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Tesco Joins Sustainable Wine Roundtable and Commits to the SWR Bottle Weight Accord

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London, 30th May, 2024 – Tesco, one of the world’s leading retailers, has officially joined the Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR), reinforcing its commitment to sustainability in the wine industry. This membership signifies Tesco’s dedication to fostering sustainable practices and contributing to a greener future for the wine sector. By joining the SWR, Tesco will actively participate in programs designed to enhance sustainability practices across the global wine spectrum.

Tesco has also agreed to join the SWR Bottle Weight Accord, a ground-breaking development launched by SWR in October 2023, which will see the companies involved reduce their average bottle to weigh less than 420 grams by the end of 2026.

Jason Godley, Tesco Category Director for BWS, said: “We are delighted to have joined the Sustainable Wine Roundtable, showing our commitment to leading sustainable initiatives in the wine industry in an independent setting. We have already made good progress on reducing bottle weights and are well o n our way to reaching the SWR targets for 2026.

“We look forward to working with fellow members to collaboratively find solutions to glass bottle weight and other environmental challenges in the wine supply chain, in line with our commitment to reach carbon neutrality across our own operations by 2035 and net zero across our full value chain by 2050.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with the industry to be as ambitious as we can with our shared objectives, and we have already started engaging with some of our biggest suppliers on next steps in this exciting partnership all while continuing to provide great value and quality wines for our customers.”

The SWR catalyzes change by developing an evidence base on key topics to provide a clear course of action to advance sustainability. In addition to the Bottle Weight Accord, SWR is working on a range of other issues including benchmarking the world’s wine sustainability standards, vineyard inputs and regenerative agriculture, and labor rights.

SWR’s Research Director, Dr. Peter Stanbury, expressed his enthusiasm for Tesco’s membership: “We are thrilled to welcome Tesco to the Sustainable Wine Roundtable. Tesco has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, and their participation in the SWR Bottle Weight Accord will significantly bolster our efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of wine packaging. We look forward to collaborating with Tesco on this and other sustainability initiatives.”

Tesco’s membership in the SWR underscores its commitment to sustainability and highlights the importance of industry collaboration in tackling environmental challenges. As part of its sustainability strategy, Tesco will work closely with SWR and other members to innovate and implement solutions that benefit the environment and the wine industry as a whole.

ABOUT SWR

The Sustainable Wine Roundtable is an independent global platform dedicated to advancing sustainability in the wine industry. With over 130 members from across the entire wine value chain, including growers, producers, retailers, standards owners, closure makers, academics, and others, the SWR aims to set new standards and create a culture of sustainability that benefits every part of the industry. By driving collective action on shared issues, developing an evidence base for action, saving money, and driving impact, the SWR is at the forefront of making real progress and catalyzing change in the wine sector.

SWR is engaged in work to deliver real progress on sustainability in the wine sector. Current action areas include:

  • Benchmarking the 40+ sustainability standards in wine;
  • Developing a framework to allow comparison of the different sustainability profiles of different wine packaging types.
  • Creating a tool to address the issue of ‘bottle miles’, to quantify the carbon the journey a bottle makes from manufacture to disposal.
  • Launching a ‘Sustainable Viticulture Protocol focusing on reduction in use of input chemicals, and on regenerative viticulture
  • A retailer sustainability group to drive efficiencies in the way in which they work with the rest of the value chain.

ABOUT THE SWR BOTTLE WEIGHT ACCORD (BWA)

The BWA is a commitment by a range of leading retailers and producers of wine to reduce the average weight of their bottles to below 420g by the end of 2026. This is by contrast with an average bottle weight currently of around 550g. As most research indicates that the glass bottle contributes between a third and a half of wine’s total greenhouse gas emissions emissions, this Accord represents a significant contribution to reducing the carbon footprint of wine.

The SWR Bottle Weight Accord is the result of research undertaken by the SWR in 2023. SWR’s research found that the much-touted perception that consumers associate heavy glass bottles with higher wine quality is overstated – and that there are a growing number of examples of highly successful quality wine brands using lighter weight bottles.

Discussions with glass makers and bottlers also established that appropriate adjustments to bottling lines and packing can ensure that lightweight bottles are just as robust in use as their heavier counterparts. Nonetheless the group appreciates that their goal is ambitious – and will be working with the rest of the wine value chain to make the Accord successful.

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