desulfitation process, which uses vapor, being this the most significant difference between the two wines. Moreover, the branded wine is produced in several installations in different locations, which contributes to a higher volume of water for the washing of equipment in the different facilities. The winemaking of the “terroir” wine is a seasonal activity and it is located in just one place and installation, resulting in a lower water consumption for the washing of equipment. In addition, it is expected that the bottling step of the branded wine consumes more water than that of the “terroir” wine because of the constant operation, throughout the year, of the bottling plant of the branded wine, which consumes large volumes of water in the bottles rinsing operation. Although the results confirm the previous conclusions, the differences between the two wines are not particularly significant in the bottling step. Iannone et al. (2016) already observed the influence of the wine production process in the environmental impact between different wines, including high and medium quality, and red and white wines. Thus, the desulfitation process is a hotspot that properly addressed may improve the value of this indicator for the branded wine. Currently, no viable options exist to replace the use of SO2 in winemaking process, although extensive research is being performed in the subject (Santos et al., 2013, Pastor et al., 2015). Other possibility involves the reutilization of the processed wastewater. This may require the implementation of more stringent wastewater treatment processes to meet the process requirements, with the potential increases in materials and/or energy consumptions. The material intensity, solid wastes and wastewater indicators represent measures of the process efficiency in using the materials and water needed to obtain the final product. The first two are directly related to the materials used in the process, including packaging, not only for the final product but also of the products or materials used in products, oenological materials, among others. The wastewater indicator corresponds to the quantity of residual water generated in the winemaking process, being a measure of the efficiency in water consumption, used in various parts of the process, in particular in the washing of equipment and bottles, and reception of the grapes at the winemaking facility. Concerning the material intensity indicator, a direct measure of material utilization in the production process, the values obtained for each wine are similar, 0.74 and 0.75 kg/0.75 L respectively for the branded and “terroir” wines (Fig. 8a). Bottling is the life cycle step with the largest material intensity, mainly due to the consumption of packaging materials (particularly glass bottles) with a relative contribution to this indicator of 97.1 and 87.3% respectively for the branded and “terroir” wines (Fig. 8b). The higher percentage of oenological products in the “terroir” wine is the result of more chemicals and other products used, in particular to control the wine fermentation and its overall quality, as it has a high market value when compared with the branded wine. A potential improvement involves the replacement of packaging materials, especially with lower generation of waste. For the suggestion made above of replacing the tin capsules with aluminum, capsules can reduce the relative importance of the packaging materials from 36 to 5%. Yet, the changes on the nature of the packaging may have a damaging impact on the wine marketability, as described above. Fig. 8 Download high-res image (268KB)Download full-size image Fig. 8. Material intensity of the branded and “terroir” wines per type of material: (a) in terms of relative percentages and (b) in terms of the total material consumption per life cycle stage. Similar values of the solid waste indicator were obtained for both wines, in particular 0.03 kg and 0.02 kg/0.75 L respectively for the branded and “terroir” wine (Fig. 9a). Taking into account the values of the material intensity indicator it can be concluded that the production process is efficient for both wines, generating low amounts of solid waste, mostly packaging residues. As expected, bottling is the life cycle step with the largest amount of solid waste generated, mainly due to packaging materials such as paper, cardboard, plastic and glass (Fig. 9b). As the attention given to packaging is higher for the “terroir” wine, logically a larger percentage of solid waste comes from that wine's packaging materials. The utilization of packaging especially designed to reduce waste can be an interesting option to reduce the solid waste generated, but may increase the production costs and also it may contribute to a negative image of the wine in the costumers mind, depending on their perspectives and mindset. Fig. 9 Download high-res image (178KB)Download full-size image Fig. 9. Solid waste generated in the production of the branded and “terroir” wines considering the life cycle stages of winemaking and bottling: (a) in terms of their relative percentages and (b) in terms of the total waste generated. The values of the wastewater indicator of the branded and “terroir” wines are respectively 3.47 and 1.31 L/0.75 L (Fig. 10a), showing the same qualitative behavior already observed for the water intensity indicator (Fig. 7). Although the processes to make each wine have some significant differences, they share enough similarities to conclude that the wastewater and water intensity indicators should have the same behavior. Therefore, the wastewater generation associated with the branded wine is larger than that of the “terroir” wine, since the water consumption is also higher and several process facilities are involved in the winemaking process of the branded wine. Fig. 10 Download high-res image (220KB)Download full-size image Fig. 10. Wastewater generated in the production process of the branded and “terroir” wines for the life cycle stages of winemaking and bottling: (a) in terms of their relative percentages and (b) in terms of their total wastewater generated. Comparing the relative importance of the life cycle stages for both wines, dissimilar situations can be observed (Fig. 10b). For the branded wine, the most relevant stage is winemaking, which is the result of water consumption involved in the wine fermentation control, including the desulfitation process and also, the water consumption in the cleaning of equipment from different facilities. The opposite situation occurs for the “terroir” wine, in which bottling is clearly the dominant step. Comparing specific steps between both wines, it can be seen that the main difference lays in the winemaking step, attributable to the differences in the wine production process. Identical behavior is observed for the water intensity indicator (Fig. 7), and the same improvements already suggested above are valid here. For the economic indicator selected in the work, the information available was not detailed enough to allow for the calculation of the EBITDA associated with each type of wine. Thus, it was only possible to determine the relative importance of each wine to the company overall performance in economic terms. The results of the contribution of both wines to the company's global EBITDA in each reference year are listed in Table 4. The branded wine has the largest contribution, of 13–15%, as the produced volume is also vastly superior, in comparison to the “terroir” wine that corresponds to a 0.4–0.8% contribution to the company's global EBITDA. However, the “terroir” wine registered the largest growth in terms of contribution to the company's EBITDA, corresponding to 96 and 12% of growth, respectively in 2013 and 2014. In contrast, the branded wine recorded a lower increase of 27% and 2%, respectively in 2013 and 2014. This is in line with the recent increase in the customers' awareness and value perception of the wines produced with a sense of origin. The “terroir” wine, being from the Douro Valley, has benefited from the increase in demand that the Douro red wines have shown recently due to the recognition of its value in international markets (Wine Spectator Top 100, 2015). This fact means that a greater margin from this type of wine may be available for investment into the other pillars of sustainability (environmental, social and cultural). Table 4. Contribution of the branded and “terroir” wine to the company's global EBITDA. Year Branded wine “Terroir” wine 2012 13% 0.4% 2013 14% 0.7% 2014 15% 0.8% 5. Conclusions The main goal of this study was the evaluation and comparison of the sustainability performance of two Portuguese wines, a branded and “terroir” wine, produced by the same company but differing in their production process, volume of production and market value. Six environmental and one economic indicator were considered, taking into account only the winemaking and bottling life cycle steps, for a functional unit of 0.75 L (1 bottle of wine). The calculation used mainly primary data obtained from the company and its production processes. Considering the environmental indicators, with the exception of the water intensity and wastewater indicators, similar values were obtained for both wines. These values were larger for the “terroir” wine, with the exception of the solid waste indicator, but the difference was usually lower than 10%, showing that the marketing positioning and production volume do not impact significantly the products sustainability performance. Depending on the indicator, different life cycle stages or processes are dominant. For the energy intensity indicator, winemaking is the dominant lifecycle step, mainly due to fuel consumption in transportation and energy needed to operate the equipment in wine production facility. Although the carbon emissions depend strongly on the energy consumption, it was observed that it was bottling the most relevant step, the main factor being the carbon embodied in the glass bottles. For the material related indicators, material intensity and solid waste, also the bottling step is more relevant, in particular for the “terroir” wine that uses more oenological products and heavier packaging materials. For the water related indicators, water intensity and wastewater, significant differences are observed between the two wines, with higher values obtained for the branded wine, more than double when compared with the “terroir” wine. In addition, the dominant life cycle stage is different: winemaking for the branded wine, and bottling for the “terroir” wine. This is the result of the wine desulfitation process and the constant operation of its bottling plant that consumes large volumes of water in the bottles rinsing operation. For the same reasons, the wastewater of the branded wine is more than double that of the “terroir” wine. The branded wine has the largest contribution to the company's global EBITDA but the “terroir” wine registered the largest growth. Reasonable agreement with results available in the literature was observed for the carbon emissions indicator. The differences are due mostly to differences in the life cycle steps considered between this work and the published work, or the type of data and/or data sources used in the various works. Thus, it can be concluded that results of this work are an objective evaluation of both wines. The main differences between both wines are due to differences in the production process, in particular winemaking, an aspect still overlooked in practice that may be relevant in companies that produce many brands of wine with significant differences between them. Based on the results some proposals were made to improve the sustainability performance of both wines, in particular to reduce the energy and water consumptions. Water and energy audits are already being performed at the time of publication, and the high water consumption for the branded wine, attributed to the desulfitation process is a hotspot that should be considered in the future. In future work, the remaining life cycle stages not considered in this work will be added, in particular the distribution and vine cultivation and grapes harvesting, to obtain a full sustainability assessment for each wine. Moreover, the social and cultural aspects will be also studied, combined with a more detailed analysis of the economic aspects. Acknowledgements Authors thank the financial support of project PP-IJUP2014-SOGRAPE funded by Sogrape Vinhos, S.A. and of project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006939 (Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy – LEPABE) funded by FEDER through COMPETE2020 – Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by national funds through FCT. Authors also thank FCT for their support through provision of the research grants IF/01093/2014 and SFRH/BPD/112003/2015. References Acero et al., 2014 A. Acero, C.e. Rodríguez, A. Ciroth Impact Assessment Methods in Life Cycle Assessment and their Impact Categories GreenDelta (2014) https://www.openlca.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/LCIA-METHODS-v.1.5.4.pdf Google Scholar Arcese et al., 2017 G. Arcese, M.C. Lucchetti, I. Massa Modeling social life cycle assessment framework for the Italian wine sector J. Clean. Prod. (2016), pp. 1027-1036, 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.137 Google Scholar Barber and Almanza, 2006 N. 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