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Open Access 05.06.2024 | Review Paper

Wine waste valorisation: crushing the research domain

verfasst von: Stefano Abbate, Piera Centobelli, Maria Di Gregorio

Erschienen in: Review of Managerial Science

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Abstract

In the past few years, the wine industry has shown an increasing interest in sustainability issues. There is growing agreement that circular economy solutions are essential for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Implementing circular economy strategies can enhance the environmental and economic sustainability of wine production processes. In this context, waste valorisation and industrial symbiosis are widely discussed circular economy strategies. However, there is a gap between theory and actual practical implementation. The present paper uncovers the state of the art in the field of research by conducting a systematic literature review on a sample of 67 scientific papers, further including grey literature to obtain a more comprehensive overview of the phenomenon under investigation. The results of this study highlight the urgent need for the industry and the scientific community to investigate sustainable and profitable alternatives for wine waste valorisation. The tight ties between academia and business may support the wine industry in addressing this shift. Finally, this study proposes a research agenda for future studies. This includes sustainable practices for valorising raw materials at their maximum potential and the reduction of waste stream disposal. In order to implement circular strategies, including the recovery and recycling of valuable waste, modern wineries should implement technical, managerial, and valorisation strategies.
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1 Introduction

Nowadays, sustainable agriculture is a basic requirement for the sustainable development and long-term profitability of any farm (Trigo et al. 2023). Sustainable development, in fact, has become a fundamental pillar for societal progress (Castillo-Díaz et al. 2023). Therefore, enhancing sustainability throughout the food supply chain is imperative for today’s agri-food industry (Corallo et al. 2023). Also, the paradigm of sustainable development in agriculture maintains its significance as a resilient approach that all countries, industries, and ecosystems depend on to mitigate the environmental impact of their processes (Babkin et al. 2023).
Against this backdrop, implementing circular economy solutions provides a comprehensive framework to address these issues holistically. By integrating economic, environmental, and social considerations, circular economy practices offer a pathway towards a more sustainable and resilient future, aligning with the global agenda set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Matrapazi and Zabaniotou 2020). The growing consensus surrounding the importance of circular economy solutions stems from their recognised role in achieving the UN SDGs by the 2030 deadline. The circularity of resources appears to be one of the strategies for addressing environmental protection. Indeed, approaching the agri-food industry with a circular and non-linear mindset leads to reduced resource waste and greater economic savings (Dora et al. 2021). Circular economy approaches emphasise the concept of closing the loop and minimise waste by promoting resource efficiency, sustainable production, and consumption patterns (Ezeudu et al. 2021). Waste valorisation and closed loop supply chains are essential elements of the industrial symbiosis, wherein the objective is to use waste from one sector as an input for other sectors (Mirabella et al. 2014).
In many countries, the wine industry is one of the most analysed agri-food systems from the environmental sustainability perspective because of its importance to primary economic production and international trade. The wine industry is strongly associated with environmental sustainability because it develops soil that supports a diverse range of plant life and its reliance on temperature changes. It also has several adverse effects on the environment, such as the creation of waste and wastewater, the use of pesticides, land use, energy, and pesticides, as well as the carbon footprint of transportation (Ferrer et al. 2022).
The environmental aspects of a given farm, as well as the practices of the grape growers and wineries, impact the quality of the wine (Jano and Hueth 2023). By addressing these barriers and fostering a culture of sustainability, the wine industry can make significant strides towards more widespread implementation of circular practices. The wine industry can benefit significantly from the close relationship between academia and industry, which can aid in enhancing and implementing circular processes and practices. In recent times, there has been an increased interest in sustainability among scientists, politicians, and winemakers (Montalvo-Falcón et al. 2023).
The wine industry is one of the primary industries within the agri-food sector that generates significant earnings on a global scale (Laca et al. 2021). The 2023 International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) report, which focuses on the 2022 yearly scenario, world wine production in 2022 is estimated at 258 million hectoliters. Specifically, Italy (49.8 million hectoliters), France (45.6 million hectoliters) and Spain (35.7 million hectoliters), account for 51% of world wine production in 2022. In many regions of the world, viticulture and winemaking represent a significant cultural legacy on both an economic and social level. However, viticulture and winemaking influence the environment as any other economic activity (Viveros Santos et al. 2023). In fact, the wine industry is gradually transitioning to more sustainable production methods (Casson et al. 2022). Although there is a lot of discussion about sustainability in the wine industry, there needs to be more actual application of these sustainable techniques. Different factors contribute to the gap between theory and practice. First, sustainability initiatives often require substantial investments in terms of time, resources, and technology. Some winemakers, particularly smaller producers, may need help adopting sustainable practices due to financial constraints or lack of knowledge about available solutions. Second, the wine industry operates within a supply chain involving multiple stakeholders, including grape growers, wineries, distributors, and retailers. Coordinating sustainable practices across the entire supply chain can be challenging, as it requires collaboration, communication, and alignment of goals and priorities. Changing agricultural practices necessitates an understanding of available technologies and their implementation. This underscores the critical role of agricultural extension in disseminating new information to farmers and supporting the transition to more sustainable production systems (Balaine et al. 2023). To bridge the gap between theory and practice, it is crucial to offer support and resources to winemakers, promote knowledge sharing and collaboration within the industry, and raise awareness among consumers about the importance of supporting sustainable wine production.
Due to the growing interest of academics in the circular economy practices in the wine industry, several literature reviews have been published addressing specific perspectives. Notably, most systematic reviews analyse the use or rather reuse of residues from the winemaking process or grape waste (e.g. Perra et al. 2022; Ferrer-Gallego and Silva 2022; Rodríguez-Ramos et al. 2022; Kassongo et al. 2020) or even reuse of residues from vine pruning (e.g. Jesus et al. 2022). Further, in the review conducted by Coelho et al. (2020), the functionality and recovery of bioactive compounds (BC) from wine by-products are assessed about alternative green technologies. In the past literature, from initial production to the final product, the idea of sustainability was examined throughout the whole wine supply chain, emphasising three crucial aspects of sustainability (environmental, social and economic) (Baiano 2021; Corbo et al. 2014; Montalvo-Falcón et al. 2023; Gbejewoh et al. 2021). Wine production has significant environmental impacts throughout its stages, from vine cultivation to distribution. Large quantities of waste are generated, which, if not properly managed, can cause substantial ecological damage (Cozma et al. 2020). Awareness of these issues and the growing demand for transparency and accountability from modern consumers have prompted wine companies to adopt eco-friendly practices throughout the production chain (Costa et al. 2022). Industrial symbiosis emerges as a promising approach as it aims to transform waste and by-products into valuable resources, thereby reducing the overall environmental impact of the wine industry. Based on the above premises, there is a lack of reviews that simultaneously analyse circular economy practices, including industrial symbiosis and waste valorisation, which are essential to comprehend the landscape of sustainable industrial strategies fully and promote innovative solutions to mitigate environmental impacts and encourage more efficient use of resources. Therefore, by conducting a systematic literature review, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive framework highlighting how different winery waste and by-products can be processed through different valorisation channels and value chains, in light of the industrial symbiosis paradigm. As a result, this study aims to answer the following research question (RQ):
RQ
How can the valorisation of wine waste and by-products affect wine and other industries?
Due to its reproducible and transparent procedure, which helps to minimise bias in the results, we have opted for a systematic review approach over other surveys or review methods (Cerchione and Esposito 2016). In addition, the research was further enriched by including grey literature to provide a more comprehensive overview of the available research (Mahood et al. 2014). Therefore, this study offers a fundamental contribution, as it provides a solid foundation to guide the actions of researchers, industry professionals, and policymakers towards crucial innovations and implementations of more sustainable practices to promote an integrated approach to circular economy and industrial symbiosis in the wine industry.
As a result, this paper complements existing studies in the research field but differs by offering a detailed analysis of the main issues regarding wine waste valorisation. It also identifies the most appropriate directions for future research. Delving into this crucial issue, this paper seeks to uncover the profound influence that industrial symbiosis exerts on wine supply chains. It aims to reveal how collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships among wine industries shape the very essence of how firms operate.
The goal of this paper is to provide a valuable resource not only for scholars and researchers but also for industry practitioners and policymakers. By exploring these concepts in-depth, we intend to support stakeholders with the knowledge and insights needed to promote innovative strategies that foster circular economy and industrial symbiosis within the wine industry.
Furthermore, we aim to guide stakeholders towards strategic approaches that enhance the sustainability and resilience of wine supply chains and contribute to the broader goals of a circular economy. By sharing this knowledge, we aim to accelerate positive transformation, guiding the wine industry towards a more sustainable and enduring future.
The paper is organised as follows. The next section introduces the review methodology adopted. Section 3 highlights the papers selection process. Section 4 introduces the descriptive analysis. Section 5 shows the content analysis. Section 6 provides a thorough discussion of the findings. Finally, Section 7 shows the conclusions, implications, and limitations of the study.

2 Methodology

A thorough literature review was conducted with the intention of examining the theoretical framework of industrial symbiosis, sustainability, and the circular economy in the wine industry. In particular, we have integrated the systematic review approach with a thorough analysis of grey literature.
Notably, a systematic literature review comprehensively analyses primary studies using transparent and replicable approaches (Greenhalgh 1997). Systematic literature reviews help understand a vast body of literature by mapping its existing state (Çimen 2021). Furthermore, a systematic review allows for examining and systematising the existing knowledge on the subject to identify gaps and offer suggestions for possible future advancements. It is a rigorous procedure that involves carefully identifying, analysing, selecting, and synthesising existing literature (Sudan et al. 2023). Based on manual filtering compared to other review approaches, the systematic review method offers a replicable and transparent process that allows authors to minimise bias in literature review results (Cerchione and Esposito 2016; Centobelli et al. 2017).
Furthermore, we explored grey literature to identify all developments on the topic that have not yet been published in scientific journals. Grey literature can provide a more comprehensive view of a topic, integrating and expanding the knowledge available through traditional sources. It refers to research materials and documents that have not been commercially published and are not generally accessible through conventional distribution channels such as books or academic journals (Paez 2017).
As a result, we have structured our literature review approach into four main stages:
  • Phase of papers selection;
  • Phase of descriptive analysis;
  • Grey literature collection;
  • Content analysis of the selected material.
In turn, the phase of papers selection is divided into two further phases:
i)
Comprehensive search of the material, in which there is the identification of keywords, the search string’s definition, and the selection of the databases to be used (e.g., Scopus, Web of Science);
 
ii)
Selection of documents for detailed analysis, including the definition of the inclusion/exclusion criteria and the selection process according to the inclusion/exclusion criteria.
 
The descriptive analysis aggregates papers based on many viewpoints to create a comprehensive view and holistic mapping.
Furthermore, regarding the grey literature collection phase, after careful consideration and discussion, the search string used for the online search was “wine waste valorisation” and “wine industry by-products”.
Finally, the content analysis phase entails a comprehensive examination and exploration of both scientific papers and grey literature sources, evaluating the strengths and limitations of the literature, identifying any research gaps, and suggesting suitable directions for future research.

3 Papers selection

The phase of papers selection, as described above, is divided into:
1.
Material search phase: focused on the initial search of the relevant material;
 
2.
Papers screening: involving the selection of relevant papers to ensure that the final sample includes only relevant papers.
 
In the material search phase, the goal is to identify studies that specifically address the circular economy in the wine industry.
After conducting a focus group among three researchers and making several proposals following several analyses, the search string was defined as a combination of keywords relating to the sustainability and circular economy management in the wine industry. Notably, the search string used is the following:
TITLE-ABS-KEY ((“WINE WASTE” OR “WINE INDUSTRY” OR “WINE SECTOR” OR “WINE BUSINESS*” OR “WINE PRODUCTION”) AND (“CIRCULAR ECONOMY” OR “INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS” OR “SUSTAINABILITY”)).
This study employs data collected from the Scopus scientific database, managed by Elsevier Publishing. This choice is justified by the fact that the Scopus database is considered one of the most depended literature sources; indeed, it characterised by extensive and comprehensive coverage of academic journals (Centobelli and Ndou 2019). Furthermore, compared to the Web of Science, Scopus includes more journals. This decision ensures the inclusion of high-quality articles in the analysis, which is fundamental when examining the state of the art in the research topic (Abbate et al. 2023). The data search was conducted in March. The search has not been limited in terms of time range and/or subject areas. A preliminary sample of 157 papers was obtained.
The following paper screening phase allowed us to include into the final sample only papers aligned to the research goal. Figures 1 and 2 show the criteria for the papers’ selection phase and the distribution of the final sample of papers over the years.
A thorough reading of the title and abstract was the first step carried out to identify articles pertaining to the intended research objective. This allowed us to initially remove documents that were not relevant for the current search. After this phase, a sample of 95 papers was obtained. Thus, 62 papers were excluded because they were not related to the topic (i.e. many papers focused on wine tourism or consumer perceptions regarding eco-labelling, while others on environmental taxation and its influence on business transition towards sustainability).
Subsequently, the full texts were read and delved in full to achieve a further screening, and 62 papers were specifically identified as aligned to the research topic under investigation.
Finally, to ensure that no relevant documents were overlooked, we used a “snowball” technique as an inclusion criterion (Centobelli and Ndou 2019). Notably, the technique of “snowballing” involves identifying additional papers by searching through a paper’s reference or citation list. It enabled the identification of relevant sources that have been cited or used as references by other scholars in the research field. This technique helped minimise the risk of misleadingly selecting sources and ensures a more balanced and accurate view of the available research material. It enriches and enhances the search, resulting in a more complete and well-thought-out collection of sources (Cerchione and Esposito 2016). As a result of this inclusion criterion, 5 additional papers that were not considered in the initial database in a first step were included, resulting in a final sample of 67 papers.
The selection process includes a comprehensive search strategy to obtain a representative and comprehensive sample of relevant literature pertaining to the research topic. In fact, this process ensures the acquisition of a wide range of pertinent literature (Ibrahimy et al. 2023). Notably, using the Scopus database ensures the inclusion of literature from various sources and disciplines. In addition, explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria guide the selection process, ensuring that only relevant articles meeting specific criteria are included.
In addition to scientific articles published on the Scopus database, this research was supplemented with grey literature to provide a more comprehensive overview of the topic by expanding the knowledge available through other traditional sources. Grey literature can provide data not found in the literature, mitigate publication bias, increase the completeness and timeliness of reviews, and promote a balanced picture of available evidence by contributing to a systematic review (Paez 2017).

4 Descriptive analysis

This section concisely summarises the academic papers addressing the specific problem of wine waste and by-products valorisation. For this purpose, three viewpoints were considered and addressed in the following subsections:
1.
Distribution of papers over time.
 
2.
Distribution of papers across journals.
 
3.
Distribution of papers by methodology.
 

4.1 Distribution of papers over time

The analysis of paper distribution over time reveals how the volume of research on a particular topic has evolved over time. By analysing the distribution of papers across different time periods, researchers can identify trends, patterns of growth, stagnation, or decline in research interest. Notably, in this case, the analysis highlights that the topic of circular economy, sustainability, and industrial symbiosis in the wine sector is very recent. Indeed, the majority of the papers (about 80% of the sample) were published between 2018 and 2023. Only six papers were published in the period 2003–2016. The remaining publications have been published between 2018 and 2023. Therefore, the trend of papers shows a significant growth from 2020. The limited number of papers related to 2023 is justified because the papers were retrieved at the beginning of the year.

4.2 Distribution of papers across journals

The distribution of papers across journals sheds light on the publishing landscape within a field. Researchers can identify which journals publish the most research on a particular topic and track changes in publication trends over time. High publication rates in prestigious or influential journals may enhance the visibility and credibility of research findings within the academic community. In this case, the analysis highlights that a variety of journals (45) publish studies on the topic of circular economy and industrial symbiosis in the wine industry (Table 1). More precisely, four journals have published more than one paper on the topic, and the remaining forty-one only one paper. The following Table 1 lists the journals and the corresponding number of papers.
Table 1
Distribution of papers across journals
Journal
Number of papers
Journal of Cleaner Production
11
Sustainability (Switzerland)
10
Science of the Total Environment
3
Molecules
2
Journal of Functional Foods
1
Antioxidants
1
Food Bioscience
1
Food and Bioproducts Processing
1
Polymers
1
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
1
Foods
1
Waste Management
1
Journal of Business Research
1
Agriculture (Switzerland)
1
Proceedings of the LACCEI international Multi-conference for Engineering, Education and Technology
1
Environmental Footprints and Eco-Design of Products and Processes
1
Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems
1
Biomass and Bioenergy
1
Trends in Food Science and Technology
1
Environmental Pollution
1
Regional Science Policy and Practice
1
Water Science and Technology: Water Supply
1
Land Use Policy
1
Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering B
1
Emerald Insight
1
Sustainability, Agri, Food and Environmental Research
1
Agronomy
1
Land Use Policy
1
Current Opinion in Environmental Science and Health
1
ACS Omega
1
International Journal of Wine Business Research
1
British Food Journal
1
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
1
Micro and Macro Marketing
1
Beverages
1
Organic Agriculture
1
Atmosphere
1
Business Strategy and the Environment
1
Wine Economics and Policy
1
International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development
1
Amfiteatru Economic
1
Chemical Engineering Transactions
1
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
1
Agroalimentaria
1
The presence of a broad array of journals hosting a relatively small number of associated papers can be attributed to the novelty of the study’s focus. This indicates that the topic has been explored within the literature and has captured the interest of various academic perspectives, encompassing distinct yet complementary viewpoints.

4.3 Distribution of papers by methodology

The distribution of papers by methodology provides insights into the dominant research approaches employed within a field. Disparities in the distribution of papers across methodologies may indicate areas where certain approaches are underutilised or where further methodological innovation is needed. This insight can inform future research directions and the design of methodologically diverse studies. Regarding the research approaches employed in our sample of papers, the different types of methodologies are almost equally distributed. The majority of papers (in total 22) adopt qualitative methodologies (single or multiple case study). In addition, 19 papers are based on quantitative methodologies (surveys or mathematical models), while other 12 papers are conceptual, including information on empirical data. The last 13 papers are literature reviews. It is possible to observe through Fig. 3 the distribution of the different methodologies of the sample of papers analysed.

5 Content analysis

Content analysis is a methodology used to examine and interpret the content of texts using an objective and systematic approach. It aims to extract key content, identify trends, and establish potential connections.
The thematic areas we have identified, which will be explained and discussed in detail in the following paragraphs, are:
  • Attitude towards sustainability in the wine sector, which in turn is subdivided into:
    • Driver and barriers.
    • Sustainable and circular business models.
    • Technological innovations.
    • Indicators and performance measurement system.
  • Wine waste valorisation, in turn subdivided into:
    • Wine waste valorisation as a resource.
    • Wine waste valorisation as value-added products.
The first thematic area focuses on companies’ attitudes toward sustainability in the wine sector. This encompasses multiple aspects, including the factors driving or hindering sustainability efforts, the development of sustainable and circular business models, integrating technological innovations to enhance sustainability practices, and establishing indicators and performance measurement systems to monitor progress. The second thematic area of interest pertains to wine waste valorisation. Specifically, it explores how wine waste can be repurposed and leveraged to create value. It involves considering wine waste as a valuable resource that can be employed in various ways and exploring opportunities to transform it into value-added products with economic and environmental benefits.

5.1 Attitude towards sustainability in the wine industry

In recent times, sustainability issues are becoming increasingly important in all industries. In the literature, there are several contributions addressing the significance of sustainability practices in the wine industry from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The most widely adopted sustainability programs worldwide, the level of producer and consumer awareness of the wine industry, and the industry’s current policy and regulatory framework are then analysed. The following Fig. 4 summarises the four sub-categories related to attitude towards sustainability in the wine sector identified in the sample of papers:

5.1.1 Driver and barriers

The literature focuses on the various factors, known as drivers and barriers, that influence the development, innovation, and adoption of sustainable practices. They are important because they not only influence environmental sustainability, but also industry competitiveness and consumer satisfaction. In particular, Montalvo-Falcón et al. (2023) emphasise the limited impact of the wine industry on sustainability policies, leading to the formulation of rigid and economically unsustainable laws, regulations, and economic frameworks. Winemakers are frequently bound by traditional practices due to specific constraints that are imposed. Moreover, the widespread misunderstanding that the problem can be solved by solely relying on natural processes to determine results exacerbates the situation.
Golicic (2022) explores the evolution of sustainability initiatives in the wine industry over the past decade, while Baiano (2021) examines sustainability across the entire wine supply chain, encompassing primary production to the finished wine, explicitly focusing on the three critical elements of sustainability (i.e. environmental, social, and economic). The review also analysed relevant measurements associated with these dimensions. Consumers have demonstrated a readiness to pay a higher price for sustainably produced wines.
Obi et al. (2020) conducted a study emphasising the importance of enhancing environmental legislation through credit incentives. This is necessary to counterbalance the extra expenses linked to sustainability activities. This approach would effectively encourage the adoption of these practices.
From the analysis conducted by Flores and Medeiros (2019) emerged the factors driving sustainability initiatives. These included internal factors, stakeholder expectations, marketing issues, or even improving innovation and competitiveness.
The analysis conducted by Sautier et al. (2018) aims to better understand the influence of sustainability programs on the coordination of actions within the wine sector. In particular, it addresses the ways in which governance practices change with the introduction of a sustainability strategy.
The transition to sustainability and circular economy in the wine sector is influenced by a complex set of drivers and barriers that require a balanced approach and targeted strategies to ensure a positive impact on the industry and the environment.

5.1.2 Sustainable and circular business models

The current literature shows that the development of sustainable and circular business models in the wine industry is a dynamic process that involves a strategic blend of traditional winemaking practices, sustainability considerations and consumers engagement.
Rugani and Lamastra (2023) evaluate current sustainability programs implemented or potentially applicable in the wine industry. They examine these programs by using analytical criteria to provide an up-to-date overview of the latest sustainability initiatives in the wine industry.
Ferrer et al. (2022) believe that the most sustainable business model is based on upstream integration of the supply chain. The authors investigate how decisions made by wineries in their value chain led to sustainability.
Gomes et al. (2021) propose incorporating environmental sustainability in viticulture as a novel strategic approach inside the Balanced Scorecard framework. This approach emphasises the future certification of sustainable environmental production, encompassing grapes, wine, and wineries.
Ouvrard et al. (2020) propose a model for future applications in wineries, and it emerges that winemakers are willing to be environmentally friendly wineries. De Steur et al. (2020) confirm the increasing adoption of sustainability practices in the Italian wine sector.
Epuran et al. (2018) investigate the willingness of companies to adopt marketing strategies that should help increase food security by increasing wine quality based on the principles of sustainability.
Thus, business model development must be carefully designed, considering industry-specific challenges, consumer needs, and emerging opportunities, while focusing on critical elements such as production, distribution, market positioning, and sustainability. Indeed, business model design in the wine industry is essential for satisfying consumers, capitalising on emerging opportunities and ensuring a successful and sustainable position in the competitive wine market.

5.1.3 Technological innovations

Different scientific articles emphasise that innovation, particularly in wine packaging and distribution, can significantly contribute to meeting the demands of sustainability-conscious consumers, hence bolstering the growing emphasis on sustainable practices in the wine industry.
Consumer purchasing decisions are increasingly influenced by sustainability. In fact, the study conducted by Pougnet et al. (2022) emphasises the role of keg wine technology in enabling more environmentally friendly wine packaging and distribution. This shows an innovative development in the wine industry.
Gbejewoh et al. (2021) highlight the importance of sustainability in the grape and wine sector in the context of climate change by conducting a literature review. This is emphasised explicitly due to factors such as safeguarding the environment, enhancing financial gains, and responding to the demands of stakeholders. Furthermore, research has indicated that table grape farms exhibit greater economic sustainability than wine farms.
Salmon et al. (2020) investigate the adaptation of viticultural and oenological practices to implement new techniques for the main challenges faced by organic wine producers. One of the goals of winemakers is sustainable production through minimising impacts on natural resources and reducing production costs.
Therefore, the adoption of technological innovations in the wine industry plays a key role in optimising production processes, improving product quality, and satisfying to the different and multiple needs of the market.

5.1.4 Indicators and performance measurement

Building a performance measurement system allows wineries to monitor and evaluate various metrics and performance indicators related to the operations and activities. The main purpose of this system is to measure the effectiveness of the strategies, initiatives, and practices implemented to drive the overall success of the winery.
Cavicchi and Vagnoni (2022) evaluate how a cooperative managing a wine supply chain implements a performance monitoring system that tracks the outcomes of a circular economy approach. Trigo et al. (2023) identify a system for improving sustainability assessment in wine production systems.
D’Ammaro et al. (2021) propose a multi-criteria approach to assess the sustainability of Italian wineries using a range of indicators.
With a specific emphasis on performance indicators, Merli et al. (2018) seek to comprehend how the wine sector tackles sustainability concerns and assess the implementation of sustainable practices.
Marchettini et al. (2003) identify sustainability indicators capable of analyzing and quantifying the production and ecological performance of four different Italian wine productions.
The study conducted by Broccardo et al. (2023) demonstrates that the age of business in the wine industry is a significant factor that might account for variations in sustainability orientation and its influence on the financial performance of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises.
Analyses conducted by Bernardi (2021) in the Australian wine sector, which comprises of SMEs with long traditions, indicate that collaboration throughout the supply chain can help wineries attain sustainable performance.
Saraiva et al. (2020) researched water usage in the wine industry, including the entire process from vineyard to bottle. They employed a technique that involved field experiments and life cycle evaluation, focusing on two specific case studies in Portugal.
Ponstein et al. (2019) examine the environmental sustainability of greenhouse gas emissions in the worldwide wine supply chain, which accounts for little more than 90% of Finland’s wine imports. Proactive social and environmental practices in the wine business are positively associated with economic performance (Annunziata et al. 2018).
Corbo et al. (2014) compare the critical sustainability programs in the Italian wine industry to identify the potential for collaboration and establish a unified sustainability strategy for the sector. Antònio Martins et al. (2017) carry out a sustainability evaluation of a Portuguese “terroir” wine made at a vineyard in the Douro wine area. The findings indicate that bottling and storage activities significantly impact carbon footprint, material intensity, solid waste, and wastewater generation.
Mainar-Toledo et al. (2023) provide a multi-criteria approach to evaluate sustainability’s environmental, economic, and social aspects. They use specific indicators and sub-indicators selected and developed by considering indicators from various methodologies. In conclusion, performance indicators make it possible to assess the effectiveness of the sustainable initiatives and strategies implemented in driving the overall success of wineries. Indicators can include measurements related to water use, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste management, enabling stakeholders to assess the quality, sustainability, and competitiveness of wineries. They also prove to be powerful performance assessment tools for decision-making.

5.2 Wine waste valorisation

In addition to sustainable production, marketing, and packaging, the wine supply chain should also include sustainable processes for waste disposal, the reuse of by-products, and their transformation to generate other goods and/or energy. According to the waste management guidelines set by national and international authorities, the main approaches for efficiently managing and ensuring the food industry’s sustainability prioritise waste prevention and reduction, as well as the utilisation and promotion of by-products (Di Stefano et al. 2022).
The utilisation of wine production waste relies on a comprehensive analysis of the circular economy, an economic framework engineered to self-regenerate. Within the circular economy, all product waste is converted into a valuable resource and specific resources can be transferred from one production system to another without being disposed of.
The concept of a circular economy focuses on reclaiming and employing resources still in use, such as waste and surplus production. By recovering these materials, sustainable agriculture is created, soil fertility is preserved thanks to restored biodiversity, and it also facilitates finding useful applications for waste materials like organic waste and garbage (Donia et al. 2018). This analysis aims to offer a comprehensive overview of the topics addressed in the literature concerning industrial symbiosis and circular economy within the wine industry.
To support the content analysis of our sample of selected papers, they were divided into different sub-categories based on the valorisation of waste in different areas (Fig. 5). These sub-categories emerged:
  • Wine waste valorisation as a resource.
  • Wine waste valorisation as value-added products.

5.2.1 Wine waste valorisation as a resource

Wine waste valorisation as bioenergy, biorefinery, biogas, chemical reductants and energy recovery aims to maximise the use of each component of the winemaking process, reducing waste and contributing to a circular economy. It is a holistic approach that encompasses sustainability and innovation. By maximising the potential of each element in the winemaking process, the wine industry can create a more sustainable and diverse future. The utilisation of wine waste for energy generation offers several environmental advantages, such as waste reduction, alleviation of pollution concerns, and the sustainable creation of industrially significant goods.
In this specific sub-category, as can also be highlighted in Fig. 6, four different subareas have been identified:

5.2.2 Bioenergy

Bioenergy uses biological materials to produce energy in a sustainable way. Viticulture realities can be an intriguing study context considering their current influence on the domestic and international economic markets. In fact, effective agro-energy planning necessitates a comprehensive assessment, incorporating an integrated analysis of local biomass resource availability and the environmental effects of energy crop cultivation. The study by Zambon et al. (2018) focused on energy and environmental perspectives. The environmental, and even energetic, sustainability of wine biomass has been affirmed by numerous studies that have systematically evaluated the combustion of pruning residues across different scales. The level of sustainability achieved by burning biomass can be assessed by measuring the quality of the atmospheric emissions resulting from the combustion of pruned plants. To ensure environmental sustainability throughout the supply chain, the integrated exploitation of ecological by-products serves as the foundation for an “intelligent” reconversion of waste that can be achieved. Studies are required in this area to maximise the integrated value of biomass and to direct producers and consumers towards paths of moral and sustainable development. Due to the high production of waste from winemaking processes in Italy, a comprehensive biorefinery approach is required for its use (Lucarini et al. 2018).
According to Kassongo et al. (2020), the co-digestion of grape marc and cheese whey offers a practical method for producing bioenergy, reducing reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Instead, the analysis conducted by Gueddari-Aourir et al. (2022) emphasises the effort to promote greener, more equitable, and more resilient societies. These initiatives will serve as the foundation for designing comprehensive strategies and plans in the current social, economic, and environmental context of unanticipated future needs. The study’s primary objective was to assess the combined treatment of these wastes’ bioenergy potential.

5.2.3 Biogas

Biogas is a combustible gas produced by the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter, such as agricultural residues, food waste, or animal manure. In their study, Donia et al. (2018) calculated the potential electrical power generation of a biogas plant constructed at a vineyard industry. The plant would employ waste products generated by the vineyard itself. Pomace is primarily used in biogas plants, where the digestion process results in methane-rich biogas, which is then used in cogenerative engines.

5.2.4 Biorefinery

A biorefinery is an industrial complex employing biomass as a feedstock to manufacture various products, such as biofuels, biochemicals, and sophisticated materials. According to the case study conducted by Ncube et al. (2021), the wine industry can actually change from linear production systems to circular systems, from the perspective of a biorefinery, with the aim of assisting in the achievement of the SDGs. In the context of the biorefinery model and circular economy, wineries generate enormous amounts of waste that provide an inexpensive feedstock material that can be used to produce chemicals and energy, enhancing the sustainability of the agri-food production chain. Crucial elements include the creation of new markets and increased competitiveness, the discovery of renewable resources that do not conflict with other production processes, and the engagement of all parties involved in the winemaking sector. This engagement should be grounded in the recognition of potential benefits, encompassing both environmental and economic gains from the reuse of winery wastes and by-products. By doing this, a novel bioeconomy model that promotes biodiversity and environmental protection and relies on the wise use of renewable resources in industry and agriculture would be put into practice.
Innovative technologies and processes will be important to make the transition from linear systems to biorefinery approaches, as noted by Rodrigues et al. (2022). Indeed, due to the existence of organic molecules with significant value, winery residues must be considered in the future for use as a feedstock for integrated biorefineries, as well as to produce energy or fertilisers. Based on the analyses performed by Jesus et al. (2022), it was possible to conclude that a methodology for the efficient, clean, and economically viable fractionation of Vine-Pruning Residue must be developed. Vine-Pruning Residue is a by-product with a high value-added, and the creation of an efficient fractionation methodology holds the promise of enabling the use of all currently produced fractions in an integrated biorefinery. As a result, it would be possible to direct the refined products to industrial sectors, promoting the circular economy.

5.2.5 Chemical reductant and energy recovery

Chemical reductants are involved in chemical transformation processes for energy production or chemical synthesis. While Energy recovery refers to the process of extracting and reusing energy from sources or processes that would otherwise lose it.
Research by Asmat-Campos et al. (2021) found that recycling waste to extract bioactive compounds produces excellent chemical reductants. According the review conducted by Coelho et al. (2020), grape pomace makes up the majority of solid grape by-products and is an excellent source of bioactive compounds, including total dietary fiber (nearly 60%) and polyphenols (6–15%). Vineyard’s pruning produces materials that are excellent for energy recovery, increasing the heating value by more than 50% and the carbon content of the carbonised material by almost 60%. In order to encourage sustainable practices in the wine industry, this recovery process helps to build new value chains for residual materials (Nunes et al. 2021).
The valorisation of winemaking process waste for the production of alternative energy fonts is a sustainable approach, contributing to waste management and renewable energy production. Furthermore, the use of wine waste for biogas production can be extended to generate sustainable chemicals, potentially reducing the environmental impact of the wine industry and promoting a circular economy. Hence, the utilisation of waste and by-products from the wine industry as valuable resources serves as the basis for an efficient waste conversion, facilitated by implementing advanced technologies, to guarantee the supply chain’s environmental sustainability.

5.2.6 Wine waste valorisation as a value-added product

The valorisation of wine waste as a high value-added product represents an innovative approach aiming to transform the by-products of wine production into valuable resources. Through research into innovative methods, by-products are transformed into new products with high added value.
In this specific sub-category, as can also be highlighted in Fig. 7, four different subareas have been identified:

5.2.7 Packaging

The systematic review carried out by Berardi et al. (2021) revealed that the majority of the chosen studies are focused on using waste as a resource by valuing those wastes. Furthermore, their investigation revealed that while the selected businesses are currently dedicated to sustainability, they cannot identify specific regenerative and restorative strategies that apply to their operations.
The results of the study conducted by Ferrara et al. (2023) provided a combined assessment of the environmental and economic viability of wine packaging systems with a focus on the Italian context, highlighting the critical areas where action is needed to increase the viability of the packaging in accordance with the principles of a circular economy. In their study, Mauro et al. (2022) provided evidence that grape seed oil imparts an opaque colour to packaging film and can potentially protect food from UV degradation. However, further investigation is needed to assess the antimicrobial properties of grape seed oil films. In future experiments, this can be achieved by varying the chitosan concentration and the oil. The viability confirmation and feasibility’s demonstration of the alkali extraction process to be used in grape cane valorisation showed by Santos et al. (2022), is a significant accomplishment for future industrial applications researches; in fact, attention may be drawn to its potential use in the creation of new materials for furniture or packaging. Thus, one is in an experimental phase for the reuse of these scraps, and further studies are needed to test the properties of this packaging film.

5.2.8 Bioactive compounds

Daou et al. (2020) state that winery waste can be regarded as extractable by-products and can be employed for diverse purposes. Consequently, numerous wineries are seeking improvements to enhance the valorisation of wine waste by identifying the most accessible and appropriate procedures.
With the aid of such innovations, oils, anthocyanins, and catechin polymers can be extracted from grape marc and seeds. Composting or co-composting grape marc, stalks, and sludge from wastewater treatment facilities provides an eco-friendly alternative for enhancing soil fertility and acting as a location for the ultimate disposal of wine waste.
Mura et al. (2023) showed that collecting organic waste from pruning and winemaking and reusing it as compost on the farm holds the potential to enhance environmental performance.
The research performed by Rodríguez-Ramos et al. (2022) is the first to advance knowledge regarding the chemical characterisation of grape pomace from the pisco industry, laying the groundwork for sustainable exploitation as a practical method to mitigate the environmental impact and move towards a circular economy. In order to forecast water consumption and wastewater production in the wine industry, Oliveira et al. (2019) develop a computational model. Indeed, considering the goal of “closing the cycle” through the reuse of industrially treated on-site wastewater, this computational model could prove be useful in wastewater management.
According to Da Porto et al. (2022), the supercritical fluid extraction process for polyphenols from grape pomace can produce high quality extracts while preserving their biological activities, making them suitable for use in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. Implementing supercritical fluid extraction on an industrial scale could be the necessary technological breakthrough to effectively enhance the value of winery by-products in an integrated biorefinery. Perra et al. (2022) investigate many different processes designed for valorising grape pomace; it is feasible to confirm that the wine industry may move to a circular economy by adopting sustainable methods, minimising environmental harm, and reclaiming valuable resources.

5.2.9 Compost for farm and fertiliser

According to Gómez-Brandón et al. (2021), fertiliser can be produced from the treatment of grape marc, the primary solid by-product of the wine industry, through the use of vermicomposting.
In order to achieve a more circular valorisation of viticulture waste, Cortés et al. (2020) study’s goal was to examine the environmental costs of composting. This compost has been shown to be an effective organic fertiliser for maize, tomato, and strawberry crops, replacing the need for mineral fertilisers. They demonstrated that, in line with the circular economy’s guiding principles, composting is a suitable method for turning waste into useful products. Rugani and Lamastra (2023) have determined that greater coordination and transparency are necessary to promote sustainability development in the wine industry fully. This conclusion is based on their analysis of social, economic, and environmental key performance indicators in twenty selected sustainability programs implemented by wine companies. According to the authors, winery waste should be valorised as new secondary raw materials used in the same agricultural sector or in different industrial chains (such as cosmetics and nutraceuticals). Manniello et al. (2020) examines various residues produced along the wine production chain with reference to Southern Italy’s Basilicata region. In order to determine the most sustainability and practical, technical, economic, and environmental solution for their valorisation, these biomasses have been quantitatively evaluated and qualitatively categorised.

5.2.10 Additives functional foods

The InnovaEcoFood project, as described by Fiore et al. (2020), evaluates how to employ waste from the production of wine and rice in Piedmont (Italy) to maximise their unrealised potential in the food industry. The project begins by examining the existing value chains and emphasising the by-products generated at every level, including the agricultural phase and the various transformation activities. It outlined various scenarios for each output that led to their valuation and established links between the various activities before concentrating on the valuation of marc for food. Nevertheless, the food industry has limitations in employing by-products due to legal constraints regarding their designation as trash and the impracticality of treating them as raw resources, among other considerations.
In the study conducted by Cioffi et al. (2021), an overview of winemaking by-products is given, along with a focus on their properties.
Di Stefano et al. (2022) showed that defatted seeds and grape skins have potential as additives in functional foods. The significant amount of biophenols in grape by-products supports their potential application in improving the nutritional and practical benefits of food products. Indeed, defatted seeds and grape skins are gluten-free ingredients and are a rich source of dietary fibre. Grape by-products can be added as a bioactive food ingredient to the most popular foods without prior processing, which can boost producer earnings because they are viewed as value-added products. The study conducted by Ferrer-Gallego and Silva (2022) reveals that wine production yields many residues, such as grape marc, vine shoots, stalks, pomace, and wine leaves. Due to their ability to promote sustainability in the wine industry by repurposing a generally discarded product, wine by-products possess significant promise as food ingredients. Hence, wine by-products present a distinctive opportunity to enhance value by recycling a waste stream.
For stand-alone businesses, achieving “zero waste” might not be the most cost-effective way. The strategies involving multiple companies, focus on the creation of new products, the enhancement of supply chains to maximise resource exploitation, and the creation of networks capable of using waste as a source of raw materials. The InnovaEcoFood project’s systemic model looked at how rice hull butter, rice hull flour, and marc flour are produced and used in baked goods (Castiglione and Fiore 2022). The primary purpose of agricultural and agri-food co-products, by-products, and wastes, according to Manniello et al. (2020), should be to rebalance soil fertility. In addition, grape waste can be used in the production of flour for gluten-free baked goods, and the fiber and polyphenols derived from grape marc can be used to enhance the functional properties of foods, for example, to strengthen baked goods such as meat burgers, muffins, and yogurt, intensifying their nutritional and sensory qualities (Rodriguez et al. 2023). The valorisation of wine waste as high value-added products contributes not only to environmental sustainability but also opens opportunities for innovation, market differentiation, and community involvement in the wine industry. Embracing the concept of industrial symbiosis, where different industries collaborate to optimise resource utilisation, could further enhance the efficiency of these processes. Through these studies, the economic and practical feasibility of processes and techniques leading to the valorisation of such waste is revealed. In addition, the primary methods for an effective and efficient management system and sustainability in the food industry prioritise waste reduction and minimisation and the utilisation of by-products.

5.3 Grey literature analysis

Wine production generates significant waste, including grape pomace, skins, and seeds, which can pose environmental challenges if not managed effectively. The valorisation of wine waste and by-products presents a promising solution to mitigate these challenges by creating value from what was previously considered to have reached the end of its life. In this section, we analyse the findings of the grey literature, which encompass research, applications, and technological and business solutions that have not yet found representation in scientific literature. However, in many cases, these are real and functioning practical applications that merit citation to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in a specific sector. By bridging academia and industry, we aim to present a holistic view of the field.

5.3.1 The production of high-value-added products

Integrating discarded grape residues into various consumer products marks a shift toward sustainability in the wine sector. What was once considered waste has found a new purpose, contributing to a circular economy where every part of the grape plays a valuable role (WellVine 2023). The grape processing chain has two fundamentally different stages: pruning and harvesting. The primary organic wastes from the grape processing chain are marc, lees, and stems (European and Union 2013). Waste generated from grape processing can be harmful to the environment if not correctly disposed of. As also previously highlighted, the analysis of grey literature highlight that many wineries attempt to use grape waste as fertiliser or recycle it as animal feed. However, companies and wineries are seeking alternative disposal methods due to the significant amount of grape waste produced by the wine industry (Scarlett Buckley 2023). For example, to create a functional beverage using the fermentation of grape pomace with the Kombucha consortium, various fermentation parameters and recipes have been examined to assess their effect on the characteristics of grape pomace Kombucha, including fermentation kinetics, chemical composition, in vitro biological activities, organoleptic properties, and the shelf-life of the final product (Nathalie and Barakat 2024).

5.3.2 Innovative solutions and technologies for extraction and processing of wine waste

Composting is among the most popular valorisation techniques, through which organic waste is transformed into soil conditioners. The high polyphenol content of the solid by-products of the wine industry (more elevated than in any other type of agro-industrial waste), particularly that of grape seeds, could be turned into a marketable product. Polyphenols have been tested in the cosmetics industry and pharmaceuticals with excellent results (European and Union 2013). Grape waste can be composted, but this process does not return it to its best use. Instead, to provide more excellent value, materials should be treated as resources and regenerated into useful products whenever possible. With this view of putting the circular economy into practice, a biocosmetics startup was born in Portugal to create a line of 100% natural moisturizers, in which hand lotion and body cream are enriched with wine grape oil and shea butter (Sophia and McDonald 2023). Alessandro Massi and Gianni Sacchetti (2018) highlighted how, through enhancement techniques, it is possible to transform bioethanol from wine industry waste into butanol.
They are working to develop an integrated strategy for recovering by-products from winemaking and distillation processes to reduce their environmental impact and produce high-value spin-offs, resulting in significant profit for agri-food companies. Luisa Torri (2020), for their academic research, have worked to develop an integrated strategy for recovering by-products from winemaking and distillation processes to reduce their environmental impact and produce high-value spin-offs, resulting in significant profit for agri-food companies.
The wine industry generates significant waste annually along the production chain, including grape skins, stems, and pomace. It is crucial to address this waste sustainably, adopting a zero-waste circular economy perspective. Utilising grape by-products to create high-performance cosmetics is a way to valorise them. Grapes offer substantial benefits, such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can improve skin elasticity and promote cellular turnover. Many wineries are now developing cosmetic lines using their production waste to support the sustainable cosmetic industry (Narcy 2023). In 2019, the Australian wine industry produced 1,730 kilotonnes of wine grapes, generating 350 kilotonnes of skins and seeds (grape pomace). Grape seed extract (GSE) is a highly sought-after dietary supplement in the Australian nutraceutical industry, produced by removing, drying, and pulverising grape seeds rich in antioxidants such as phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (Future Food Systems 2020).
BIOVINO is a project supported by the wine sector to develop a transboundary strategy to valorise the residual biomass from wine production in integrated biorefineries for biofuels and bioproducts. Led by ITACYL, the project conducted targeted research, including inventories of biomass waste in Castilla y Leon, Galicia, and Portugal, and the development of valorisation routes for products such as grape shoots and pomace to obtain bioactive compounds, polyols, and biopolymers (Carolina and Solino 2023). Instead, a project led by the University of Prague aims to valorise such waste by implementing new technologies and raising awareness of the issue (Czech University of Life Sciences Prague 2020). Chilean engineers have made an innovative discovery regarding using grape skins, typically discarded as waste. Led by Guillermo Thenoux, a professor of Engineering and Construction Management at the Pontifical Catholic University of Santiago, the team examined the effect of grape pomace on the deterioration of asphalt roads. Asphalt roads become stiffer and prone to cracks over time due to oxidation. The idea was to use dehydrated and powdered grape pomace as an antioxidant agent for maintaining road surfaces. The results were promising: adding this antioxidant reduced asphalt pavement wear and cracks by 14%. The team tested pomace from different grape varieties, finding that those from Cabernet Sauvignon showed particularly positive performance, likely due to their higher polyphenol content. This research could pave the way for new approaches to the sustainable use of agricultural waste and innovation in the road infrastructure sector.

5.3.3 Application of wine waste into the textile industry

WineLeather, a revolutionary initiative in the leather industry, offers a durable, eco-friendly alternative. It is made by transforming grape waste into leather, preventing it from becoming waste. Behind WineLeather is Vegea Srl, founded in Milan in 2016 and now based in the “Progetto Manifattura” incubator in Italy. Architect Gianpiero Tessitore led research to identify grape fibers optimal for creating eco-friendly, 100% plant-based leather, leading to Wineleather’s inception. With 13 million tons of wine production waste yearly, WineLeather recycles grape waste in a zero-impact process. It replaces animal and synthetic leather, saving water and avoiding pollution, making a significant environmental and social impact (Anna Tita and Gallo 2017). Vegea is a company that promotes a circular economy model by utilising existing plant-based raw materials to give them new life. Their goal is to differentiate and valorise wine by-products, using them in the textile industry. Vegea is a perfect example of bio-upcycling that combines creativity and environmental sustainability (Viola Stancati 2021).
A Dutch footwear company, Mercer, has created vegan leather shoes using wine waste. This material, developed in collaboration with Italian wine producers, has given rise to the W3RD Wine Pack shoe line, which is 100% sustainable. With millions of tons of wine waste produced annually, this material has enormous potential for further discoveries and developments (xstra Wine and Blog 2020).
Through partnerships and joint projects, textile and wine industry could create creative and advantageous solutions for both industries, also contributing to the promotion of environmental sustainability by offering consumers innovative and sustainable experiences.

5.3.4 Economic and environmental benefits of waste valorisation

The wine industry produces significant waste, including grape pomace, seeds, and other residues, which can be used in various sectors, such as nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and biofuels. However, usually, the disengagement of winemakers and the need for more information on the environmental impact of winemaking emerge (Bisquert et al. 2020). This valorisation is crucial for promoting sustainability and the circular economy. Residues like grape pomace and seeds contain bioactive molecules like rutin, quercetin, and resveratrol, which are used in dietary supplements and cosmetic products. Even vine stems and leaves contain interesting compounds, though they are less used. Winery lees, residues from wine fermentation, produce tartaric acid and can be valorised for biogas production through anaerobic digestion (Angela and Martina 2020). The transformation of grape pomace into the Italian liquor Grappa dates back to the Middle Ages. Like wine, the grape’s quality influences Grappa’s quality, showcasing diversity even in “waste.” There are other sustainability initiatives in the wine industry — “Two Raccoons” plan to use non-fermented fruit pulp in wormeries for a zero-waste workflow. Jackson Family Wines has reduced water consumption and sources from renewables. The English Vine is experimenting with the UK’s first paper bottle to reduce the carbon footprint from glass packaging and transportation (Jennifer and Sizeland 2024). Caviro Extra and Enomondo, in a synergistic manner, process and recover over 600,000 tons of waste annually, derived from both the viticulture and agri-food supply chains and public and private greenery. Caviro Extra, leveraging the wine production chain of the Caviro group, can receive grape musts from member wineries across seven regions of Italy. Additionally, from grape pomace, an essential by-product of grape pressing, the Extra Musts and Extracts division also produces dried grape seeds required by the food, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries, as well as Enocyanin, a natural food colorant, from the pomace of red grapes only.

6 Discussions and research agenda

The analysis of the literature has made it possible to highlight the relevant aspects that have been addressed in the literature. Notably, this review highlighted the potential of valorising wine waste to contribute to the principles of the circular economy by closing the loop on resource usage and reducing environmental impact. Challenges such as technological barriers, market demand, and regulatory constraints also need to be addressed, emphasising the necessity for collaborative efforts among industry stakeholders, researchers, and policymakers to overcome these obstacles and maximise the potential of wine waste valorisation. Further, grey literature sources provided valuable insights into the current state and future directions of wine waste valorisation, underscoring its importance as a critical strategy to advance sustainability agendas in the wine industry.
In particular, the importance of considering waste as resources for energy production and value-added products is emphasised, thus highlighting the issue of valorising waste in the wine industry. The wine industry is directed towards more sustainable practices by defining, identifying, and analysing indicators. These processes are also used as practical tools for performance evaluation in decision-making and facilitate the assessment of the industry’s sustainability. Measurement of water use, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste management are part of this, enabling stakeholders to assess the competitiveness, sustainability, and quality of wineries. The challenges of the wine industry, customer needs, and the identification of new opportunities must all be carefully considered when developing business models. In the wine industry, the integration of technological innovations is essential for optimising production, enhancing product quality, and meeting diverse market needs. Performance indicators are crucial in evaluating the efficacy of sustainable initiatives and strategies that drive wineries’ overall success. They also help identify areas needing development and comprehend the forces behind wineries’ participation in sustainability projects. Among the primary findings of this study are the importance of implementing sustainability practices upstream in the wine supply chain and the practice of industrial symbiosis to avoid or minimise waste. The analysis covers the worldwide implementation of major sustainability programs, the awareness levels among wine industry stakeholders, and the current policy and regulatory environment. Furthermore, employing wine waste for energy generation offers various environmental advantages, such as reducing waste, mitigating pollution, and sustainably producing valuable industrial goods.
The research framework systematised what has been studied so far. Our analysis and framework can be used by researchers to find information on aspects already studied, to identify gaps in the existing literature, and to further research efforts in areas that require further examination.
In recent years, sustainability practices in wineries have been rising.
Many academics consider sustainability to be the new competitive advantage. To enhance their sustainability, wineries must improve technological capabilities and foster innovation. Therefore, empirically assessing and filling this gap in the lack of sustainability-related assessment could be identified as a future challenge for this research field.
Considering this, an area deserving further exploration is as follows: The utilisation of modern technologies, such as sensors and drones, for effectively monitoring vineyard conditions warrants evaluation to ascertain if winemaking processes are becoming more sustainable.
The research shows that the wine industry produces significant waste, especially during production phase. For instance, using skins and pomace as compost in agricultural activities can produce biogas for renewable energy production, or even polyphenol extracts from skins can be used in cosmetic or food sectors. Such wastes, if properly managed to exploit their potential value, help reduce the industry’s environmental impact.
The valorisation of waste is, therefore, multifaceted in nature.
However, there is a lack of work in the literature that delves into and highlights industrial symbiosis strategies and synergies that can be created between different players in the supply chain so that knowledge can be shared to obtain economic and ecological benefits.
Indeed, the lack of synergies between sectors may prevent opportunities for collaboration among local industries.
In this context, an aspect that warrants further investigation is the following:
Researchers need to explore the efficiency of establishing partnerships with other companies to exchange by-products or residues from winemaking as raw materials for other production processes.
Wineries could collaborate with food industries to recycle food waste or with chemical industries to produce sustainable products. Such synergies could help optimise resource use and reduce waste, with a view to circular economy and industrial symbiosis. Wineries could share treated water, energy or infrastructure, thus reducing costs and overall environmental impact.
In addition, synergies between different industries can lead to new business opportunities and create a network of interconnected businesses that support each other, stimulating the local economy. Circular business models often involve greater levels of collaboration among the different players in the supply chain (OECD 2019).
To effectively address these issues, engaging businesses, government institutions, and relevant stakeholders, establishing a solid theoretical foundation, and showcasing evidence supporting the benefits of adopting a circular approach to industrial symbiosis in wine production is essential.
Through promoting the wine industry waste valorisation and implementing industrial symbiosis strategies, greater environmental sustainability and more robust economic development can be achieved.
In this context, one aspect that could be further investigated is the following: Assessing the effectiveness of networking based on business models already utilised in other sectors within the wine industry.
Wine waste poses challenges for businesses operating within and beyond and presents opportunities for innovation, sustainability, and collaboration. Wine waste contains valuable compounds such as antioxidants, polyphenols, and organic matter. Businesses can explore innovative ways to extract and repurpose these compounds for use in food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other industries. In addition, wine waste can be transformed into value-added products such as grape seed oil, marc flour, and natural dyes. By diversifying product offerings, wineries can create new revenue streams and enhance brand sustainability.
Therefore, one aspect that could be further investigated is the following:
Researchers can serve as intermediaries to facilitate connections between wineries and companies in various sectors, fostering winery partnerships and providing new avenues for repurposing waste from the industry.
However, the research highlights much focus on how to reuse the wine industry waste.
As a result, there is a lack of practices aiming at preventing waste or decreasing the amount of waste upstream of the wine supply chain.
Future research should go in this direction to better support industrial symbiosis and improve triple-bottom-line performance.
In order to develop sustainable practices, wine producers must take into account every step of the supply chain, from grape production to packaging and distribution.
In recent times, society has become consciousness aware of the importance of reducing the environmental impact of business activity; future consumer purchasing decisions may be influenced by this factor, which is establishing itself as a crucial component. This could have an impact on the socioeconomic growth of wine regions as well as the competitiveness of businesses.
It also emerges that wine companies have not yet achieved the complete and simultaneous integration of sustainability in its three different perspectives (e.g., economic, social, and environmental). This is probably also attributable to the fact that companies often prioritise profit over sustainability to meet market needs and sustain competition. In this context, one aspect that could be further investigated is the following:
Determine whether the initiatives implemented to make wine processes more sustainable minimise environmental impact on the long run.
Sustainable resource management is crucial to preserving the environment and ensuring product quality. Sustainable practices in vineyard management, waste reduction, and energy efficiency can help mitigate the sector’s ecological footprint. To ensure efficient resource utilisation, preventing waste, and ensuring that decisions yield positive impacts on the economy, society, and the environment. This includes assessing whether a project or decision is cost-effective and avoiding allocation of resources to potentially unprofitable projects.
In light of this, an area that needs additional exploration is as follows:
Conduct Cost-Benefit Analysis in the wine sector, evaluating investments, production strategies, and business decisions.
The literature review indicates that the wine industry produces a range of by-products, including skins, pomace, and residues from winemaking. By implementing circular practices, such as composting or converting these by-products into fertiliser, waste is diminished, and the buildup of waste is circumvented. This contributes to enhancing overall efficiency. Circular economy practices serve as a pivotal tool for ameliorating the sustainability performance of wineries while also fostering innovation within them. Indeed, they facilitate the optimisation of resource utilisation, encompassing water, energy, and materials. Therefore, one aspect that could be further investigated is the following:
Compare various production processes to assist stakeholders in evaluating the most sustainable approach.
Furthermore, the literature review reveals a need for an evaluation system or integrated approach for food waste valorisation methods considering the wine industry’s specific needs, market opportunities, and local environmental policies of empirical evaluations regarding the feasibility and effectiveness of industrial symbiosis in winemaking waste management. As highlighted in this study, wine waste can be valorised using a variety of facilities and technologies (such as biogas and composting plants), making it challenging to choose the best technological option. As a result, an appropriate evaluation system and a comparative analysis of available options will help choose the best strategy for wine waste valorisation in a specific context.
An effective strategy could involve employing Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) to evaluate the trade-offs of economic, social, and environmental issues. MCDM could provide a systematic and comprehensive assessment framework, considering multiple criteria simultaneously, enabling decision-makers to holistically assess the impact of different strategies and technologies for wine waste valorisation and choose options in line with the overall sustainability goals of the wine industry. For instance, a combination of different technologies could be a beneficial solution, as it best uses the various characteristics of wine waste and maximises its value in environmental and economic terms; and drives companies toward sustainability and industrial symbiosis. Therefore, in this context, one aspect that could be further investigated is the following:
Deeper analysis of different types of emerging technologies using Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) approaches.
Finally, there is a lack of studies evaluating the environmental implications of industrial symbiosis strategies. As a result, future studies could conduct a comparative study between wineries adopting different industrial symbiosis practices in order to assess the environmental impact in terms of reducing waste, greenhouse gas emissions and natural resource use, thus revealing the most beneficial solutions for the environment.
One aspect that could be further investigated is the following:
Conduct life cycle assessments (LCAs) to evaluate and compare the environmental performance of different winery supply chains that implement different recycling and valorisation processes.

7 Conclusions, implications and limitations

Through this systematic literature review, it has been possible to summarise the state of knowledge and provide insights for future reflection and research.
It allowed us to have a comprehensive overview of studies in this area, analyse and identify existing gaps, and provide a basis for the advancement of knowledge in the wine industry.
This research highlights the importance of applying sustainability practices upstream in the production chain and identifies alternative practices for the valorisation of wine waste. However, the application of sustainable practices to avoid or minimise this waste does not emerge clearly.
The objective of this research is to give a complete view of the value chain and to bring out in which part of the chain wine companies focus their actions.
The analysis supports the sustainability and adaptability of waste valorisation in the wine industry for researchers, wine producers, and policymakers.
The literature review performed allows academicians to gain an in-depth overview of the field wine sector, by enabling them to identify research opportunities. In particular, this study could contribute to the development of a more robust framework for the implementation of circular economy and industrial symbiosis strategies along the wine supply chain. This could include understanding the factors that influence the successful implementation of these practices and the mechanisms that drive collaboration between industries and academic actors. In future analyses, researchers can identify opportunities for improvement and optimisation within the production process, suggesting, for example, strategies to maximise resource use and reduce waste. In addition, they can propose new approaches to the management of wine materials and by-products, promoting maximum utilisation of all available resources. Researchers play a key role, as they can offer in-depth analyses and innovative solutions that enable wine producers and policymakers to adopt sustainable practices without compromising their competitiveness in the marketplace, such as conducting in-depth studies on how to improve and make more sustainable packaging.
Adopting sustainable practices helps to preserve the environment and generates long-term economic benefits. Efficiency in production processes and optimal use of resources can result in increased market competitiveness and improved brand reputation, thus meeting the expectations of an increasingly environmentally sensitive consumer.
Partnerships with academic institutions can foster access to cutting-edge resources, expertise, and research, enabling the wine industry to stay current with the latest developments and trends. Researchers should focus their attention on the barriers that hinder sustainability activities. The strong correlation between academics and industry can provide advantages for the wine industry and enhance sustainable processes and practices. Research can assist wine producers in implementing sustainable practices and offer solutions to the research propositions outlined in the preceding section.
Wine industry managers can use the results of the study to identify concrete opportunities to implement circular economy strategies within their production processes. This could include adopting practices to valorise production waste, thereby reducing the costs associated with waste disposal and improving overall environmental sustainability. Indeed, sustainability necessitates the optimal utilisation of all raw materials and by-products generated from wine production while minimising trash disposal. Contemporary wineries must adopt management and valorisation systems that facilitate the retrieval and reuse of valuable components and the development of novel products. With a view to promoting sustainability and the circular economy, it would be desirable for policymakers to allocate adequate financial resources to incentivise and support collaborations between wine industries. The aim is to promote industrial symbiosis, enabling companies to share resources, expertise, and infrastructure to maximise the use of wine industry waste and by-products.
Through targeted investments and supportive policies, policymakers could help create an enabling environment for collaborative initiatives that aim to “bring to life” wine industry waste. This could include projects to transform waste into useful resources, such as producing organic fertilisers, generating renewable energy, or using by-products to create new products.
In addition, encouraging industrial symbiosis in the wine industry could not only reduce negative environmental impacts but also foster innovation and the creation of new economic opportunities. There is an urgent need for the scientific community and producers to seek more profitable and sustainable options. Policymakers can implement incentives that promote the adoption of sustainable practices in the wine industry, including tax breaks for investments in sustainable technologies.
In fact, financial incentives can motivate producers to invest in innovative technologies that enhance energy efficiency, decrease waste, and encourage the sustainable use of resources. Ultimately, policies focused on promoting sustainability in the wine industry not only deliver environmental benefits but can also stimulate economic growth, enhance the industry’s reputation, and meet consumers’ growing expectations for environmental responsibility.
To foster social sensitivity, the industry should encourage community engagement through awareness campaigns or incentives to promote circular and sustainable behaviours. This will direct communities towards deliberate and astute activities while also assisting policymakers in formulating their policy interventions based on the views and needs of communities. Finally, this study highlights the importance of collaboration between academia and industry to address the challenge of waste valorisation in the wine sector. This could lead to partnerships for the development and testing of new technologies and practices.
Although the validity and results of the study approach have been carefully checked, some limitations must be addressed. In our first search, we overlooked data from other sources like Web of Science and collected only documents indexed in the Scopus database. As a result, future research may integrate the results of this study with those provided by additional scientific databases. In addition, future literature reviews on the topic could adopt different research methodologies, such as the bibliometric approach. To provide comprehensive views on how industrial symbiosis applications are affecting the wine industry, future research could, for instance, combine academic and practitioner sources, such as the European Patent Office dataset, and examine both scientific papers and original validated patents.

Acknowledgements

This study was carried out within the Agritech National Research Center and received funding from the European Union Next-GenerationEU (PIANO NAZIONALE DI RIPRESA E RESILIENZA (PNRR) – MISSIONE 4 COMPONENTE 2, INVESTIMENTO 1.4 – D.D. 1032 17/06/2022022, CN00000022). This manuscript reflects only the authors’ views and opinions, neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be considered responsible for them.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​.

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Metadaten
Titel
Wine waste valorisation: crushing the research domain
verfasst von
Stefano Abbate
Piera Centobelli
Maria Di Gregorio
Publikationsdatum
05.06.2024
Verlag
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Erschienen in
Review of Managerial Science
Print ISSN: 1863-6683
Elektronische ISSN: 1863-6691
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11846-024-00779-5

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