New Zealand Winegrowers has launched a tool to allow wineries and vineyards to measure their carbon footprint as part of a sustainable winegrowing initiative.

The trade organisation said today (4 February) that the Excel-based calculator, which has been developed to manage greenhouse gas emissions, has been developed through a partnership between wine industry organisations in Australia, California, South Africa and New Zealand and is free to download from its website.

New Zealand Winegrowers' CEO, Philip Gregan said: "We're excited to launch this initiative in New Zealand. There are not yet any regulatory requirements around carbon emission levels but there is a strong demand in the market for an internationally credible system such as this."

Gregan added: "The industry aims to have all New Zealand grapes and wine produced under Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand or an alternative independent scheme by 2012. This is another step in arming members with the tools they need to help them meet sustainability standards."

The calculator has been launched with a protocol document listing information that can be reviewed by the World Resources Institute, which administers the International Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the institute added.