Can Italian wines outperform European benchmarks in environmental impact? An examination through the product environmental footprint method

Elisa Frasnetti, Pieter Ravaglia, Daniele D'Ammaro, Ettore Capri, Lucrezia Lamastra*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Nowadays, there is a pressing demand for precise tools to quantify sustainability and assess the contributions of products and processes to sustainable development. This requirement extends to the wine industry as well. In 2013, the European Commission introduced the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), providing a standardized methodology grounded in life cycle thinking for evaluating the environmental impacts of products across various industries. Despite its potential and the availability of specific guidelines for wine, the application of PEF remains unexplored in the sector. This study contributes to the knowledge by applying PEF to assess environmental impacts of Italian still and sparkling wines production, identifying variations from European benchmarks. Additionally, it aims to pinpoint pivotal hotspots and provide guidance for effective mitigation strategies. Average data from 27 wines certified as sustainable under Italian VIVA program, were collected and used to perform a life cycle assessment in accordance with PEF protocol. Results revealed that Italian still wines exhibited a greater environmental impact than the European reference value, while sparkling wines displayed a slightly more favourable environmental performance compared to the European average. Notably, specific impact categories remained consistent across different wines and countries, with climate change, resource utilization, land use, and particulate matter harmful for human health accounting for nearly 80 % of the overall environmental footprint. Hotspot analysis identified the plantation/destruction of vines, energy usage in the winery, and packaging as significant factors influencing the environmental footprint of Italian wines. Addressing these elements could enhance the environmental competitiveness of the Italian wine sector relative to its European counterparts. However, to validate these findings, further studies are necessary, both within Italy and in other European wine-producing regions. Such research initiatives will improve and strengthen PEF methodology, bolstering its adoption as the primary tool for environmental impact assessment of wine at the community level.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaScience of the Total Environment
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2024


  • Environmental assessment
  • LCA
  • Sustainability
  • Still wine
  • Sparkling wine


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