Between 2008 and 2009 Banfi, jointly with several glassmaking partners, carried out an interesting study on the use and consequent cost saving of lightweight bottles.
Applied to one million bottles, this data explains entirely how every small step towards the use of lighter bottles has a positive and perfectly computable impact on the health of the planet and its inhabitants.
The use of a 400 g-Bordeaux bottle vs. a 570 g-bottle leads to considerable environmental benefits. Our glassmakers estimate an energy consumption per kg of produced glass between 12 and 15 MJ (Mega Joule), mainly depending on the percentage of recycled glass.
Adding energy costs for transportation and disposal, we can consider an average total energy consumption of 15 MJ per kg of produced glass, equivalent to the emission of approximately 2.7 kg of CO2.
With a lighter bottle, the energy saving is more than substantial:
Saving=(570 – 400) x 15/1000= 2,55MJ, which corresponds to 459 g of CO2 saved for each bottle that is produced.
Furthermore, each light bottle saves 200 g of virgin raw materials that, together with a reduced release into the atmosphere of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions, responsible for acid rain and GWP (Global Warming Potential) or greenhouse effect.
Given that an automobile generates 200 g of CO2 per km, the first million lightweight bottles produced would equate to 2,3 million (459/200 x 1.000.000) saved kilometers, the same amount of emissions produced by one hundred automobiles covering each 23,000 kilometers. Alternatively, the equivalent of the annual consumption of one hundred mountain cabins of 100 m2.
Or also, considering that the domestic consumption of electric energy produced from primary sources generates approximately 750 kg of CO2 per inhabitant per year, one million of light bottles produced equate to the annual consumption of 600 inhabitants.
From studies to facts, Banfi uses lighter weight bottles for almost its entire production (with the exception of the bottles for long-aging wines), equal to approximately 30% vs. the previously used bottles and, thus, with a greater attention to the environment.
Since 2009, Banfi has gone from the use of 570 g-bottles to lightweight bottles of 400 g and, as of the second half of 2014, the weight was further reduced to 360 g. From 2009 to date, we have used in total over thirty million five hundred thousand lightweight bottles, and from the second half of 2014, we have used six million bottles weighing 360 g.
The achieved environmental benefits can be summarized in savings of raw materials amounting to 6,340 tons (6,340,000 kilograms), with savings of energy equivalent to 6,340,000Kgx15MJ/kg = 95,100,000MJ (equal to 26,416,666 KWh). Consequently, the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) decreased. The total carbon dioxide emitted on the total production energy of 0.32678g /kWh (source ISPRA 2013) can be measured, for accuracy, in minor emissions of about 8,700,000 kg.