Local wine giant Treasury Wine Estates has released its 2021 Sustainability Report, highlighting its progress on sustainable packaging, waste management, confirming its collaboration with Orora in the closed looped process of waste glass, and highlighting its commitment to a low carbon economy.
“Sustainablity is embedded into our TWE 2025 strategic blueprint and is increasingly influencing our decision across our value chain - from the way we source a range of fruit varietals and produce our wine through to how it’s packaged, transported and sold,” said Treasury Wines' Paul Rayner and Tim Ford in the report's 'message from the chairman and CEO'.
TWE conducted a global review of product packaging this year, to identify opportunities to remove material from packaging or change the composition of packaging.
This involved a scientific review of think tank sessions, and a global tender to ensure its supply partners were aligned to its ambition. The results of this review are being implemented by a global cross functional team, and will support the achievement of its target.
Last year TWE released its sustainable packaging guidelines and associated targets. To achieve these targets it is working with suppliers and customers to innovate and redesign packaging so that it remains fit for purpose and makes the most of environmentally friendly materials. It says this is important as whilst glass makes up the vast majority of packaging, wine is also sold in other formats such as bag and box, aluminium cans, pouches and PET plastic.
Since establishing its Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and targets, TWE has progressed a number of initiatives with its suppliers to innovate its packaging, so that it delivers a positive impact on the resource and energy efficiency of its partners, across a range of inputs from glass to label screwcaps and capsules.
Its first performance assessment against the targets found that in general the majority of its supplier partners are collecting and able to report the data required to inform its packaging performance. There are some gaps that it is working collaboratively to close.
TWE also found that the majority of its packaging components are recyclable, reusable, or compostable. However, it has identified a small number of packaging components, particularly sleeves which are used to cover bottles and bag-in-box, present some challenges of meeting its target. These particular areas will be a focus next year.
TWE has also held a series of supply workshops which looked at how it jointly could reduce environmental impact through more sustainable packaging while meeting the expectations of customers and consumers. The workshops examined synergies between sustainable packaging strategies, and were designed to develop a series of initiatives.
TWE continues to be a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant and to work with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation on various working groups, most notably the Wine Industry Sustainable packaging Alliance.
This year TWE has diverted 96.7 per cent of waste from landfills, saying this result reflects a commitment to waste management practices that focus on avoiding waste, as well as reducing, reusing and recycling waste.
A significant proportion of the waste produced from winemaking is organic materials such as marc, stalks and stems. TWE confirms that during the year, some of this was provided to local livestock owners for supplementary feed or ways taken for local composting, while the skins and seeds (grape marc) were typically sent for further processing, where further value can be extracted such as producing tartaric acid.
In addition, says TWE, wineries, packaging centres, cellar door and office sites separate cardboard, glass, plastic and organic material for appropriate disposal, including reuse, reecycling and composting.
Closing the loop
Also this year TWE and local key supplier Orora commenced a closed loop process that involves the collection and transportation of the waste glass back to manufacturer for beneficiation and crushing to make cullet, which is then melted down and re-used in the glass manufacturing process to produce new bottles. As glass is infinitely recyclable, this process can continue forever. Oyer the year around 600 tonnes of glass was recycled through this programme.
While reducing waste, this also contributes to an increase recycled content in TWE's glass bottles and reduced energy consumption, as recycled glass is more energy efficient to use for glass bottle manufacturing.
Low carbon economy
As part of its commitment to a low carbon economy, TWE has set the goal of achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2024. This comes after the company was one of the first wineries to join the global RE100 initiative, a mission led by the non-profit organisations Climate Group and CDP, aiming to bring together international companies to build a green economy.
TWE has also set plans to use behind the meter solar and sign power purchase agreements (PPA) as strategies to reaching its goal by 2024; and to make positive long-term climate change by 2030. It has identified 70.4 per cent of its Scope 1 and 2 emissions derive from its electricity, as a result majority of its emissions can be reduced by 2024.