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Highland Spring Group Achieves Carbon Neutrality across UK Operations

Key milestone as part of the business sustainability journey to reduce its environmental footprint

Blackford 10th December 2021: Highland Spring Group, one of the UK’s leading producers of natural source waters, has achieved its target of achieving carbon neutrality across UK operations (scope 1 & 2 market-based emissions and scope 3 business travel), as part of their commitment to providing healthy hydration in an environmentally sustainable way.

The Carbon Trust has certified the business as carbon neutral for its UK operation’s 2019 baseline period, in accordance with the internationally recognised PAS 2060.

The Group’s primary efforts continue to focus on permanent emissions reductions, with key steps taken by the business to reduce its organisational footprint including; purchasing electricity from 100% renewable sources, with 100% of electricity at all UK sites supplied from these sources by the end of 2021, and the implementation of a number of energy saving initiatives.

To neutralise its impact in the immediate term, the Group has also offset residual emissions by purchasing Gold Standard offsets to achieve carbon neutrality.

As part of their overall journey to net zero, the company will now work towards a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, versus 2019 baseline, and a target of net zero emissions by 2040. This is five years ahead of the Scottish Government’s proposed 2045 target, and 10 years ahead of the UK Government’s deadline. The business is working with Carbon Intelligence to develop an emissions reduction roadmap and set credible and robust science-based targets.

The Group has also signed-up to the United Nation’s ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, underscoring its commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

The Group has focused on environmental leadership since it was founded in 1979. Highland Spring was the first brand to introduce a 100% recycled and recyclable bottle in the UK, and for the last 20 years has achieved organic accreditation from The Soil Association for its protected water catchment area. For the 14th successive year, Highland Spring has also been named as the leading ethical water brand by The Good Shopping Guide.

Simon Oldham, Joint Managing Director, Highland Spring Group, said: “I am pleased that we are announcing carbon neutral status in line with our ambition to achieve this target before the end of 2021. This is one element of our sustainability strategy, and we are working hard to continue to reduce our environmental footprint across all areas of the business.
We remain fully focused on becoming net zero by 2040 and will continue to take actions that ensure we are creating a positive impact for people, society and the planet.”

Hugh Jones, Managing Director at Carbon Trust Advisory, said: “We have worked with Highland Spring Group this year to verify their 2019 Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Highland Spring Group have met the requirements under PAS 2060 and we are delighted to certify their 2019 UK operations as carbon neutral as part of their sustainability journey.”

The business continues to go further through on its journey towards net zero with the introduction of innovative new projects;

  • A planned on-site rail freight facility in Blackford, due to be operational in 2022, will remove 8,000 lorries truck movements and contribute towards a CO2 reduction of 3,200 tonnes per annum.
  • Supporting and enhancing heathy eco-systems on the protected catchment area will be a key focus area. An ambition to secure a biodiversity net gain by 2025 will be achieved through scientific surveys to establish a baseline and implementation of measures to create a net increase of flora, fauna and wildlife.

The Group will also be focusing on creating a truly circular plastics economy in the UK through;

  • Introducing more recycled plastic (rPET) into bottles to ultimately reach 100% rPET across all Highland Spring and retailer branded products by 2025.
  • Continuing to implement further lightweighting across our product portfolio, we have decreased the amount of PET used in our packaging by 20% between 2015 and 2020.
  • The continued expansion of the Highland Spring eco bottle range which already contains 100% rPET.
  • The further roll-out of a category-leading trial of 100% recycled LDPE in Highland Spring shrink wrap.
  • As a founder member of Circularity Scotland, the new administrator for a Scottish Deposit Return Scheme, working to achieve a 90% recycle rate target through collaboration with other members.