The Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security launched in 2011 the national program VIVA with the goal of promoting sustainability in the Italian wine sector. VIVA is the only Italian public standard for measuring and improving the sustainability performance of the wine sector. The program relies on the scientific collaboration of Centro di Ricerca OPERA - European Observatory for Sustainable Agriculture of the Catholic University of Sacred Heart.
The pilot phase, ended in 2014, featured the participation of some leading Italian wineries, chosen on the basis of geographical and product criteria. Currently, more than one hundred companies join VIVA, distributed over most of the national territory, including some social wineries that in turn include hundreds of production subjects. Moreover, VIVA involves hundreds of stakeholders including companies, consultants, testing bodies, operators in the wine sector, academics, sommeliers and students. Through VIVA's training courses "for sustainability operators" , the Ministry contributes to the diffusion of professionalism in the so-called green jobs.
Joining VIVA involves the analysis of the environmental impact of both the product life cycle - from the extraction of materials to the disposal of packaging - and of the entire company production, through the use of four indicators: Air (climate footprint) , Water (water footprint), Territory (social and economic sustainability) and Vineyard (agronomic management of the vineyard). The indicators have been developed on the basis of the main international standards and norms relating to environmental footprint and the calculation methodology is described in the technical specifications, which are a theoretical and practical reference for companies that want to undertake certification process and are constantly updated.
Indicators application allows the participating companies to quantify the impacts of their wine production to elaborate reduction strategies based on results, through the identification of effective improvement actions. The results obtained, certified by an accredited third party certification body, are available to the public through the VIVA label released by the Ministry which refers, with its QR code, to a dedicated web page (virtual label), ensuring clear, uniform, complete and transparent communication to consumers.
Label for international market
During its ten years activity VIVA has achieved some important results:
- 49.836 hectares of VIVA-certified vineyards;
- 323.659.311 liters of wine produced by VIVA-certified companies;
- 4.460.509 bottles with VIVA product certification;
- more than 350 sustainability operators trained in the Courses for sustainability operators in viticulture;
- 4 regional programs that use VIVA indicators to measure the sustainability performance of companies. SOSTAIN: the Sicilian way towards sustainability; VITA – VITicoltura Armoniosa: sustainability principles of in the Piedmont wine-growing area; PROiNOS: cultivating sustainability in Veneto; SUSTAINABLE VITICULTURE: Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
The VIVA sustainability process summarized in seven points:
- Expression of interest by companies and application for membership
- Signature of a Voluntary Agreement with the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security
- Calculation of indicators and elaboration of Study reports, Improvement plans and External Communication reports, in accordance with Technical Specification 2.1
- Certification by an accredited third-party certification body in accordance with the Verification Specifications 2.1
- Electronic send to the Ministry of the documentation necessary to issue the VIVA label
- Endorsement by the Ministry of the entire procedure and automatic generation of labels
- After 2 years, update of calculations and send to the Ministry of evidence demonstrating implementation of Improvement plans.
The Ministry will provide its institutional collaboration along all the VIVA certification process by monitoring and coordinating companies’ activities both in terms of indicator analysis and solutions for the improvement of their sustainability performance.
|For info and updates on the VIVA Program, please visit http://www.viticolturasostenibile.org/|