Highland Spring Group, the UK’s leading producer of natural source waters, will aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 and become carbon neutral by the end of this year, as part of their commitment to providing healthy hydration in an environmentally sustainable way.
To mark World Environment Day 2021, the business has today announced plans to significantly reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions across its operations to accelerate its goal towards carbon neutrality and ultimately net zero.
As part of their journey to net zero, the company will work towards a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, 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.
At a critical point for the climate and ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Summit in November, the Group has also signed-up to the United Nation’s ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, underscoring its commitment to reducing carbon emissions.
The business 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.
Simon Oldham, Chief Commercial Officer, Highland Spring Group, said: “We are committed to playing our part in addressing the risks of climate change through reducing our carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment with the aim of becoming carbon neutral in 2021 and net zero by 2040.
Since the company was founded over 40 years ago, environmental sustainability has been at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to work hard on our strategy to ensure we keep reducing our environmental footprint, to create a positive impact for people, society and the planet.”
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Michael Matheson MSP said: “I am pleased to see Highland Spring Group’s ambition to reach net zero by 2040 and I fully welcome the announcement.
The Scottish business community continues to play a crucial role in delivering a just transition to net zero. Ambitious targets help drive the development of new industries, services, and skilled jobs, alongside new export and investment opportunities.
With COP26 being hosted in Glasgow later this year, we are asking other Scottish businesses to follow Highland Spring Group’s example and to demonstrate the leadership required to inspire collective climate action and ensure Scotland becomes a net zero nation.”
UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith MP, said: “Fantastic that Highland Spring Group have joined the UN’s Race to Zero, underlining their target to halve their emissions by 2030 and be net zero by 2040, across all scopes. This is backed by crucial innovation and investment, securing the company’s low carbon growth path.”
Jonathan Sykes, Executive Chairman, Carbon Intelligence said: “We are delighted to support Highland Spring Group on their Net Zero journey. They join our roster of consumer brand clients committing, during this year of COP, to driving the changes needed to limit planetary warming.”
Sandra Stewart, Land Management Officer from Forth Rivers Trust said: “We are delighted to be working with Highland Spring Group to undertake scientific baseline surveys in the protected catchment area and advise on actions to benefit biodiversity and enhance watercourses. The Trust has been working with land managers across the Allan Water catchment to undertake Natural Flood Management work to revive the river, restore peatlands and wetlands and encourage sympathetic native tree planting in the right place. Working with partners allows benefits at a catchment scale to protect businesses and communities, and support wildlife and biodiversity using Nature Based Solutions.”
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 from the road 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 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.
• 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.