“We want to leave absolutely no carbon footprint - from the source of the water to any dining table in the world,” Antipodes bottled water CEO Angela Buglass says.
Buglass admits that’s quite an audacious goal, but Antipodes was the first and is still the only bottled mineral water brand worldwide that is carbon zero certified.
Despite being on the menu at some of the world’s top eateries, from The Highline Hotel in New York, to Pinch in Russia, Antipodes avoids carbon emissions wherever it can and then off-sets the remainder to be carbon neutral.
“We backload our raw materials deliveries with finished product to reduce road travel emissions.
“We also recently bought a bailer machine to minimise waste and transport large loads of waste,” Buglass says.
Another environmental decision the company has taken since 2003 has been to bottle the New Zealand water in glass bottles which are made of about 50% recycled glass.
“So, when the glass is blown at the manufacturer, it has already been through one cycle, maybe more,” Buglass says.
Antipodes, which is a Westpac customer, also only bottles to order, to reduce the amount of stock sitting around.
Antipodes water comes from 327 metres below the earth’s surface, from an artesian aquifer composed of silica rich ignimbrite rock.
Because of the geological pressure at the North Island site, near Whakatane, the water flows naturally to the earth’s surface.
But being carbon neutral comes at a financial cost, which might be why other bottled water brands have decided against expensive initiatives.
“It always adds cost,” Buglass says.
“There are costs in terms of managing the information to participate in the carbon zero certification.
“Our carbonzero certificate is with Toitū Envirocare but there are many others that you can use for the certification.
“We have our accounts set up in a certain way so that we can see through the transactions to convert those to carbon offsets, so that involves costs.
“But being Toitū carbonzero certified is part of building our brand.
“We're talking about something that makes the brand stand out over and above other brands.
“Consumers these days are always looking for a brand that does good things for the environment or has better approaches to how they source.
“For me it’s a fundamental of the business, whilst it adds cost, in the long term it builds a stronger brand,” Buglass says.
Antipodes became Toitū carbonzero certified in 2008 and soon after were invited to be a member of the United Nations Carbon Neutral Network of companies and countries.