And no, it's not protocol on how to drink Port properly - even if the team's fans would have totally bought into it. The Porto Protocol is an international organization whose sole objective is to find sustainable and environmentally responsible solutions for the wine industry.
How was the Porto Protocol born?
It is the result of the porto climate change summits of 2018 and 2019. At the time, the event caused a stir. Barack Obama and Al Gore had participated as speakers to discuss with scientists and people of power from all over the world, possible solutions for the world of wine, then the covid pandemic arrived and we had to find a way to continue the movement while respecting barrier gestures.
And yes, even if we love it and taste it with the greatest pleasure, wine has an impact on the environment. Biodiversity has been subjected for years to the intensive viticulture imposed on it to produce ever more instead of ever better.
Besides, that's why we constantly repeat that viticulture in France represents less than 4% of our agriculture and 20% of pesticides. Once we are aware of this reality, it is much easier to understand the extent of the changes that must be undertaken to change the situation. This is where organizations like the Porto Protocol are very important, as they allow solutions to be disseminated to individuals and companies ready to make a difference.
Did you know that the most "polluting" part of wine is the bottle ? Despite what many people think, glass recycling is neither carbon neutral nor totally effective in combating the scarcity of raw materials. In each bottle resulting from the recycling of glass, we find between 20% and 70% of new materials (depending on the color of the bottles) - we know, it's incredible but true.
So ultimately, reducing the impact of the wine we produce goes through dozens of small solutions which on their scale may seem minimal but together will make the difference. But obviously, if everyone does their own research and doesn't share their incredible finds, this whole process will take much longer than if we pool our knowledge - this is how and why the Porto Protocol was born.
What does the Porto Protocol do?
The Porto Protocol is as much a platform for sharing knowledge and learning as a catalyst for the implementation of solutions enabling a sustainable industry. It is a privileged space for all its members but also for all stakeholders in the wine industry.
As a member of the Protocol, Oé participates in finding new solutions by sharing those that already work for us. Our best example remains the locker . We are the first wine brand in France to have reinstated it nationally. At first, people were telling us that it was impossible , that the system and the industry were not ready for such a drastic change. And two years later, they have been largely proven otherwise.
Knowing that all these defeatist speeches filled with archaisms, we are far from being the only ones to hear them. All the precursors or pioneers of our world have had to face it. And yet, without them, none of us could live as we do today.
This is the role of the Porto Protocol : to organize the meeting of all the pioneers of our world so that they share their discoveries, their ideas and above all, motivate each other to seek even further.
The Porto Protocol Climate Talks
Climate Talks are one of the Protocol's preferred tools. These are webinars on very specific topics where 3 or 4 specialists will present their experiences and discuss some of the important questions around the theme. People attending the webinars can also interact with the speakers by asking them questions.
All Porto Protocol members must participate in at least one climate talk as a speaker. For us, the subject was zero waste storage and logistics. We chatted for about an hour with 3 other players in the wine bottle deposit system around the world - and it was great! Beyond learning for all members of the industry who have not yet taken the step of reuse, it was an opportunity for us to compare our solutions with those of other companies who have a goal or a vision common to ours. For all of us, it's an incredible resource to be able to talk to people from all over the world because, especially on the subject of deposit, it is vital that we standardize our system. The issue of reuse is neither local nor national. It is global, even terrestrial. Resources are not only becoming scarce in France. It's a global result of everyone's behavior, and the consequences are borne by all - #climatechange .
If you are interested in the subject, here is the replay of our Climate Talk where Lise represented Oé:
Porto Protocol Workshops
Sometimes discussing or listening to an expert is not enough, a more personal, more complete accompaniment is necessary to take the step. For example, one of the last working groups (workshop) worked on the calculation of the carbon impact of wine. Indeed, it is a very current subject which, contrary to what many think, is not a fad or a simple unimportant figure - finally if we use it correctly .
Calculating your carbon impact is valuable if you want to reduce your impact. For example, in 2022, Oé made its carbon footprint for the year 2021 . It allowed us to better understand how we impact our environment and to find the best action plan to undertake the reduction of this balance sheet. We didn't do all of this alone, we were very well supported by Sami , a French company specializing in carbon impact calculations.
Many members of the wine community do not have the privilege of being so well accompanied, this is where the Porto Protocol comes into play to have this role with the smaller players.
Solutions Articles: turnkey solutions by the Porto Protocol
As you will have understood, the Porto Protocol is a real community of people and organizations committed to a better world . We help each other, we also challenge each other. All of this obviously involves climate talks, in a more direct way (“live” one would say in English), but also through articles that anyone can submit for publication on the blog. Each article discusses a solution for the wine industry and invites readers to make their contribution by contacting the authors.
On our side, we have already written an article to explain how we reintroduced the deposit in France. And we are already starting to think about the next one! Maybe zero logistics could be a good idea right?
"So !" - As the Americans would say. We are very proud to be part of this unique group and to participate in change on a scale that is beyond us . If you are interested in all subjects that directly or indirectly relate to sustainable development and the wine industry, we invite you to take a look at their site or watch one of their Climate Talks :)