French firm says it has achieved goal set at Paris climate conference through offsetting and significant carbon reduction efforts across its design, production, shipping, and recycling operations
Evian has been certified as carbon neutral across all its operations, some four years after it made the commitment at the historic COP21 Climate Summit in Paris.
The company said in a statement today that the milestone was achieved through "ambitious reductions" in emissions across all stages of the product life cycle, including design, production, shipping, and recycling. The resulting carbon neutral standard, PAS 2060, was awarded by British certification agency Carbon Trust.
"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," said Shweta Harit, global brand vice-president. "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," she added.
Evian said it achieved the accolade by boosting the proportion of its range made from recycled plastic to around 30 per cent and making its packaging lighter. It added that its 50-year-old bottling facility on the banks of Lake Geneva in France is now fully powered by renewables and had been made more carbon efficient by a $280m programme of upgrades since 2017.
Moreover, the bottling plant also boasts the largest private train station in France and emissions have been further reduced by a "significant change" in transportation models, the company noted.
In addition to emissions savings, the company has also invested in carbon offset programmes to deliver carbon neutrality. While touting its new status as being "centrally underpinned with a priority to invest in continued carbon reductions", Evian conceded it would continue to invest in carbon credits to help offset its remaining emissions.
Harit said that carbon neutrality was "just one milestone" for the French company, and that there would be further initiatives geared at reducing carbon emissions and preserving ecosystems that would be announced later this year. "We believe that climate change is a real threat both today and for future generations so we must all act now," she said.
Hugh Jones, managing director for advisory at the Carbon Trust, commended Evian for its progress. "We wish Evian well in pursuing its future sustainability ambitions, including a 100 per cent circular approach by 2025," he said.
The firm intends to wean itself entirely off virgin plastic over the next few years, by ensuring that all bottles are made from recycled plastic and then recycled again.
The certification comes after Evian parent company Danone announced that from April, 'on-the-go' bottles of Evian water in the UK would be made from 100 per cent recycled PET plastic, excluding the caps and labels, rising from 50 per cent recycled content at present.
Danone is working with The Carbon Trust to get both its water brands, Volvic and Evian, B-Corp sustainability accreditation by the end of the year.
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