Sustainability Report

8 September, 2010 – Brussels –The European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) – representing over 500 producers of natural mineral and spring water across Europe - has published its first sustainability report to illustrate the sector’s long commitment to good environmental stewardship. The publication highlights achievements in the field of source protection, recycling and efficient energy and water consumption. 

A long history of protecting natural resources
European producers of natural mineral and spring waters have been protecting the environment for centuries to guarantee the natural purity of underground water. This is done either directly or in partnership with local communities.  Europe boasts some of the oldest and largest protection zones around its sources, some of which cover up to several thousands of hectares. Natural mineral and spring water are a renewable resource always abstracted at sustainable rates.  

Pioneer in packaging recycling
Recycling has always been a top priority for the industry. All packaging used by the sector is 100% recyclable and companies are continuously investing in national recovery and recycling schemes such as the green dot systems. Great results are also being achieved in relation to package light weighting; on average, the weight of a 1.5 L PET bottled has been reduced from 50g in 1986 to 35g in 2009! Also, more and more European producers are integrating recycled plastic (r-PET) into new bottles.

Lowest water ratio of all packaged food and beverages: 
On average it takes fewer than 2L of water to produce 1L of bottled water, by far the lowest water ratio of all packaged drinks!  In fact, you could say that drinking water helps to save water! The industry also implements water-saving techniques such as recycling industrial water for re-use to maximise resources. 

Bottled water has the lowest carbon footprint
The carbon footprint of a typical bottle of natural mineral or spring water is significantly lower than that of any other packaged beverage.  In addition, producers are working hard to improve their overall energy efficiency by integrating low carbon or renewable energy sources throughout their operations and optimising transport.

Commenting on the report Hubert Genieys, President EFBW explains: “Protecting the environment is a top priority for the sector. Our objective is to provide consumers with a natural, pure and safe product whilst ensuring that resources will be available for future generations”. 

To read the full reports please click here:  sustainability report

About EFBW
The European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) is the voice of the bottled waters industry in Europe. A not-for-profit trade association based in Brussels, EFBW and has a membership base of 26 national trade associations which together represent over 500 natural mineral and spring water producers across Europe. EFBW works closely with European and international institutions which regulate bottled water. EFBW is an active member of the European Food and Drinks Association (CIAA) as well as the International Council of Bottled Waters Association (ICBWA).