In Alko’s assortment the Green Choice symbols in product markings speak about the commitment of drink producers in environmental and sustainable development. There are seven Green Choice symbols:
- Carbon Neutral
- Environmentally Responsible Packaging
- Natural wine
- Sustainability Certificate and
Biodynamic farming is in many ways comparable to organic farming, as it has the same benefits for the environment. The largest difference is the use of biodynamic products, which are seen to be of help in pest control and vine growth. Biodynamic farming also follows a strict natural rhythm that is based on the Earth’s movements, seasonal changes, the lunar orbit and circadian rhythm.
Demeter certification is the most common global certificate for biodynamically farmed products. All of the biodynamic products in Alko’s selection also have organic certification.
Carbon dioxide emissions from the farming of the ingredients, production, packaging and logistics between these phases have been calculated, emissions have been verifiably reduced and the remaining emissions have been compensated.
In Alko's assortment, products with one of the following carbon neutrality certificates are marked with the Carbon Neutral symbol:
- Carbon Footprint
- Carbon Proof
- Carbon Reduction Institute | NoCO2
- Carbon Trust | Carbon neutral certification
- Climate Active
- ClimatePartner | Climate neutral
- CO2logic | CO2-Neutral
- DNV GL | Garbon Neutrality Protocol
- Fair’n Green | Save the Climate Initiative
- Gaia Consulting | Carbon Neutral
- Natural Capital Partners | CarbonNeutral
- SCS Global Services | Carbon Neutral
- Toitū (ex. CarboNZero)
Environmentally responsible packaging
Packaging material plays a major role in a beverage’s environmental impact.
Products carrying the environmentally responsible packaging symbol:
- Brewery products: 0.33-litre packages weighing maximum 220 g and 0.5-litre glass bottles weighing maximum 300 g.
- Wines: 0.75-litre glass bottles weighing maximum 420 g.
- Sparkling wines: 0.75-litre glass bottles weighing maximum 835 g.
- Spirits: 0.7-litre glass bottles weighing maximum 450 g.
- Environmentally certified packaging: For example, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) markings on cardboard used for beverage cartons, the Nordic Ecolabel on a package, or a certificate of the use of recycled PET plastic (such as the Global Recycled Standard, Recycled Content Certification and IPPC PLUS) indicate the producer’s commitment to sustainable development.
Generally speaking, the lighter the packaging, the smaller its environmental impact. Examples of good packaging from the climate perspective include plastic bottles and cartons. These packaging is marked with the Environementally responsible packaging symbol only if packaging material is environmentally certified or origin-certified recycled material. Read more about the environmental impacts of packaging.
Natural wines are produced using natural methods and naturally grown ingredients without the use of synthetic chemicals. For example, no synthetic pesticides are used at all. Wine production does not usually use any chemicals either, as natural wines are not clarified, filtered or stabilised. Sulphites (sulphur compounds) are the most common preservative used in wines. Natural wines are either sulphite-free or lower in sulphites than regular wines. Read more about additives or contaminants in alcoholic beverages.
Natural wines are growing in popularity both in Finland and abroad. Consumers are showing greater interest in both production methods and the ingredients and additives used in alcoholic beverages.
There is no common regulation or certification governing natural wines in Europe. However, as of 2020, France has been labelling natural wines as "Vin méthode nature". Alko’s selection of natural wines has been labelled on the basis of the producer’s own declaration.
Organic production seeks to make farmland more fertile and increase biodiversity. In organic production, farmland is better able to bind the carbon dioxide in the air, which also helps to control climate change.
One of the criteria for organic wines is that products must be low in sulphites (that is, sulphur compounds), which are used as preservatives. Organic products also contain lower quantities of contaminants. However, this does not mean that a product carrying the Organic symbol contains no additives or contaminants at all. Read more about additives or contaminants in alcoholic beverages.
The principles of organic cultivation and certification are:
- To maintain the soil’s natural fertility and biodiversity.
- Organic production does not use synthetic chemicals, although natural pesticides are permitted.
- The detergents used at all stages of production must be approved by the EU.
Sustainability Certification indicates that measures have been taken to promote sustainable development during beverage production. The symbol compiles certificates issued internationally or in the country of origin, which account for the principles of sustainable development in both the farming of ingredients and beverage production. The certification criteria differ. However, typical measures in wine cultivation and production include using renewable energy and reducing water and energy consumption.
In Alko's assortment, products with one of the following certificate are marked with the Sustainability Certificate symbol:
- B Corporation (international)
- Bodegas de Argentina Sustainability Protocol (Argentina)
- Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (California)
- Certified Sustainable Austria (Austria)
- Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile (Chile)
- Equalitas (Italy)
- FairChoice (Germany)
- Fair’n Green (international)
- Haute Valeur Environnementale (France)
- Integrity and Sustainability Certified (South Africa)
- Sustainability In Practice SIP Certified (California)
- Sustainable Winegrowing Australia/Freshcare (Australia)
- Sustainable Winegrowing NZ (New Zealand)
- Sustainable Winegrowing (Vignerons en Développement Durable) (France)
- Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (Great Britain)
- Terra Vitis (France)
- Wineries for Climate Protection (WfCP) (Spain)
- VIVA Sustainability in Italian Wine Sector (Italy)
Vegan beverages contain no animal-based ingredients, and no animal-based components or materials are used in their production. For example, standard wine production may use gelatin, egg, isinglass or casein (animal-based protein) in the clarification process. Read more about vegan wines.
There are no internationally controlled standards or certificates for vegan products. Alko’s selection of vegan products has been labelled on the basis of the producer’s own declaration.
How do I find Green Choice products?
In Alko stores, Green Choice symbols can be found on product price tags. Green Choice products usually have price tags with a green shelf note. In addition, the price tags for organic products often display a separate "Organic" shelf note.
In the online shop, Green Choice symbols can be found on each product’s product card. You can also search for Green Choice products using the filters available in the "Green & ethical" tab in the online store.