evian is announcing global certification for becoming carbon neutral. After revealing the ambition in 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, evian has previously achieved carbon neutrality in the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and its bottling site. Today marks a key milestone for the brand as it receives carbon neutral certification, across all the countries where the brand has a presence.
evian has not achieved this overnight. The global certification follows years of ambitious reductions made at every stage of the product life cycle from conception to production to recycling.
Shweta Harit, evian global brand VP, said: “Today’s announcement comes at a moment when we are seeing, in real time, what can happen when we reduce our impact on the planet. Emissions are lower and pollution levels have dropped.
“Lessening our environmental footprint is at the core of everything we do at evian, and that is why today’s announcement is so important for us. The current health crisis provides us all with a renewed impetus to do more and create long-lasting change, and it has been heartening to see the world come together.
“This is just one milestone for us. Even with the challenges that this crisis imposes on our business, we look forward to announcing new initiatives later this year so that we can further drive down our carbon footprint and preserve the world’s ecosystem. We believe that climate change is a real threat both today and for future generations so we must all act now."
The certification to the internationally recognised carbon neutral standard PAS 2060 has been issued by the Carbon Trust. It has been achieved through carbon emissions reductions in three key areas:
· Conception: evian’s packaging continues to become more sustainable from the beginning to end of its life cycle. This includes:
o Light-weighting: evian has changed the design of its packaging so that the end product is much lighter in weight. This has a significant impact on its carbon emissions. For example, the light weighting of the evian’s leading 1.5L format has led to a 17% reduction in the bottle’s carbon footprint between 1993-2018.
o Use of recycled plastic (rPET): This can save up to 50% of carbon emissions versus a virgin bottle. To reduce its carbon emissions, evian has therefore ramped up its rPET rate over the last 10 years. 30% of its range is now made from rPET, whilst some bottles are now made from 100% rPET. Later this year the brand will launch a new range of “bottles made from bottles” using 100% recycled plastic.
· Production: evian has worked hard to reduce both waste and energy consumption
o Renewable energy use at the bottling site: evian achieved carbon neutrality at the bottling site in 2017, the first Danone production facility and largest food production site in France to do so. This was primarily the result of both a $280 million investment into upgrading the bottling facility, in addition to the fact that it is 100% powered by renewable energy. Between 2015 and 2019, there has been a 90% reduction in the carbon footprint at the bottling site1
· Distribution: There has been a significant change in transportation models. Approximately 50% of evian’s volumes are shipped directly by train from the plant. To deliver to the UK for example, the train carbon footprint is now seven times lower than trucks.
In addition to the above efforts, the brand has also partnered with the Livelihoods Carbon Fund. Through this partnership, evian helps to preserve and restore natural ecosystems and improve the lives of local communities - notably through the plantation of 13 million trees which act to offset evian's remaining carbon emissions in order to achieve carbon neutrality.
Whilst evian will maintain investment in carbon credit generation, its commitment to carbon neutrality is centrally underpinned with a priority to invest in continued carbon reductions.
Hugh Jones, Managing Director, Advisory, at the Carbon Trust said: “The Carbon Trust is pleased to have worked with evian on its achievement of carbon neutrality, recognising its progress in low carbon design, production and distribution. We wish evian well in pursuing its future sustainability ambitions, including a 100% circular approach by 2025.”
evian’s carbon neutral certification is a significant marker of the brand’s bold sustainability ambitions. As announced in 2018, it also aims to become 100% circular by 2025. In practice, this bold ambition means all bottles will be made from recycled plastic and then recycled again. As a result of this, no virgin plastic will be added into the market.