Helping the Environment


Vintage Roots Ltd exists to supply and promote the benefits of organic wines and its other organic drinks ranges. Since 1986 we have traded solely in wines that we believe are of the highest authentic quality, originating from low impact producers that actively sustain and enrich their environments.

We recognise that in the very running of our business, we have some adverse impacts on the environment, and that we too must be responsible for reducing our impact.

Vintage Roots Ltd maintains an office and warehouse, and employs around fifteen staff. We run four delivery vehicles, a fork lift and use packaging and supplies as well as needing to travel both within the UK and internationally. We are responsible for the importation of a range of wines from around the world.


  • Continue to trade solely with certified organic suppliers, and encourage sound environmental performance across their products, goods and services.
  • Develop our offering of Fair Trade organic wines & beverages.
  • Where possible use other ethical and green suppliers for all our business needs, from ‘banking’ to ‘boiling the kettle’.
  • Minimise our carbon footprint and offset the rest.
  • Maintain Vintage Roots Ltd as a carbon neutral company with a DEFRA recognised supplier
  • Offset carbon emissions against all our wine imports worldwide using accredited schemes, where possible in developing countries.
  • Raise awareness of environmental issues among our team, and guide and encourage them to pursue best practice.
  • Employ sound waste management practises, including compliance with the requirements of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) regulations. All cardboard, paper, and glass is segregated and sent for recycling.
  • Use Greenhouse Graphics for all our print and fulfilment services, who specialise in sustainable printing and are one of only a handful print centres in the UK that are EMAS accredited. This internationally recognised accreditation is widely regarded as the ultimate environmental accrediation for businesses and organisations
  • Regularly review and look to continually improve our environmental performance.


  • Upgrade our vans and investigate Biodiesel opportunity
  • Save electricity – use review services of Carbon Clear or an independent environmental auditor.
  • Increase and improve on our 84% recycling rates, which are already nearly twice that of the national average.
  • Sell more organic wine!

– our 100% renewable energy supplier.

– our approved Carbon advisor and offset company.

– Carbon Offset – Vine to Lips.


In our market sector, we’ve recently heard increasing talk and concern over ‘wine miles’ – i.e. how far a wine travels from producer to consumer and its associated affect on the environment. Though this is hugely relevant for unnecessary foods that get flown in from around the world, we have often considered that the impact for wine (which always travels by either road or sea) could not be a simple case of distance comparison. Hence a few months ago ‘Vintage Roots’ commissioned a study to reveal the true carbon footprint of all its wine imports, using a specialist leading carbon company called Carbon Clear. The results were very interesting and show that a longer distance travelled by ship is not as damaging as lots of shorter trips by lorry or truck. Buying a bottle of wine shipped from Australia or South Africa, for example, can carry a lesser carbon footprint than for a wine driven from Southern Italy by truck.


Carbon offsetting is a way of compensating for the emissions produced with an equivalent carbon saving. We only offset those elements we can’t actively control or aren’t able yet to reduce, but follow the general principle of reducing where we can and actively encouraging suppliers to do the same. It’s worth remembering that wines produced organically, generally only carry about half the eco-footprint of many conventionally produced wines. Carbon offsetting involves calculating emissions and then purchasing ‘credits’ from emission reduction projects. Carbon offsetting is NOT a cure for climate change, however we believe that it helps raise awareness of the issues and doing something is always better than doing nothing. Offsetting money will go towards projects (not only tree planting), that help by providing investment in clean technology and local projects often in developing countries that immediately reduce emissions as well as improve lives.

Vintage Roots Ltd has taken the decision to offset against all its wine imports (UK to UK included). We believe we are the first wine company in the UK committed to doing this long term, and have done so now for more than 5 years. Our funds currently go to supporting a project in Turkey.


Cakit Run-of-river hydro power project, Turkey Reduces emissions by producing renewable energy from flowing water, which displaces fossil fuel generated electicity on the grid

  • The project supports a range of social and environmental benefits including reforestation, the creation of 13 jobs and environmental awareness campaigns in schools
  • The project is the first hydropower and the first Turkish project to receive Social Carbon Certification


When we say ‘Carbon Offset – Vine to Lips’ we mean that the journey of the wine from the vineyard once bottled all the way to our distribution warehouse here in the UK. It does not relate to the wine itself, or each individual ‘journey’ a bottle may take around the UK or elsewhere before you, our customer decides to drink and enjoy it. It could never be that accurate, but we believe doing what we do covers most of it, and is worthwhile.

Vintage Roots - Carbon Offset Proposal

Carbon Clear proposal for Vintage Roots. Emissions offset estimates based on data provided by Vintage Roots relating to importation of a case of 12 bottles of wine.

Country Distance Travelled Kilograms of CO2 Carbon Cost
Argentina 13,080 km 6.105 £0.039
Australia 20,455 km 3.465 £0.022
Austria – Road Only 1,600 km 1.697 £0.011
Chile 15,180 km 2.805 £0.018
England – Road Only 250 km 0.265 £0.002
France – Toulouse Region 825 km 0.87 £0.006
Germany-Southern region 752 km 0.797 £0.005
Greece 5,230 km 1.155 £0.007
Italy (Veneto)Road Only 950 km 1.007 £0.006
New Zealand 25,280 km 5.445 £0.035
Portugal 2,139 km 2.268 £0.014
Sicily 2,950 km 3.128 £0.020
South Africa 12,030 km 1.98 £0.013
Spain (Catalonia & Rioja) Road Only 980 km 1.039 £0.007
USA 18,030 3.465 £0.022

* Based on DEFRA published numbers for a Large Bulk Carrier ship and a 100% laden articulated lorry

How its worked out

Working with Carbon Clear, we have calculated the distances that our wines have to travel, and have used published emissions calculation numbers to show the carbon footprint of each journey. Some transportation methods are more efficient than others. For example, moving one tonne of cargo by large ship results in 8 times less carbon emissions than moving a tonne by truck. *

From Carbon Clear

Carbon Clear are proud to be helping Vintage Roots to continue their track record of excellent environmental performance. They are taking reduction of their internal emissions seriously, and are offsetting the unavoidable emissions by sourcing offset credits from developing countries. This adds to their long-term commitment to working with wine makers who are stewards of their local environment.

Mark Chadwick, CEO, Carbon Clear Limited

For further information please contact:
Vintage Roots Ltd
0118 932 6566
Neil Palmer

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