FIJI(R) Water announced today that it had joined the Carbon Disclosure Project Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration to fully disclose the carbon footprint of its products. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the world's largest investor coalition on climate change, will work with FIJI Water to engage with suppliers to disclose their emissions.
FIJI Water is the first privately-owned U.S. company to join the Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration, which uses the CDP information request to engage with suppliers to encourage them to measure and disclose their carbon emissions. Measurement is the first key step to managing emissions.
For the base year ending June 30, 2007, FIJI Water's total annual carbon footprint from every stage of its production and distribution was 85,396 metric tons of CO2eq. To put this number in perspective, it is estimated that the U.S.'s carbon footprint is about 7 billion metric tons of CO2eq. This means that each person in the U.S. can be linked to an average of 20 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
"Having an accurate account of our carbon footprint and ensuring transparency by reporting it annually to CDP are important steps to enable us to understand where to focus resources to reduce our carbon emissions," said Thomas Mooney, senior vice president, sustainable growth at FIJI Water. "We are very proud to be the first bottled water brand to pioneer carbon disclosure of our products."
To measure its carbon footprint, FIJI Water calculated its carbon emissions across every stage in the product lifecycle: producing raw materials for packaging, transporting raw materials and equipment to the plant, manufacturing and filling bottles, shipping the product from Fiji to markets worldwide, distributing the product, refrigerating the product in stores, restaurants, and other outlets, and disposing/recycling of the packaging waste. This comprehensive, supply chain view is important because approximately 75% of FIJI Water's emissions result from the operations of supply chain partners, e.g. raw materials suppliers, rather than from the company's own operations. The company also looked at emissions from sales and administrative activities such as commuting, business travel, and office electricity usage.
In addition to disclosing its overall product lifecycle emissions for the base year, FIJI Water announced today the launch of a product-specific emissions disclosure effort via the company's http://www.fijigreen.com website. At this site consumers will have access to product lifecycle emissions data and analysis for each of the company's products.
Further to this initiative Mooney said, "FIJI Water believes that consumers will make environmentally responsible purchasing decisions if they have the information they need. Would we attempt to tackle the obesity epidemic by removing nutrition labels from food and beverage products? Of course not, and likewise the only way consumers can turn their good environmental intentions into good decisions is to give them the information they need regarding the emissions associated with the products they buy. We sincerely hope that other companies, in our industry and beyond, will follow in providing comparable product lifecycle emissions data for all of their products."
Paul Dickinson, CEO of CDP said, "CDP's Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration is a key step to encouraging suppliers to work with their customers to measure and disclose their carbon emissions. It is only by understanding the carbon footprint of suppliers, that a company is able to measure its own carbon footprint."
As part of its sustainable growth initiative to become carbon negative, FIJI Water will offset its total carbon footprint by 120%, removing from the earth's atmosphere not only all the emissions involved in the product lifecycle, but also an additional 20%. For example, the total grams of CO2eq removed from the atmosphere for FIJI Water's 1 L bottle will be 115 grams, the equivalent of the electricity saved by shutting down a laptop computer overnight instead of leaving it on. Across all products sold in 2008, the company expects to deliver a net reduction of more than 20 thousand tons of CO2eq from the atmosphere as a result of this commitment. This is equivalent to taking over 3,500 cars off the road or planting over 500,000 trees.
"As the debate on climate change and carbon emissions increases, FIJI Water believes that now is the time for companies to not only start measuring and reducing their carbon emissions, but to take action to move towards a carbon negative environment," said Mooney. "Consumers who choose FIJI Water will actually be helping the environment by taking carbon out of the atmosphere with every purchase."
Carbon Negative Strategy
In November 2007, FIJI Water announced an aggressive sustainable growth program that included a commitment to become carbon negative beginning in 2008. FIJI Water pledged to reduce actual greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2010 by reducing packaging 20%, supplying at least 50% of the energy used at its bottling facility with renewable energy and optimizing logistics to take advantage of more carbon efficient modes of transportation.
To take immediate responsibility for its emissions, the company is partnering with Conservation International (CI), a leading conservation organization, to create a high quality, multiple benefit forest carbon project in the Yaqara Valley, Viti Levu, Fiji. The carbon offsets will be generated primarily through native species restoration on sparse grasslands. Restoration of these degraded lands will be an important means to safeguard the climate, support habitats for biodiversity, and support community livelihoods.
The offsets generated over 30 years will be used by FIJI Water to meet its "carbon negative in 2008" commitment. This is known as forward crediting. According to CI, it is the best way to ensure additionality, meaning the project is creating new emissions benefits that would not occur without carbon financing.
Sequestering carbon from the atmosphere through forest restoration helps address the greatest challenge of our time -- climate change," said Glenn Prickett, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, Conservation International. "In addition, it helps to ensure that Fiji, and its rich biodiversity and cultural history, will continue to thrive."
Progress to Date
Since its announcement in November, FIJI Water has already implemented several measures to reduce its carbon emissions. By optimizing its logistics, the company has reduced trucking miles from warehouses to distributors by 26% on average. In addition, the company has already started producing its 1.5 L product with an initial 7% reduction in packaging and has reduced by 70% the amount of waste materials taken to landfills. Finally, the company is using more fuel-efficient trucks in Fiji to transport its product from plant to port. This has resulted in a 50% reduction in fuel usage.
Impact of Recycling on FIJI Water's Carbon Footprint
According to the company's analysis, recycling is the biggest opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of its product, or any packaged beverage.
Added Mooney, "Perhaps the most compelling information to come from our carbon footprint analysis is the big impact the simple act of recycling a plastic PET bottle has. By recycling the bottle, a consumer can reduce its carbon footprint at least 25%. That is why we support boosting overall recycling rates through expanding curbside recycling programs and container deposit laws that include bottled water and other non-carbonated beverages. Presently only 11 states have container deposit laws and only 4 of these include bottled water in their program (this includes Oregon which will add bottled water in 2009). Considering that states with deposit laws recycle at a rate 2.6 times higher than all other states, our industry and our elected leaders are missing a great opportunity to reduce the impact of our products. We would like to help change that by supporting legislation that boosts overall recycling rates."
For more information about FIJI Water's sustainability commitments, visit http://www.FIJIGreen.com.