Champagne Telmont has announced the launch of an experiment to reduce the weight of its glass bottles, working in close collaboration with the French glassmaker Verallia. The goal is ultimately to decrease the current weight of 835g to an even lighter bottle, weighing 800g.
The glass used for its bottles is one of the main sources of Champagne Telmont’s carbon emissions, forming 20% of its total. Therefore, shaving weight off its bottles could reduce its carbon footprint: less glass means less CO2 in the melting and manufacturing of glass, and also less fuel for transport, both upstream and downstream. This means energy savings and environmental benefits.
The appearance and shape of the bottle will change very little; the only difference will be its weight.
This modification requires an upstream test phase to guarantee bottle resistance during the champagne bottling process and transport. In fact, due to the specific characteristics of champagne, these bottles must withstand much higher pressure than others: about 6kg per square centimetre. The lighter bottles therefore need to be tested to withstand this pressure over time with 35g less glass weight.
This test phase began several days ago at the Telmont estate, on a batch of 3000 bottles during the tirage, or stage when the wine is bottled and a second fermentation takes place, specific to the champagne-making process. Over a six-month period, a representative sample will be continuously monitored and analysed, and the results communicated on a regular basis. These lighter bottles will be approved for sale once they have successfully passed each step of the test, including ageing time in the cellar.
If the outcome is conclusive, Telmont will market the first 800g bottles of “Telmont Réserve Brut” (aged a minimum of three years) from 2025—an initiative that could potentially benefit the Champagne region to help collectively reduce its carbon footprint.
The experiment is the last in a series of initiatives taken by Champagne Telmont since June 2021 as part of the In the Name of Mother Nature project: eliminating all packaging and gift boxes based on the principle of “the bottle, and nothing but the bottle”. It aims to replace all transparent bottles (made with 0% recycled glass) with classic green champagne bottles (made with 85% recycled glass); overhaul the logistics chain upstream and downstream to limit greenhouse gas emissions indirectly related to its business; select transporters according to their CSR score; use 100% green energy; enforce its zero-air transport policy for supply and distribution; and convert the estate to100% organic viticulture by 2031.
“Telmont is a traditional house that embraces innovation, especially when it enables us to reduce our carbon footprint. We want to thank our partner in this experiment, Verallia, who also shares these values. I sincerely hope that what we are testing today, with this lighter800-gram bottle, will be a step forward for the Champagne region.” said Ludovic du Plessis, president of Telmont House.
“The Champagne bottle is a symbol. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t evolve, stepping up to meet today’s challenges. In line with our purpose ‘Re-imagining glass for a sustainable future’, we work closely with our clients, supporting their efforts to reduce environmental impact. Shaving weight off bottles is a strategic focus of this approach. Therefore, we are thrilled to partner up with Champagne Telmont who is offering us a remarkable life-size testing ground,” said Axel Guilloteau, sales and marketing director at Verallia France.