Green Choice symbols provide information about the environmental friendliness of the beverage

In Alko’s assortment the Green Choice symbols in product markings speak about the commitment of drinks producers in environmental and sustainable development. Are you familiar with the Green Choice symbols?

There are six Green Choice symbols:

Biodynamic

Biodynaaminen symboli

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.

Browse biodynamic products

Environmentally responsible packaging

Kevyempi lasipullo symboli

Packaging material plays a major role in a beverage’s environmental impact. Generally speaking, the lighter the packaging, the smaller its environmental impact. Read more about the environmental impacts of packaging.

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 the Nordic Ecolabel for packaging or the FSC mark (Forest Stewardship Council) for packaging cardboard confirm the manufacturer’s commitment to sustainable development. E.g. in order to earn the Nordic Ecolabel certification the packaging must be made of 80 per cent recycled or biodegradable raw material.

Examples of good packaging from the climate perspective include cartons and wine bags, as they are lightweight and have a small carbon footprint. They are easy to find in Alko’s selection and are not therefore separately labelled as environmentally friendly packaging.

Browse products with environmentally responsible packaging

Local sustainability certificate

Paikallinen ekosertifiointi symboli

These certificates are issued in a product’s country of origin and indicate that measures have been taken to promote sustainable development during beverage production. The requirements for local certification vary to some extent by country. However, typical measures in wine cultivation and production include using renewable energy and reducing water and energy consumption. No requirements for such measures are made in, for example, organic production.

Alko has defined the following criteria for labelling wines as having local sustainable development certification:

  • Certification covers wine cultivation and production at the production facility. At least 50 per cent of certification requirements must relate to environmental aspects.
  • Certification is country- or state-specific. Any certificates covering smaller geographical areas have not been included.
  • Any beverage producer must freely be able to apply for certification.
  • Compliance must be supervised through inspections carried out by an external auditor.
  • Product- and producer-specific certification are clearly distinguished, and both have their own requirements.
  • The certificate must be visible on product packaging.

Alko’s selection of products with local sustainable development certification:

Browse locally sustainability certified products

Natural wine

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.

Browse natural wines

Organic

Luomu symboli

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.

The organic symbol covers several international organic certificates. Organic certification is, however, granted by each country’s national organisation.

Browse organic products

Vegan

Vegaaninen symboli

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.

Browse vegan products