Danone-owned bottled water brand Evian has announced that its operations have been certified as carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust.

Danone Waters announced in December 2019 that four of its water brands – including Evian – had committed to achieving carbon neutrality in the coming years. According to a statement from Evian, its operations have now been verified as carbon neutral under the Carbon Trust’s internationally-recognised PAS 2060 standard.

Evian claims that the certification has been achieved thanks to developments in three areas of its operations: conception and creation of packaging, production and distribution.

With respect to conception, Evian has reduced its carbon footprint by lightweighting its plastic bottles and increasing the amount of recycled PET (rPET) in its packaging. For example, lightweighting of the brand’s 1.5-litre bottle has reportedly led to a 17% reduction in the bottle’s carbon footprint between 1993-2018, while the brand claims that 30% of its bottled water range is now made from rPET.

Meanwhile, the brand has reduced the carbon footprint of its production operations through the use of renewable energy at its carbon-neutral production site in Evian-les-Bains, France. In 2017, the brand committed €280 million to transform the plant by 2020, and between 2015 and 2019, there has been a 90% reduction in the carbon footprint at the bottling site.
Evian has also stated that it will aim to make all of its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025

Finally, distribution has played a key role in this reduction, as approximately 50% of Evian’s volumes are now shipped directly by train from the plant. In practice, this means a delivery by train to the UK has a carbon footprint seven times lower than delivery by trucks.

Shweta Harit, Evian global brand vice-president, 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.”

Hugh Jones, managing director, advisory at the Carbon Trust, added: “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.”