The carbon neutrality principle: A case study in the French spirits sector (Journal of Cleaner Production)

Sylvain Becker, Tatiana Bouzdine-Chameeva and Anicia Jaegler

ABSTRACT: According to the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, putting in place policies that support sustainable development is imperative. The carbon neutrality concept introduced in 2002 is an efficient way to manage the risks and reduce the vulnerabilities in the land and the food system. Given the pivotal role of sustainability for todays’ consumers, the low risk and high rewards of carbon neutral production could help businesses transform their entire sector. This article is among the first to show that the carbon neutrality principle offers advantages that far outweigh the costs of maintaining the status quo. The case study of a cognac producer in France suggests that prioritizing sustainable development by reducing emissions could be a beneficial solution, particularly in the high energy spirits industry. Specifically, implementing the three stages (and substages) of the carbon-neutral methodology to calculate carbon footprint, this study provides evidence that distilling 1 hL of pure alcohol produces 0.9 tons of CO2 emissions. Proposing actions to reduce emissions by 10%, and calculating the offset costs to evaluate the remaining emissions, the study also offers a practical implementation approach and discusses several potential legislative scenarios that might accelerate the transition to carbon-neutral production output.

Read the paper here on the ScienceDirect website.