A multi-criteria approach to evaluate the sustainability performances of wines: the Italian red wine case study

Daniele D'Ammaro, Ettore Capri, Lucrezia Lamastra, Fiamma Valentino, Stefania Grillo, Emanuela Fiorini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wine industry has faced two significant environmental problems in recent years: productivity is challenged by environmental trends such as global warming, and buyers are becoming more environmentally conscious. From an environmental standpoint, the food industry is one of the most impacting sectors and wine results as one of the most studied agri-food products in the scientific literature. In general, comprehensive studies that consider an application of set of indicators to evaluate the overall sustainability of wine sector are lacking in literature. This paper aims to carry out a sustainable assessment using different indicators for fifteen Italian red wines: Water Footprint (WF), Carbon Footprint (CF), Vineyard Indicator (VI), and Territory Indicator (TI). VI is an indicator of the vineyard's agronomic management's sustainability at plot level with values ranging from 0 (fully sustainable) to 1 (fully not sustainable), while TI covers the socio-economical aspects of sustainability. Considering system boundaries from cradle to grave, at 90% confidence interval, CF results ranged between 0.97 kg CO2 eq./functional unit and 1.97 kg CO2 eq./functional unit, with an average estimated at 1.47 kg CO2 eq./functional unit, while the WF of a 0.75 L bottle of wine from cradle to gate is 666.7 L/functional unit on average, out of which 86.75% is green, 1.92% is blue and 11.34% is grey water. Concerning the VI, at 90% confidence interval VI results were between 0.117 and 0.498 with an average estimated at 0.307. The results of the correlation analyses confirmed that each indicator is not statistically correlated with each other. Concerning the sub-indicators, a positive correlation has been found between the total CF and the sum of blue and grey WF. The application of a multi-criteria analysis for sustainability performances evaluation of the wine sector presented in this study can be used by wine companies' experts to better assess sustainability performances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Carbon footprint
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Wine
  • Vineyard sustainability
  • Water footprint
  • Monte Carlo simulation


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