In September I will have worked for Bevica, and with the wine industry, for two years. However, with all the lockdowns and COVID restrictions we have all experienced since March 2020, I hadn’t had the pleasure of attending the London Wine Fair (LWF). Therefore, I was very excited yesterday when I got to go along to the opening day of the London Wine Fair 2022 at Olympia, London.

This year the Bevica team is very proud to be playing a part in both the live and digital events which make up LWF2022. Working in partnership with the Drinks Business, we have not only got a presence on their stand but are also the main sponsor of the Drinks Business Awards.

Bevica participation in the LWF Masterclass programme

Another key part of our LWF presence is our participation in the LWF Masterclass programme. So, one of my “key jobs” yesterday to give “moral support” to Ben Marriott who was speaking on a panel in the LWF’s Discovery Zone. And, by that, I mean send out social media posts, make notes for this blog, and keep an eye on his bag!

The topic of the panel was Meeting the challenges of the Net Zero Journey and it was a very interesting discussion on the challenges that the UK wine industry face in trying to achieve a carbon free future.

It was clear from the panel discussion that there are many different approaches within the UK wine industry to achieving the “Net Zero” goal. Some businesses, such as Hallgarten & Novum (a Bevica client), have started their journey by tackling the low-hanging fruit such as making their office more environmentally friendly and achieving ISO14001 certification while working towards the goal of becoming carbon neutral. Meanwhile, others, such as the Lanchester Group have made their desire to be Carbon Minus (meaning they produce more energy than they use) one of the driving forces within their business. To achieve this, they have introduced a range of renewable energy-producing initiatives (including wind turbines and solar panels) at their bottling facility in County Durham.

Other key points made during the session include:

  • The industry is looking for a “common currency” which will allow wine companies to quantify their net zero journey in a consistent and universally understandable way.
  • Carbon offset initiatives (such as tree planting or buying carbon credits) are important but they won’t achieve the 43% reduction in global greenhouse emissions that the IPCC says we need by 2030 to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The wine industry needs to aim for greater carbon reduction.
  • A move towards alternative types of packaging is key to the wine industry’s carbon reduction agenda. There is a range of “alternative formats” – including kegs, cans, and returnable bottles – and there is definitely something for everyone.
  • Shipping and distribution also make up a large part of the wine industry’s emissions, but tackling this is part of a wider issue. However, a move to lighter packaging could have a big effect on emissions.
  • The panel, and the audience, had a difference of opinion on who was the blocker in the move to alternative types of packaging. Some felt that there was consumer resistance to alternative packaging while others felt it was the industry who were opposed to change. What everyone could agree on was that people’s perceptions, whether they were a consumer or in the trade, of the alternative formats needed to change.

The role of technology in the Net Zero Journey

An important question asked during the discussion was what role technology can play in achieving the Net Zero goal. Ben made the point that technological solutions, such as Bevica, cannot be the great panacea for the wine industry’s carbon ailments. Rather, technology needs to be seen as a way to support the industry’s carbon reduction activities.

One way Bevica can help wine businesses is through its powerful reporting and data management capabilities. Easy access to real-time data insights will enable wine businesses to make quick and informed decisions on how best to achieve their carbon reduction activities. This can be identifying the areas to focus efforts; such as changes to packaging or freight methods for which products could have the biggest effect, or being efficient in transporting goods through more efficient planning.

Ben also highlighted the fact that Microsoft Azure, the platform which Business Central and Bevica SaaS run on, aims to be 100% renewable energy by 2025. Although this won’t have the biggest impact, compared to packaging, it reinforces the point that businesses, not only those in the wine industry, need to look at all aspects of their operations in their journey to carbon net zero.

Speakers on the panel were:

  • Andrew Bewes, Hallgarten & Novum (a Bevica client)
  • Andrew Catchpole, Harpers Wine & Spirit (the facilitator)
  • Andrew Wilson, WineBox Company
  • Ben Marriott, Bevica
  • Mark Roberts, Lanchester Group
  • Muriel Chatel, Sustainable Wine Solutions
  • Oliver Lea, WTAF (Wine Trade for Alternative Formats)

by Alex Williams, Marketing Campaign Executive

About Bevica

Developed over the last 20 years and powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Bevica is a powerful best practice ERP software solution that has been designed specifically for the drinks industry. For more information about Bevica and how it can help your business, click here.