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Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20

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Life cycle environmental impacts of wine production and consumption in

Nova Scotia, Canada
E. Point a, *, P. Tyedmers a, C. Naugler b,1
School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Suite 5010, 6100 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 3J5
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dalhousie University, 5788 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H IV8

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to quantify environmental impacts and improvement options for
Received 18 June 2009 the full life cycle of one 750 ml bottle of wine produced and consumed in Nova Scotia, Canada. Results
Received in revised form indicate that viticulture and consumer transport contribute the greatest portion of wine’s total impacts.
28 November 2011
Within the vineyard, nutrient management offers the greatest potential for improvement. Modeled
Accepted 30 December 2011
Available online 3 January 2012
scenarios indicate that high-yielding organic viticulture could marginally improve most measured
impacts, but the provision of lighter bottles could yield even greater benefits. Scenarios in which
transport modes and distances to market were varied provide strong evidence that the mode by which
Life cycle assessment
wine is transported is equally important to the distance that it travels.
Wine Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Consumer transport
Food miles

1. Introduction Barber et al., 2009; Forbes et al., 2009), and increased demand
for wines produced with environmentally-friendly practices
Material and energy use associated with the production and (Gabzdylova et al., 2009; Forbes et al., 2009).
consumption of food makes important contributions to a range of To date, attempts to improve the environmental performance of
environmental impacts (Dutilh and Kramer, 2000; Carlsson- wine have largely focused on energy and water efficiency in the
Kanyama et al., 2003; Foster et al., 2006). Wine is no exception vineyard and winery, and localized issues such as agro-ecosystem
since grape growing, wine making, glass bottle manufacture, management, pesticide reduction, soil conservation, and solid
product transport, refrigeration, and bottle disposal activities waste management (Marshall et al., 2005; Insight Environmental
require the provision of materials and energy that contribute to Consulting, 2008). Broader, macro-scale issues and impacts, such
resource depletion and a variety of environmental emissions as greenhouse gas emissions, ozone layer depletion, and total
(Nicoletti et al., 2001; Notarnicola et al., 2003; Aranda et al., 2005; energy use, have generally not been considered. Additionally,
Ardente et al., 2006; Pizzigallo et al., 2006). a narrow focus on the vineyard and winery phases of wine’s life
A number of drivers have stimulated interest in the develop- cycle may omit much of what actually contributes to wine’s total
ment of improved environmental practices among producers and environmental impact, since previous work in the field of food and
consumers of wine. These include environmental regulations wine sustainability suggest that the provision of packaging, product
(Marshall et al., 2005), personal values (Gabzdylova et al., 2009), transport, and consumer shopping trips contribute a substantial
perceived improved product quality (Gabzdylova et al., 2009; portion of total environmental impact (Dutilh and Kramer, 2000;
Carlsson-Kanyama et al., 2003; Foster et al., 2006; Notarnicola
et al., 2003; Aranda et al., 2005; Ardente et al., 2006; Pizzigallo
et al., 2006; Koroneos et al., 2005; Hospido et al., 2005; Talve, 2001;
* Corresponding author. Tel.: þ1 (250) 973 6895; fax: þ1 (902) 494 3728. Sonesson et al., 2005).
E-mail address: (E. Point).
Present Address: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University
Here, life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to quantify the
of Calgary and Calgary Laboratory Services, 9-3535 Research Road NW, Calgary, various material and energy inputs and associated environmental
Alberta, Canada T2L 2K8. emissions of the full life cycle of one 750 ml bottle of wine made in

0959-6526/$ e see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
12 E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20

Nova Scotia, Canada from 100% locally grown grapes. This research (Consoli et al., 1993; Guinée et al., 2001). All efforts were made to
should be of interest to members and regulators of the grape and follow the methodological framework provided by the ISO guide-
wine industry e locally and globally e who wish to improve the lines (International Organization for Standardization, 2006a,b).
eco-profile of wine. Results also provide wine consumers with
information to make more informed decisions about the impact of 3.1. Goal and scope
their choices and behaviors.
The goal of this research was to quantify life cycle emissions of
2. Nova Scotia wine industry one 750 ml bottle of Nova Scotia wine made from 100% locally
grown grapes in 2006, and to determine the relative contribution of
Despite its location at the northern climatic limit for viticulture each stage of wine’s life cycle to those environmental impacts.
(Lewis et al.), a small yet growing wine industry has developed in Winery co-products were not distinguished (e.g. wines made from
Nova Scotia in recent decades. At the time of study, annual different grape varieties, of various styles or qualities, or of different
production of the province’s 350 acres of vineyard and twelve alcohol contents), as the analysis aimed to characterize environ-
commercial wineries was 750,000 l of wine. Production is pro- mental impacts based on annualized production inputs and outputs
jected to triple by 2020 (Josza Management & Economics, 2006). of vineyards and wineries. In addition, the analysis sought to
Almost all Nova Scotia-produced wine is sold within the province determine how various potential changes to wine’s life cycle
(Josza Management & Economics, 2006). Given Nova Scotia’s (organic viticulture, lighter bottles, increased commercial trans-
climatic conditions, most of the vineyard acreage is planted with port) might influence wine’s associated environmental impacts.
hearty French hybrid varieties but growers are having recent The boundaries of the system included all major material and
success with more delicate vinifera like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. energy flows associated with grape growing, wine making, glass
bottle production, transport of wine to retail, consumer transport,
3. Methods refrigeration and bottle recycling (Fig. 1). Provision of farm and
winery buildings and wine making equipment was excluded from
Standardized under International Organization for Standardi- this analysis due to the assumed low attribution of these elements
zation (ISO) guidelines (International Organization for to a single bottle of wine (Mattsson, 1999), and the exclusion of
Standardization, 2006a,b), LCA provides an accepted methodology these capital goods from previous wine and beer LCAs (Nicoletti
for quantifying the material and energy inputs and subsequent et al., 2001; Notarnicola et al., 2003; Aranda et al., 2005; Ardente
emissions created throughout the entire life cycle of a product et al., 2006; Koroneos et al., 2005; Hospido et al., 2005; Talve,

Fig. 1. System flow diagram of Nova Scotia wine’s life cycle.

E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20 13

2001). Provision of vineyard machinery was included however, (used to scare pests from vineyards), were derived from data re-
since this input can contribute substantially to total energy ported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency
consumption of agricultural products (Frischknecht et al., 2007; (USEPA, 2004). Emissions from the application of lime were
Audsley, 1997) and specifically fruit production (Milà i Canals calculated using the IPCC (2006) liming emission factor. Due to
et al., 2006). Production-related emissions for pesticides were variability of machinery used in Nova Scotia vineyards, the model
included in the analysis, but field-level emissions were not due to was based on average machinery used in fruit production (Milà i
lack of available data concerning the climatic conditions at the time Canals and Polo, 2003).
of application (Hauschild, 2000; Schmidt, 2007), and the absence of Inputs to background processes (e.g. the provision of steel,
site-specific dispersion models to estimate the fate of those emis- plastic, glass, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) were obtained
sions through the air, water and soil (Milà i Canals and Polo, 2003). from peer-reviewed LCA databases (See Point, 2008 for details).
Also omitted was any consideration of fertilizer application timing, Background process data representing current, average technolo-
soil characteristics, and climatic conditions at the time of applica- gies were used and electricity production mixes for locale-specific
tion, all of which could be important factors for a more detailed processes were substituted to reflect actual conditions whenever
analysis of a vineyard’s nutrient flow dynamics (Brentrup et al., possible. One-way transport distances were modeled for the
2000; Erisman, 2000; Powers, 2007). delivery of vineyard inputs to agricultural suppliers, and round-trip
Following the system boundaries employed previously by distances for movement of inputs from retail to the farm gate.
Notarnicola et al. (2003) and Ardente et al. (2006), the provision of
sugar, corks, paper labels and heat shrink capsules was included. 3.2.2. Winery and bottle life cycle inventory
However, only transport-related emissions for yeasts, filtering and Questionnaires were administered to winemakers processing
clarifying agents, bacteria, enzymes and antioxidants were quan- solely Nova Scotia grown grapes, and solicited data regarding the
tified. Biogenic carbon sinks and emissions have been excluded winery’s source and transport mode for grapes and bottles, energy
consistently throughout the analysis, such as carbon sequestration inputs, wine making ingredients, and total output of Nova Scotia
by grape vines, and the subsequent release of CO2 during fermen- wine in 2006. For wineries that outsourced bottling, related
tation. Alternately, emissions of ethanol e the primary volatile electricity consumption was estimated from the literature
organic compound (VOC) emitted during wine’s fermentation (Notarnicola et al., 2003; Aranda et al., 2005). VOC emissions from
process (USEPA, 1995) e were included in this analysis as they are fermentation were calculated from a USEPA (1995) emission
known to contribute to photochemical oxidation (Notarnicola et al., factor.
2003). Consistent with previous authors, cleaning products used in Resulting winery inventory data were compiled and a weighted
the winery (Notarnicola et al., 2003; Aranda et al., 2005; Ardente average was calculated (based on volumes of 100% Nova Scotia
et al., 2006; Pizzigallo et al., 2006), wooden pallets on which wine produced) to generate a representative model for Nova Scotia
wine is transported (Aranda et al., 2005; Pizzigallo et al., 2006; wineries. Background processes (e.g. manufacture of bottles, labels,
Talve, 2001), and activities related to the sale of wine in stores corks) were obtained from peer-reviewed LCA databases with
(Aranda et al., 2005; Ardente et al., 2006; Koroneos et al., 2005) electricity production mixes substituted to reflect locale-specific
were not quantified. Data regarding water consumption in wineries conditions when possible (See Point, 2008 for details). One-way
were not available and were thus excluded from this analysis. transport distances were modeled for the delivery of bottles and
Abundant rainfall in Nova Scotia precludes the need for vineyard wine making ingredients, whereas the delivery of grapes was
irrigation. modeled as a round-trip distance.

3.2. Life cycle inventory 3.2.3. Post winery life cycle inventory and assumptions
Finished wine was assumed to be transported to, and purchased
3.2.1. Vineyard life cycle inventory in Halifax e Nova Scotia’s most populous city. Information
Primary vineyard data were collected through the use of regarding mode of transport for wine to retail was obtained from
a detailed questionnaire mailed to members of the provincial grape wineries. A consumer’s shopping trip was modeled as a 5 km
growers association. The questionnaire was designed to obtain round-trip distance in a small gasoline powered vehicle for the sole
information on the nature and quantities of one-time and annual purpose of purchasing a bottle of wine. Consumer storage of wine
inputs, vineyard size, yield, and relevant transport activities. was conservatively modeled as chilling for 48 h in a small, energy
Additional data were obtained from relevant personnel and liter- efficient household refrigerator. Finally, to account for the energy
ature sources as necessary. Vineyard-specific inventory data were and material requirements of wine’s end-of-life activities, requisite
compiled and weighted using 2006 vineyard grape production vehicle inputs were modeled for collection and transportation of
volumes to provide a representative vineyard model for Nova the empty glass bottle to a recycling plant, as well as the energy and
Scotia. In instances where variability regarding the nature of material requirements for sorting glass cullets.
a material input did not permit averaging, the most common
response was used. 3.3. Life cycle impact assessment methodology
Methods used to calculate field-level greenhouse gas and
nutrient emissions from fertilizers were derived from Brentrup The following impact categories were selected for analysis:
et al. (2000), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change abiotic resource depletion potential (ARDP), fresh-water acidifica-
(IPCC, 2006) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories tion potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), global warming
(Tier 1), and Dalgaard et al. (USEPA, 2004). Manure used as potential (GWP), stratospheric ozone depletion potential (ODP),
a fertilizer on vineyards is essentially a co-product of meat or milk aquatic eco-toxicity potential (AETP), terrestrial eco-toxicity
production, but it was beyond the scope of this work to perform potential (TETP), photo-oxidant formation potential (POP), and
a relevant system expansion to account for production-related cumulative energy demand (CED).
emissions from manure. Instead, a conservative estimate was SimaPro (version 7.1.6) was used to facilitate the impact
derived from a calculation of the production-related emissions of assessment modeling. Impact assessment methodology was CML 2
an equivalent quantity of nutrients in synthetic fertilizers, baseline 2000, developed by the Center for Environmental Science
following Audsley (1997). CO2 emissions from propane cannons at Leiden University, which characterizes Life Cycle Inventory data
14 E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20

into contributions to “problem-oriented” (mid-point) impact 4. Results

categories (Guinée et al., 2001).
Returned surveys containing complete, useable data for vine-
3.4. Scenario modeling yards represented operations for 60% of all grapes grown in the
province in 2006. Table 1 describes a typical Nova Scotia vineyard
The effects of various potential changes to wine’s life cycle were based on weighted survey results, while Table 2 reports average
explored through the application of scenario modeling (Consoli vineyard inventory data on a per-hectare basis.
et al., 1993). Three groups of scenarios were modeled, each repre- Winery, bottle, and transport-related data were obtained from
senting a change to the base case model of wine’s life cycle that is Nova Scotia wineries that together processed 15% of all Nova Scotia
perceived, or has been demonstrated elsewhere, to have a non- grown grapes in 2006 (Table 3). Weighted according to wine
trivial effect on wine’s overall environmental impact. volumes produced, an average Nova Scotia winery in 2006 had an
annual processing volume of 58 metric tonnes of grapes, yielding
3.4.1. Organic viticulture scenario just over 39,000 l of wine.
To explore potential benefits of organic viticulture, a hypothet-
ical model of Nova Scotia grape growing practices was constructed 4.1. Life cycle impact assessment results
by substituting conventional inputs (e.g. fertilizers, pesticides) with
ones that appear on the Canadian Organic Production Systems Table 4 presents a detailed account of contributions from all life
Permitted Substances List (Canadian General Standards Board, cycle stages to each impact category. Across all impact categories,
2006). Specifically, copper sulfate and sulfur replaced conven- vineyard activities and consumer shopping make the largest relative
tional fungicides used in Nova Scotia vineyards, and wood pressure contributions. Bottle manufacture, winery activities, and transport
treatment substances on vineyard posts were excluded. Cow of wine to retail contribute the bulk of remaining impacts. Recycling
manure was modeled as the sole source of fertilizer, with quantities of the glass bottle and refrigeration of wine in the consumer’s home
of elemental nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium equivalent to contribute a very minor portion of total life cycle impacts.
the conventional system on a per-hectare basis, following Pelletier
et al. (2008). Nutrient content of cow manure was obtained from 4.1.1. Vineyard life cycle impact assessment results
the Atlantic Canada Nutrient Management Planning Guide (Nova Most vineyard-level impacts are generated from nutrient
Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing, 1991). The same management activities and fuel use. For the impact categories of
methods to calculate field-level emissions from fertilizers and to ODP, GWP, AP, and EP, nutrient management contributes respec-
account for production-related manure emissions were used as tively 49%, 65%, 79%, and 92% of the total. Fuel use is responsible for
described in the base case model. Application rates of organic 15%, 18%, 23%, 28%, and 33% of AP, GWP, POP, CED, and ARDP,
fungicides were obtained from the Nova Scotia Grape Disease respectively. The trellis system contributes approximately half of
Management Schedule (AgraPoint International Ltd, 2007). All vineyard-level toxicity-related impacts due to the manufacture of
other model inputs and related assumptions remained the same. To steel posts and the use of chromiumecopper arsenate as a wood
account for the impact of yield on environmental impacts, two preservative. Vineyard machinery contributes between 8% and 13%
hypothetical organic grape yields were modeled. First, organic to the vineyard-level impact categories of ARDP, ODP, AETP, and
vineyards were assumed to produce 20% fewer grapes (by weight) CED. Although pest management inputs contribute relatively little
per hectare relative to existing conventional yields reflecting to total vineyard impacts (less than 9%), recall that field-level
differences documented elsewhere (Nicoletti et al., 2001; Pizzigallo emissions from most of these substances were not modeled and
et al., 2006; Niccolucci et al., 2008). In the second organic scenario, their measured contributions thus provide a conservative estimate.
organic yields were assumed to be equivalent to conventional Due to fertilizer emissions of nitrous oxide, nutrient management
yields in Nova Scotia vineyards in 2006, enabling the comparison of activities yield a negative POP (Derwent et al., 1996).
an arguably “best-case-scenario” for organic grape yields. Given the relative importance of nutrient management in the
vineyard e and the numerous associated substances and activities
3.4.2. Lighter bottle scenario e a finer scale assessment is warranted. Fig. 2 illustrates the relative
The use of lighter glass bottles can reduce wine’s overall impact contributions of all nutrient management inputs. Nitrogen fertilizer
(Waste Resource Action Programme) and trials of light-weight glass dominates all impact categories, and CO2 emissions from liming
bottles indicate they can be made strong enough to safely store and make important contributions to wine’s GWP. Phosphate and
transport wine (Hartley, 2008). To explore this potential, a 380 g potassium fertilizers make non-trivial contributions to several
glass bottle was modeled, which is approximately 30% lighter than impact categories but the transport of nutrient inputs is a relatively
the average weight of Nova Scotia wine bottles used presently. unimportant production aspect.
Finally, Fig. 3 illustrates the relative contributions associated with
3.4.3. Increased transport distance and new transport mode the manufacture and application of nitrogen fertilizers. Most impact
Given recent interest in the concept of “food miles” (Schlich and
Fleissner, 2005; Smith et al., 2005), the final scenarios explored the Table 1
Average Nova Scotia vineyard characteristics in 2006.
implications of shipping wine to two Canadian (Toronto and Van-
couver), and one overseas market (Perth, Australia). Mode of Vineyard characteristic Unit
transport for Canadian destinations was a transport truck. Ship- Total Farm Size ha 14.07
ments to Perth were in a fully-loaded container ship, with an Vineyard Size ha 13.38
Annual Yield (total) tonnes 85.55
additional 200 km of truck transportation on either end of the
Yield/ha tonnes/ha 6.37
ocean journey. Return trips were excluded from each scenario. As Red Grapes (produced) % 47a
a final scenario, the transport of Nova Scotia wine to retail in Halifax White Grapes (produced) % 53a
was modeled with a transport truck in place of the smaller vehicle Vineyard Age years 11.8a
currently employed. In this scenario, distance was unchanged from Vine Density vines/ha 2844.12
the base case model. Calculated based on 43% of all grapes produced in Nova Scotia in 2006.
E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20 15

Table 3
Life cycle inventory results for post-vineyard production and activities in 2006.
Table 2 Material and energy inputs Unit Per Per bottle
Life cycle inventory results for Nova Scotia viticulture in 2006. hectoliter of wine
Material and energy inputs Unit Per haa,b Winery
Electricity kWh 50.67 0.38
Land Preparation
Heating oil l 2.67 0.02
Tile drain kg 38.41
Fraction of grapes purchased % 45.00
Lime (dolomitic) kg 162.37
N-fertilizer (synthetic and manure)c kg 3.12 from contract growers
P-fertilizer (synthetic and manure)d kg 2.29 in Nova Scotia
Average distance of contract km 20.00
K-fertilizer (synthetic)e kg 5.12
growers (round-trip distance)
Glyphosate kg 0.13
Mode of transport Pick-up truck
Diesel l 3.06
Bottle Manufacture and
Delivery truck operation km 5.21
Bottle Transport
Emissions from Land Preparation
Weight of average bottle kg 0.54
CO2 (from lime application) kg 178.36
Trellising System Origin of bottles
Steel wire kg 40.07 Halifax, Nova Scotia % 50.00
France % 50.00
Steel rod kg 11.59
Recycled content of glass % 50.00
Wooden posts kg 254.80
Mode of transport for delivery Transport truck
Wood preservative kg 6.94
of bottles to wineries
Delivery truck operation km 3.29
Number of bottles delivered 30,000
Nutrient Management
in one shipment
Lime kg 1154.75
N-fertilizer (synthetic)c kg 16.82 Transport of Wine to
N-fertilizer (manure) kg 76.06 Bottling Facility
Fraction of wine transported % 40.00
P-fertilizer (synthetic)d kg 45.67
(in bulk) to bottling facility
P-fertilizer (manure) kg 25.16
Average round-trip distance km 300.00
K-fertilizer (synthetic)e kg 79.69
of bulk wine to bottling facility
K-fertilizer (manure) kg 82.17
Mode of transport Small delivery truck
Delivery truck operation km 22.87
Transport of Wine to Retail
Freight ship operation tkmf 206.07
Emissions from Nutrient Management Average distance to km 400.00
CO2 (from lime application) kg 550.43 retail (round-trip)
Mode of transport to Small delivery truck
N2O (from synthetic) kg 0.62
deliver wine to retail
N2O (from manure) kg 2.81
Cardboard box kg 0.04
NO (from synthetic) kg 0.66
Consumer Transport
NO (from manure) kg 2.96
Distance traveled (round-trip) km 5.00
NH3 (from synthetic) kg 4.37
NH3 (from manure) kg 19.80 Mode of transport Passenger car
NO3 (from synthetic) kg 16.40 Consumer Storage
Small, energy efficient l*day 0.75
NO3 (from manure) kg 74.30
P205 (from synthetic) kg 1.27
P2O5 (from manure) kg 0.76
Mass of bottles collected and kg 0.54
Pest Management
transported to recycling facility
Glyphosateg kg 3.06
Mass of glass sorted (as cullets) kg 0.54
Gluphosinateg kg 0.25
Paraquatg kg 0.03 at recycling facility
Captang kg 9.17
Folpetg kg 4.40
Sulfur kg 27.20
Propane l 3.89 categories are influenced by manufacturing emissions only. The
Delivery truck operation km 0.64 exceptions are AP, EP, and POP which are caused almost entirely by
Freight ship operation tkmf 288.15 the volatilization and leaching of nitrogenous compounds from the
Emissions from Pest Management
vineyard. Manufacturing and application emissions contribute
CO2 (from propane combustion) kg 13.06
almost equally to GWP.
Diesel l 236.51
Gasoline l 3.57 4.1.2. Other life cycle impact assessment results
Lubricating oil l 4.40 Consumer shopping contributed between 8% and 58% of total
Delivery truck operation km 0.25
impacts, generated exclusively from the use of a car (Table 4). Glass
Vineyard Machinery
Tractor kg 20.32 bottles contributed between 3% and 24% of total impacts, resulting
primarily from the generation of electricity used in the bottle
One hectare of Nova Scotia vineyards in 2006, on average, produced 6.37 t of
production process. The bulk of winery-related impacts (1e14% of
One tonne of grapes, on average, produces 800 bottles of wine in Nova Scotia totals) are derived from electricity generation e largely coal-fired in
(Naugler and Wright, 2006). Nova Scotia e and from ethanol emissions during fermentation.
Most common source of nitrogen used in Nova Scotia synthetic fertilizers is
ammonium nitrate.
Most common source of phosphorous used in Nova Scotia synthetic fertilizers is 4.2. Scenario modeling results
di-ammonium phosphate.
Most common source of potassium used in Nova Scotia synthetic fertilizers is
4.2.1. Organic viticulture scenario results
potassium chloride.
Tonne-kilometer. Life cycle inventories and impact assessment results for the two
Weight is active ingredient only. hypothetical organic vineyard scenarios appear in Point (2008), and
Table 5, respectively. In the reduced yield scenario, organic viti-
culture offered marginal improvements (between 0.14% and 3%) to
16 E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20

Table 4
Detailed contributions of life cycle stages to wine’s environmental impacts.a,b


(kg Sb eq) (kg SO2 eq) (kg PO4 eq) (kg CO2 eq) (kg CFC-11 eq) (kg 1,4-DCB eq) (kg 1,4-DCB eq) (kg C2H4) (MJ)
Land Preparation 3.34E-04 1.63E-04 4.36E-05 6.19E-02 6.70E-09 6.40E-04 4.84E-05 4.81E-06 6.82E-01
Trellis 2.15E-04 1.48E-04 2.19E-05 2.73E-02 1.59E-09 1.65E-02 1.75E-03 1.39E-05 1.24
Nutrient management 9.16E-04 9.34E-03 4.98E-03 5.23E-01 1.35E-08 1.34E-02 9.39E-04 2.61E-04 2.07
Pest management 2.02E-04 3.05E-04 8.23E-06 2.00E-02 2.58E-09 1.58E-03 2.42E-04 1.26E-05 4.90E-01
Fuel 9.42E-04 1.72E-03 3.47E-04 1.46E-01 1.37E-10 3.49E-04 4.39E-05 6.11E-05 1.98
Vineyard machinery 2.36E-04 1.02E-04 1.17E-05 2.44E-02 3.18E-09 5.00E-03 1.47E-04 8.12E-06 5.94E-01
Sub-total 2.84E-03 1.18E-02 5.41E-03 8.03E-01 2.77E-08 3.74E-02 3.17E-03 L1.60E-04 7.05
Percent of system total 15.19% 45.74% 77.07% 24.94% 9.62% 40.61% 57.74% L18.50% 16.00%

Transport of grapes 1.16E-04 1.62E-04 2.88E-05 1.79E-02 1.58E-11 2.92E-06 8.44E-07 7.80E-06 2.42E-01
to winery
Wine ingredients 2.49E-05 4.36E-05 2.06E-05 5.26E-03 4.40E-10 1.05E-04 1.52E-04 8.80E-07 2.34E-01
Electricity 1.79E-03 1.60E-03 7.70E-05 2.86E-01 1.84E-09 1.59E-02 2.26E-04 6.20E-05 3.26
Heating oil 2.98E-04 5.48E-04 1.11E-04 4.62E-02 4.06E-11 1.11E-04 1.39E-05 1.66E-05 6.24E-01
Ethanol emissions 0.00Eþ00 0.00Eþ00 0.00Eþ00 0.00Eþ00 0.00Eþ00 0.00Eþ00 0.00Eþ00 1.09E-04 0.00
Transport of wine 1.18E-04 1.65E-04 2.94E-05 1.82E-02 1.60E-11 2.97E-06 8.59E-07 7.93E-06 2.47E-01
to bottling
Sub-total 2.35E-03 2.52E-03 2.67E-04 3.73E-01 2.36E-09 1.59E-02 8.91E-05 2.04E-04 4.62
Percent of system total 12.57% 9.77% 3.80% 11.58% 0.82% 17.26% 1.62% 23.50% 10.49%

Glass Bottle
Glass bottle production 2.54E-03 5.33E-03 3.40E-04 3.69E-01 3.24E-09 4.11E-03 2.45E-04 1.85E-04 5.89
Cork, label and 4.40E-04 1.80E-04 2.80E-05 4.60E-02 2.30E-09 2.55E-03 2.08E-04 1.23E-05 2.22
cap production
Glass bottle transport 1.73E-04 3.24E-04 3.76E-05 2.45E-02 3.66E-09 7.98E-04 4.88E-05 1.05E-05 0.399
Sub-total 3.15E-03 5.84E-03 4.06E-04 4.40E-01 9.20E-09 7.46E-03 5.02E-04 2.07E-04 8.51
Percent of system total 16.84% 22.64% 5.78% 13.66% 3.19% 8.10% 9.14% 24.00% 19.33%

Transport to Retail
Cardboard box 1.87E-04 5.18E-04 1.37E-05 2.94E-02 2.43E-08 5.94E-04 8.94E-05 1.96E-05 4.09E-01
Wine transport 2.33E-03 1.57E-03 3.26E-04 3.39E-01 5.16E-08 1.17E-02 6.55E-04 5.31E-05 5.58
Sub-total 2.52E-03 2.09E-03 3.40E-04 3.69E-01 7.59E-08 1.23E-02 7.44E-04 7.27E-05 5.99
Percent of system total 13.48% 8.10% 4.84% 11.46% 26.35% 13.36% 13.55% 8.40% 13.60%

Consumer Shopping Trip

Passenger car, 5km 7.54E-03 3.41E-03 5.62E-04 1.20 1.68E-07 1.32E-02 8.95E-04 3.75E-04 17.21
Percent of system total 40.32% 13.22% 8.01% 37.27% 58.33% 14.33% 16.30% 43.40% 39.07%

Consumer Storage
Fridge (energy efficient) 1.85E-05 1.91E-06 4.64E-07 2.65E-03 5.38E-11 5.18E-05 3.83E-07 1.07E-07 3.46E-02
Percent of system total 0.10% 0.01% 0.01% 0.08% 0.02% 0.06% 0.01% 0.02% 0.08%

Public collection of glass 1.06E-04 7.91E-05 1.58E-05 1.45E-02 2.10E-09 8.43E-04 3.86E-05 2.70E-06 2.55E-01
Glass cullets, sorted 1.36E-04 1.01E-04 2.12E-05 2.36E-02 2.59E-09 4.84E-03 5.57E-05 3.51E-06 3.29E-01
Sub-total 2.41E-04 1.80E-04 3.70E-05 3.81E-02 4.69E-09 5.69E-03 9.43E-05 6.22E-06 5.84E-01
Percent of system total 1.29% 0.70% 0.53% 1.18% 1.63% 6.18% 1.72% 0.72% 1.33%

System Total 1.87E-02 2.58E-02 7.02E-03 3.22 2.88E-07 9.21E-02 5.49E-03 7.05E-04 44.04
Functional unit ¼ 1 (750 ml) bottle of wine produced and consumed in Nova Scotia in 2006.
System totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

three of nine impact categories, yet actually increased wine’s AP, EP, 4.2.3. Increased transport distance and new transport mode
and GWP. Wine’s ARDP and ODP did not change. Substantial scenario results
reductions (26%) to wine’s TETP are attributable to the exclusion of Alternate transport modes and increased transport distances had
wood preservatives on vineyard posts. Wine’s environmental varying effects on wine’s overall environmental impacts (Table 5).
impacts were further reduced in the second organic scenario due to When transported to Toronto in a transport truck, contributions to
the assumption of higher grape yields, although AP, EP and GWP impact categories changed only slightly from the base case scenario,
were still either higher than, or identical to, the base case model. in some cases actually decreasing wine’s environmental impact.
When transported to Vancouver in a transport truck, contributions
4.2.2. Lighter bottle scenario results to all impact categories increased, between 12% and 43%. Although
The adoption of glass bottles 30% lighter than those currently shipping wine 18,000 km by sea to Australia resulted in increases to
used by Nova Scotia wineries could result in reductions between 2% AP, EP, and POP (between 3% and 18%) the remaining impact cate-
and 10% to all measured impacts associated with the life cycle of gories experienced decreases (between 2% and 6%) relative to the
a bottle of Nova Scotia wine (Table 5). Most of these improvements base case model. Interestingly, many of the greatest potential
resulted from lower impacts associated with bottle manufacture, reductions across all scenarios resulted from modeling a transport
but to some extent from reduced impacts associated with bottle truck for commercial transport of wine to market in Halifax. In this
transport to winery and the transport of packaged wine to retail. scenario, decreases to impacts ranged from 4% to 14%.
E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20 17

Fig. 2. Relative contributions of nutrient management sub-processes to environmental impact categories.

5. Discussion The organic viticulture scenario models indicate that marginal

improvements are possible in several impact categories. However,
5.1. Improvement analysis for Nova Scotia wine the exclusion of wood preservative chemicals on vineyard posts
resulted in substantial reductions to terrestrial eco-toxicity poten-
Grape growing and consumer shopping trips offer the greatest tial in both organic scenarios. This relatively simple option provides
potential for cleaner production and consumption practices for one of the greatest potential improvements to wine’s toxicity-
Nova Scotia wine. To a lesser extent, electricity consumption in the related impacts. In contrast, substitution of synthetic fertilizer
winery, ethanol emissions from fermentation, bottle manufacture with manure did not offer automatic emission reductions since
and transport of wine to retail are sources of potentially non-trivial manure is associated with higher emissions of nitrous oxide,
emission reductions. ammonia, and nitric oxide than an equivalent amount of synthetic
fertilizer (Brentrup et al., 2000; IPCC, 2006), and since nitrogen in
5.1.1. Vineyard improvement analysis manure is absorbed less readily by crops (Notarnicola et al., 2003;
In the vineyard, nitrogenous fertilizers (provision and application), Bussink and Oenema, 1998).
were the most relevant input. Attempts to minimize the use and
subsequent emissions of fertilizers (e.g. application according to crop 5.1.2. Consumer shopping improvement analysis
demand (Brentrup et al., 2004), staggered applications (Spectrum As modeled, consumer shopping contributed substantially to
Analytic Inc) application in bands beneath the vines (as opposed to wine’s total environmental impacts. For the impact categories of
broadcasting) (Naugler and Wright, 2006), use of nitrogen-fixing ARD, GWP, POP and CED, driving 5 km to purchase a bottle of wine
cover crops (Pelletier et al., 2008), use of fertilizers with low leach- has a greater impact than that arising from grape growing and wine
ing and volatilization rates (for EP and AP), use of fertilizers with low making combined (Table 4). Moreover, a 5 km drive contributes
production-related global warming emissions (Brentrup et al., 2001, more to ODP than all other life cycle stages combined.
2004), incorporation of organic fertilizers (Brentrup et al., 2000), The relative importance of car-based shopping for Nova Scotia wine
and the cultivation of grapes with high nutrient-uptake efficiencies is consistent with findings from other wine (Cholette and Venkat,
(Northwest Berry & Grape Information Network)) could result in 2009), beer (Cordella et al., 2008) and food production systems in
measurable emission reductions, barring any substantial reductions general (Foster et al., 2006; Coley et al., 2009). Coley et al. (2009)
in grape yield. Furthermore, the relative importance of fertilizers to illustrated that the environmental benefits of eating locally
GWP (16% of total) highlights the need to consider non-energy related produced foods are quickly lost if consumers drive even short
greenhouse gas emissions from wine production. distances to local markets, let alone to a wine tasting room in the
18 E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20

Fig. 3. Relative contributions of nitrogen fertilizer manufacture and field-level emissions to environmental impact categories.

countryside. Avoiding unnecessary car-based shopping trips is a highly bottles exceed those offered by the adoption of organic viticultural
sensible option for achieving sustainable consumption practices for techniques in all non-toxicological impact categories. The adoption
wine. The direct shipment of wine to consumers and round-trip multi- of bottle re-use systems (Van Doorsselaer and Lox, 1999; Mata and
passenger transport services to winery tasting events may also offer Costa, 2001) and alternative packaging materials (Best Foot
meaningful improvements (Cholette and Venkat, 2009). Forward Ltd, 2008) could yield further improvements with
respect to certain bottle-related impacts.
5.1.3. Wine bottle improvement analysis
Emission reductions associated with a reduced bottle weight is 5.1.4. Commercial transport improvement analysis
consistent with results of previous studies (Aranda et al., 2005; The danger of relying on “food miles” as a sole indicator of
Waste Resource Action Programme). As modeled in this analysis, a food’s environmental impact is well documented (Schlich and
life cycle environmental benefits from the provision of lighter Fleissner, 2005; Smith et al., 2005; Coley et al., 2009; Coleman

Table 5
Impact assessment results from scenario models. A percent change that is positive reflects a potential increase in contributions to an impact category. A negative percent
change indicates reduced contributions to an impact category, and thus reflects the potential for an improved environmental profile of wine.


(kg Sb eq) (kg SO2 eq) (kg PO4 eq) (kg CO2 eq) (kg CFC-11 eq) (1,4-DB eq) (1,4-DB eq) (C2H4 eq) (MJ)
Total life cycle emissionsa (base case) 1.87E-02 2.58E-02 7.02E-03 3.22 2.88E-07 9.21E-02 5.49E-03 7.05E-04 44.04
Organic viticulture (low yield) 1.87E-02 2.72E-02 7.51E-03 3.27 2.88E-07 9.06E-02 4.05E-03 6.83E-04 43.98
Change to life cycle emissions (%) 0.00% 5.43% 6.98% 1.55% 0.00% L1.63% L26.23% L3.12% L0.14%
Organic viticulture (same yield) 1.85E-02 2.64E-02 7.15E-03 3.22 2.85E-07 8.76E-02 3.84E-03 6.72E-04 43.55
Change to life cycle emissions (%) L1.07% 2.33% 1.85% 0.00% L1.04% L4.89% L30.05% L4.68% L1.11%
Lighter bottle (380 g) 1.75E-02 2.37E-02 6.86E-03 3.05 2.79E-07 8.90E-02 5.32E-03 6.34E-04 41.21
Change to life cycle emissions (%) L6.42% L8.14% L2.28% L5.28% L3.13% L3.37% L3.10% L10.07% L6.43%
Increased transport to retail 1.87E-02 2.59E-02 7.05E-03 3.20 2.89E-07 9.46E-02 5.54E-03 7.12E-04 43.91
(1800 km to Toronto, ON)b
Change to life cycle emissions (%) 0.00% 0.39% 0.43% L0.62% 0.35% 2.71% 0.91% 0.99% L0.30%
Increased transport to retail 2.42E-02 2.98E-02 7.88E-03 3.94 4.11E-07 1.28E-01 7.17E-03 8.53E-04 56.72
(6000 km to Vancouver, BC)b
Change to life cycle emissions (%) 29.41% 15.50% 12.25% 22.36% 42.71% 38.98% 30.60% 20.99% 28.79%
Increased transport to retail 1.82E-02 2.99E-02 7.23E-03 3.17 2.74E-07 8.65E-02 5.34E-03 8.31E-04 42.80
(18,000 km to Perth, Australia)c
Change to life cycle emissions (%) L2.67% 15.89% 2.99% L1.55% L4.86% L6.08% L2.73% 17.87% L2.82%
Larger truck to retail 1.69E-02 2.46E-02 6.77E-03 2.96 2.48E-07 8.35E-02 4.99E-03 6.65E-04 39.65
(400 km to Halifax, NS)b
Change to life cycle emissions (%) L9.63% L4.65% L3.56% L8.07% L13.89% L9.34% L9.11% L5.67% L9.97%
Mode of transport (to retail) is a small delivery truck (as indicated in Nova Scotia winery surveys).
Mode of transport (to retail) is a transport truck (28-t capacity).
Modes of transport (to retail) are a trans-oceanic freight ship and a transport truck (28-t capacity), in Nova Scotia and Australia.
E. Point et al. / Journal of Cleaner Production 27 (2012) 11e20 19

and Päster, 2007). Scenario modeling of increased transport Dalhousie University, the Natural Sciences and Engineering
distances for Nova Scotia wine demonstrated the importance of Research Council of Canada (through a Strategic Grant to Alan
also considering transport mode (Table 5). Indeed, the transport of Fredeen, Nova Scotia Agricultural College) and the Grape Growers
wine to Toronto actually resulted in similar, and in some instances Association of Nova Scotia (proportionally, sources of financial
lower, impacts on a per unit basis than transport of wine within support contributed approximately 48%, 48% and 4%, respectively).
Nova Scotia due to efficiencies gained by using a larger truck.
Similarly, the international transport of wine from Nova Scotia to
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