Distributing wine globally: financial and environmental trade-offs

Mohsen Varsei, Katherine Christ, Roger Burritt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Given that currently around ten billion litres of wine are transported long distances to overseas consumers per year, the purpose of this paper is to provide a foundation for understanding the trade-offs between cost, water usage and carbon emissions in decisions about the location of wine bottling plants in a global supply chain. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a case-based analytical modelling study and employs actual data from one of Australia’s major wine companies. A descriptive analytical model is developed for assessing wine supply chain scenarios using three indicators of economic and environmental impacts – supply chain cost, risk-weighted water usage and carbon emissions. Findings: The research highlights trade-offs required when considering optimal supply chain design, and finds possibilities for reshaping a global wine supply chain in order to improve the selected economic and environmental impacts. Originality/value: The originality of this paper lies in its analytical focus on examining the interplay between supply chain cost, risk-weighted water usage and carbon emissions in a global supply chain, which has not previously been addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-428
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Case study
  • Economic and environmental trade-offs
  • Global supply chain
  • Location decision
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Water risk
  • Wine industry


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