PurposeWineries today are faced with the prospect of having to include environmental sustainability into their practices but implementation can be hard, complicated or even undesired. This research aims to examine firm features, specifically winery size and foreign direct investment, as potential sources of variability regarding environmental sustainability attitudes and practices.Design/methodology/approachQuestionnaires were administered via telephone interviews with 63 wineries in France. Production surface and wine activities in other countries were the independent variables examined as potentially predicting environmental sustainability attitudes and practices, leading to competitive positioning and perceived firm success.FindingsThe findings clearly show that bigger wineries are more likely to practice environmental sustainability, but they do not necessarily have more positive attitudes toward environmental sustainability. For winery managers, firm size and environmental sustainability practices interact because they are perceived to lead to competitive advantages such as augmented product quality and better innovations. Larger firms are also more sensitive to micro pressures emanating from customers, competitors and distributors regarding environmental sustainability. Finally, wineries engaging in foreign direct investments have more positive attitudes toward and engage in more environmental sustainability practices than firms that remain domestic.Originality/valueRather than comparing firms that are environmentally sustainable versus firms that are not, this research examined actual firm characteristics that may influence management’s propensity to engage in environmental sustainability practices. This research provides explanations for why there are augmented environmental sustainability practices by larger wineries and the sources of subjective norms encouraging larger wineries, versus smaller wineries, to practice environmental sustainability.
International Journal of Wine Business Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 19, 2017