The schooner Avontuur, which set sail from La Rochelle on 6 August, is due to reach the port of Montreal (Canada) in early October. This opens up the possibility of green sea transportation between Europe and North America, which could become the very first oil-free transatlantic trade route since for the overland transport, the goods will be carried by electric or natural gas vehicles and by rail.
The Comité Champagne has teamed up with the Canadian logistics company Portfranc, the brains behind this project, to include a cargo of Champagne as part of this voyage in a unique opportunity to trial a more environmentally-friendly mode of transport for its exports beyond Europe.
Ever since the 1980s, the entire Champagne sector has been involved in efforts to implement solutions to protect the environment. In 2003, Champagne was the world’s first winegrowing region to calculate its carbon footprint and launch a plan built around a number of action areas (sustainable viticulture, transport and freight, energy efficiency in buildings and responsible purchasing) designed to deliver particularly innovative solutions, including a 7% reduction in the weight of a bottle of Champagne.
In just 10 years, Champagne has succeeded in reducing its carbon emissions by 15% for every bottle dispatched; however, the region is determined to maintain these efforts with a new roadmap setting an interim goal of a 25% reduction by 2025 and a long-term goal of 75% by 2050.
Freight transport currently represents 10% of the Champagne sector's total carbon footprint. Maritime freight accounts for a very high proportion of Champagne shipments outside Europe (43% of exports) and despite this being a very economic mode of transport in terms of CO2 emissions compared with air transport, it could do even better if green transportation became more widely available.
This experiment offers an opportunity to analyse the potential of an environmental, sustainable logistics supply chain, which would help to reduce the Champagne sector’s carbon footprint still further.
Press office - Comité Champagne