On a global scale, the agricultural sector is considered one of the main producers of the greenhouse gases (about 23% of total emissions, taking into account agricultural production as well as deforestation and other land use change) which are responsible – as widely confirmed by the world scientific community – for global warming and the so-called “Climate change”.
Specifically, is intensive agriculture that has a major impact on the environment with its broad use of chemicals (causing soil degradation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, water and air pollution and so on) with higher levels of greenhouse gases emissions in the atmosphere.
On the contrary, sustainable agriculture – and organic one in particular – is able to preserve and protect local ecosystems as well as the socio-economical fabric of the surrounding communities. Apart from a series of positive outcomes (such as preserving biodiversity, protecting soil and water resources among others), what really makes this practice valuable and efficient is the greenhouse gas (GHG) budget.
This specific instance has been thoroughly examined in a paper on Mediterranean viticulture published on JCLP, providing a quantitative analysis on all components of carbon balance:
- Biogenic carbon fluxes in the vineyard system (carbon removals or emissions linked to natural processes such as soil respiration and metabolic activities of plants),
- Anthropogenic carbon emissions caused by farming and winemaking,
- Carbon removed from plants’ biomass through the vineyard’s managing operations (pruning and harvesting of grapes) and the quota re-inserted in the vineyard system thanks to the application onto the soil of compost derived from such residues.
The model farm assessed in the paper is none other than the Trebotti organic farm. The good results obtained are a validation to the choices we made: the use of organic and sustainable practices in viticulture allows balancing out emissions and absorptions, thus reaching a perfect zero in terms of greenhouse gases and their presence (we may even look at positive numbers in cases when the amount of organic carbon stocked in soils and biomass surpasses that of what was lost during CO2 emissions).
At Trebotti organic farm we committed to become carbon neutral since the beginning, as a way to turn our production processes impact zero. Already during the first years of our enterprise we were implementing organic practices together with projects and innovations aimed to enhance our performances in terms of eco-sustainability.
Waste water produced by the cleaning of the cellar is naturally phytoremediated by plants and bacteria growing in the Biolake. All agricultural residues (marcs, stalks, pruning wastes…) become part of the in-house compost used for its soil improving, mulching and anti-erosion properties to preserve the vineyard with no chemicals involved. We employ ultra-light bottles in order to further reduce our carbon footprint (less weight means less material and less transport) and, when this is not viable, thanks to the project Gocce Zero Waste we push to have as much bottles as possible returned to the winery by our customers in exchange for a discount on future purchases.
These are only some of the projects we developed in over 15 years of activity and that allowed us to be among the first wineries to measure and certify their own carbon footprint. We first and foremost aim to preserve our hosting ecosystems, in order to guarantee healthy living conditions for the residents and a wholesome and top quality wine for the consumers.