I think San Pellegrino is one of the most sustainable beverage brands on the market. The brand uses mostly glass, aluminum, and cardboard to package its products. On their website, they pride themselves on having a caring attitude towards their business practices and the environment. In a quote from their website, they state “S.Pellegrino is committed to helping to nourish the future by acting responsibly at all times. We aim to do that by incorporating a caring attitude in all our business practices, always focusing on taste and never compromising on quality. With a forward-looking approach to innovation, we seek to drive positive environmental and social impacts on our business, within our local communities”. The company, based in San Pellegrino Terme, Italy, uses sustainable materials to package its products. The CEO and president, Stefano Agostini, has made promises to be more sustainable heading into the future. While the company makes these efforts, they are owned by Nestlé, which is been known to be unethical and unsustainable.
S.Pellegrino’s sources its water from the Dolomite Mountains. On their website, their product portfolio features a variety of different packaging materials for different purposes, favoring recyclable materials such as PET, glass, and aluminum. In order to increase the sustainable sourcing of their bottles, they support the use of recycled PET (rPET) and are committed to using 35% rPET by 2025. Most PET plastic bottles can be recycled and have been redesigned over the years so that they are 30% lighter. Additionally, increasing amounts of recycled plastic are used to manufacture the bottles themselves. Glass and aluminum are some of the best materials you can use in product production as they are both recyclable and sustainable.
The company has ten production sites in Italy with more than 1,850 workers. At their production plants, over 50,000 bottles of water are produced every hour, for a total amount of one million bottles a day. The bottles are then sorted to be exported to major countries around the world, emitting greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and methane. In 2005, five hundred million bottles were sold globally. In 2017, that number had increased to one billion bottles. All of their drinks are produced exclusively in Italy, this includes their flavored sodas and citrus cocktails. All of the fruit they use are grown in Sicily and Calabria. Because their ingredients are locally sourced, there is limited transportation and limited greenhouse gas emissions within the production process. Since the company uses little transportation outside of exporting their product around the world, their CO2 emissions are smaller than most would think. Overall, San Pellegrino is a relatively sustainable company that should be supported by people seeking bottled water. The wide use of glass and aluminum should be picked up by other companies who package and sell water.
San Pellegrino is owned by Nestlé, meaning they also manage other brands such as Vera, Levissima, and Acqua Panna. Nestle is known to be highly unethical when it comes to water. Recently, the company had come under fire for taking water from native communities and protected areas around the world. In an article by the Guardian, they highlight how the company has taken so much water from natural springs, that once pristine water beds are now completely dry. While Nestle pays for the water they take, it is not nearly enough considering how much they make from the bottled water they sell. The damage they leave behind if far more than just dry water beds, Nestle is responsible for exceedingly high CO2 emissions and plastic waste.