European bottled water industry achieves 10% gain in water efficiency

Second benchmarking exercise shows continuous improvement over five years

24 April 2013: Based on the results of its second water use ratio survey, the European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) is pleased to announce an improvement in water use efficiency over a 5 year period (2007-2011). The average water use ratio for bottled water is measured at 1.63 litres per litre of finished product, according to the data collected from water bottling plants across Europe.

Fully committed to sustainable water use, the European bottled water sector has sought to regularly evaluate, assess and monitor the industry’s water consumption. EFBW has completed a second calculation of the industry’s water use, based on a harmonised methodology developed by EFBW experts. The 2012 study follows the first water use ratio calculation in 2011, which established an initial benchmark for the sector.

The second evaluation conducted by RDC Environment confirms a consistently positive trend in the industry’s water use performance. Data was compiled from bottling facilities throughout Europe and measured on-site water consumption, from source to bottling. The water use ratio evolved from an average of 1.81 litres in 2007 to 1.63 litres in 2011, representing a 10% improvement in five years for water bottling plants. Water consumption decreased from 343 million litres in 2007 to 278 million litres in 2011.

The analysis shows that 69% of all participating facility types improved their water use ratio by an average 18% overall.

Bernard Pruvost, Chair of EFBW’s Environment Working Group said, “EFBW’s second study highlights the consistent and progressive improvements that reflect an industry-wide effort to minimise water usage during production phases. Producers of natural mineral water and spring waters will continue to build on the efforts achieved”.

Jean-Christophe Bligny, Vice Chair of EFBW’s Environmental Working group added, “The water use ratio is an important measurement that sets a basis for ongoing improvements in water efficiency over time. Responsible water stewardship must be at the centre of our actions if we are to ensure the sustainable quality and quantity of natural mineral and spring waters for the future”.

Source: European Federation of Bottled Waters