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August 17, 2008

Volute's low carbon footprint

A carbon footprint is a representation of the effect human activities have on the climate in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.


But is it relevant? Al Gore illustrates how greenhouse gases affect our environment by explaining that although Earth and Venus are almost exactly the same size and have almost exactly the same amount of carbon, the average temperature on Earth is a pleasant 59 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the average temperature on Venus is a scorching 867 degrees Fahrenheit. While one might attribute this temperature difference to the planets’ closeness to the Sun (Venus being closer), the fault is not in our star; Venus is also three times hotter on average than Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.


The explanation is simple. The difference in the two planets is that most of the carbon on Earth is in the ground and most of the carbon on Venus is in the atmosphere. A fate the Earth is fast steering towards.


Since a Carbon Footprint is directly related to the amount of natural resources consumed it is being increasingly used as a measure of environmental impact. Carbon dioxide is recognized as a greenhouse gas, of which increasing levels in the atmosphere are responsible for global warming and climate change.


The Volute bottles have a lower carbon footprint than their glass counterparts. The Volute bottles are made of aluminum, which is recycled at a rate of over 50% in the US (and over 90% in Sweden) vs. 20% for glass. The main reason for this is due to weight: for the same volume of wine, the volute bottles weight 4 times less than glass bottles, and transporting glass bottles for recycling often costs and pollutes more than producing it from raw materials.


Producing a Volute bottle from recycled aluminum requires about 90% less raw materials, 50% less water and pollutes 50% less air.


Then comes the transportation. Due to its lower weight, importing Volute wine generates 30% less CO2 than the same volume of wine in glass bottles.


Amine, Volute co-founder

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Comments

flirting tips

This is all so silly. Who really cares, I mean honestly. Not even our great great grandchildren will be alive by the time the bad effects of this nonsense take place...so live and rock out!

Napa Wine Tour Guide

This is cool and more should adopt this! Happy New Year!

Wine

Very interesting information. I didn't know that.Thanks

Wine eBook

What is the special lining made of?

Amine - Volute Wine

In response to Mike Duffy:
Although aluminum is not very sensitive to oxidation, the bottles have a special lining that prevents direct contact of aluminum with the wine.
Our wine is not meant to be aged, and we recommend consumption within 12 months for the freshest taste. This is not unlike wine using closure other than cork.

Mike Duffy

How do you keep the aluminum from interacting with the wine? How long do you expect the wine to keep in this sort of container?

Amine - Volute Wine

In response to Jason:

We happen to have all our contacts in the wine industry in France, and our oenologist lives there, thus explaining our choice of Bordeaux wine. We love California wine however, and might introduce a variety from there at some stage.

Although local products are best, not every state can produce wine as you know. Our product will be distributed on the entire US territory, and consider this: cargo shipping through water is significantly more efficient, in terms of carbon emissions, than truck shipments. As a matter of fact, shipping wine from France to New York by sea results in about 4 times less emissions of CO2 than shipping wine from California to New York by truck. See (1) for data and sources.

Cargo shipments by sea make stops in New york, Chicago, Louisiana, LA and Oakland, which will help optimize our distribution and not rely entirely on truck shipments from one point.

Regarding the single-serve bottle, there are many consumers that want to enjoy one or two glasses of wine, and not worry about waste. A larger bottle would only be marginally more efficient as the difference in weight is small. Our product to packaging ratio is 78% to 22% vs. 87% to 13% for a 750 ml aluminum bottle, and an average of 58% to 42% for glass bottles.

Lastly, the sources for our claims regarding the pollution is based on the Wuppertal Institute's "MIPS" Material Intensity Analysis method. See (2) for sources and calculations.

We appreciate your questions as they help us further clarify our claims, and that is important in an era of greenwashing.

Amine - Volute Wine


(1) Source: Network for Transport and the Environment (NTM) - http://www.ntm.a.se/english/eng-index.asp

Data: Truck emissions = 102 g CO2e / tkm vs. Sea vessels = 17 g CO2e / tkm.
Distance from France to New York = 6,000 to 7,000km by sea and from California to New York = 4,600 km

(2) Source: Wuppertal Institute - http://www.wupperinst.org/en/home/index.html

Data: Air Material Intensity Factors for glass: 0.716 g/g and for recycled aluminum: 0.948 g/g. Weight of 4 empty bottles of Volute Wine (750ml total): 200g. Weight of 1 empty glass bottle of wine (750ml): 550g on average.

--> Air MIPS for aluminum = 190g and Air MIPS for glass = 394g

Jason

If you are serious about a "low carbon footprint" wine, then why do ship wine from France to sell in California? What's wrong with Californian wine?

Why package your wine in single-servings instead of a more efficient, larger container? (Do you honestly expect your customers to only drink a single glass of wine, alone?)

Also, do you have any sources for your claim that your aluminum bottles create half of the air pollution of glass bottles?

olivier

is the carbon footprint less importante than with glass bottle ?

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