evian: the largest food production site in France is now carbon neutral

evian® just revealed to the world on September 12th its new carbon-neutral bottling site. Six years of construction and transformation were needed. It is now the largest food production site in France to achieve carbon neutrality. What makes this site so unique? What changes and upgrades were made for sustainability? Let’s take the grand tour.

It is going to be a big tour: the transformed evian® bottling site is now 130,000 square meters, the equivalent of 13 football fields. It has one of the largest private railway stations in France with 13 kilometers of rails, and departures every four hours.

The bottling site (blue area) is now 130 000 square meters- Credit: images @2017 Google, données géographiques @2017 Google

Currently, 60% of evian® bottles are shipped by train within the bottling site (a carbon footprint ten times lower than transport by road), a number expected to rise in the coming years.

evian® natural mineral water comes from the French Alps near Evian-les-Bains.

Historically it started at first with its fashionable thermal spa, then with its first bottling site, “La Manutention”, opened in the 1900s. Over sixty years later as sales kept growing, the Amphion plain was chosen for the establishment of a new site. The sales exploded once more, from 14 million bottles in 1948 to 100 million in 1954, and reaching almost 450 million liters annually by 1964.

A sustainable site for a sustainable brand

New buildings were built and old ones were renovated. 1,200 employees work on the evian® bottling site today. Since 2011, 200 new jobs have been created within this transformed bottling site.

280 million euros by 2020, that’s how much evian® will have invested in order to modernize its unique bottling site in France. It makes today all evian® bottles sold worldwide in more than 140 countries. The fastest new production line produces 72,000 bottles per hour.

72 000 bottles per hour

By 2020, this more sustainable and efficient site will be able to produce 2 billion bottles each year while always staying committed to preserving the environment.

That is truly the newness of this site, its carbon neutral aspect.

“Our new evian factory, in the French Alps, is now the largest ever carbon-neutral food and beverage production site in France, after a nearly 300m€ investment. A huge step towards evian’s commitment to become entirely carbon neutral by 2020. We have also achieved carbon neutrality certification for all evian bottles sold in the US and Canada markets. Natural mineral water untouched by man, of the highest quality, and brought by a brand that is committed to taking care of nature and the planet for generations to come : with evian, you can vote for the world you want to live in !”

declared Danone’s CEO, Emmanuel Faber, on inauguration day.

A site 100% powered by renewable energy

evian® has come a long way, between 2008 and 2016, evian® reduced its industrial energy consumption by 23% per liter and achieved a reduction of 40% grCO2/L between 2008 and 2012 of its global carbon footprint. In addition of to those continuous efforts, today, the bottling site is completely powered by renewable energies. All waste is considered useful: 92% is recycled and 8% is converted to energy.

evian® has the goal to use 100% recycled materials in its packaging. Actually, evian® was the first natural mineral water brand in France in 2008 to include recycled plastic, PET (rPET), in its bottles. By the end of this year, evian® will use an average of 25% of rPET, 3 years earlier than the objective announced during the COP 21 in 2015.

The future lies in nature

Alongside evian®’s global carbon reduction action plan, the brand partnered with the Livelihoods Carbon Fund to help preserve and restore water ecosystems and local communities. Since 2008, evian® has helped the plantation of 130 million trees worldwide, 85 million being mangroves trees.

Over time evian®’s sustained actions to reduce its emissions, combined with the creation of credits through the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, will enable the brand to reach worldwide carbon neutral status by 2020.