Investing in the Earth
Investing in the Earth…Sustainably
How are you investing in our planet?
The theme for Earth Day 2022, “investing in the Earth,” hones in on the ROI of investing in our planet. Instead of focusing on the 37,000 jobs that will disappear with the American coal industry, let’s focus on the exploding growth of the solar power industry that already employs 250,000 and is growing at five times faster than the annual job growth rate. A worldwide commitment to sustainability could revolutionize the global economy just as the space race sparked the rapid transition from an analog to a digital world in the 20th century, and industrialization brought about the modern era in the 19th.
But this systemic change requires pan-sector cooperation: governments need to implement incentives and policies that support innovative solutions rather than propping up old, polluting industries; investors and entrepreneurs need to recognize that sustainability is the “disruptive” new model we need, with exciting opportunities in regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, and carbon capture; citizens and individuals need to vote for green candidates and urge representatives to take environmental action; and finally consumers and individuals need to demand sustainable products…including wine.
Sustainability is also Social
So how do we define sustainability in wine? Sustainability isn’t an absolute, but there is general consensus that sustainable practices are those that meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. Europe and the U.S. have yet to develop a defined policy for designating wines as sustainable, but proposed tenets consider sustainable winegrowing and wine making practices as those that are sensitive to the environment (Environmentally Sound), responsive to the needs and interests of society-at-large (Socially Equitable), and are economically feasible to implement and maintain (Economically Feasible).
What is key to recognize here is the integration of social equity and economic vitality –not just ecological wellness–as critical to sustainability. Looking beyond wines that are environmentally sensitive, we are now encouraged to purchase wines produced by entities that are supporting, investing, and empowering their local communities and economies.
The Wine Metaverse as a Proponent for Sustainability
Finding sustainable wines is becoming easier thanks to the increase in producers making the commitment to employ these practices, as well as widespread resources dedicated to promoting these wines. But pioneering wine investment platforms such as WiV have the potential to encourage and promote sustainability through disrupting the traditional wine marketplace as well. Already WiV is supporting emerging and small producers that would traditionally face huge barriers to entry, by allowing innovative access to financial capital and technology through the blockchain. Access to these digital assets promotes equity while allowing these producers to grow their operations and invest in their communities through employment opportunities and economic development. WiV also gives producers access to a consumer base that is increasingly diverse, and--also critical--interested in purchasing fine and sustainable wines. Access to faster, smarter, and secure distribution is critical to small producers that typically lack the resources to enter the monolithic wine marketplace.
Consumers are also key to promoting sustainability and through its established Discord community and it’s Wineverse, WiV is creating a unified virtual eco-system where wine enthusiasts from all over the world and levels of interest and knowledge can discover, interact, and purchase wine. This three-dimensional environment has the potential to break down boundaries, facilitate accessibility, and allow for true inclusivity in an industry that has been slow to change. This eco-system has sustainability as its core value not just for its potential to support small producers and their local communities but also in giving diverse and younger consumers unfettered access to wine, as well as the potential to create new wine experiences.
As we raise a glass to celebrate Earth Day, let’s think more holistically about wine and how we can encourage sustainability in innovative ways that support equitable access for both wine lovers and suppliers alike. Cheers to the Wineverse!