New Sustainability Standard for Global Beverage Industry Has Been Developed

MOSCOW, Russia – Today, at the InnoBev Global Soft Drinks Congress in
Moscow, a groundbreaking new plan – Carbon Action Plan (CAP) – is being
launched to provide beverage companies, and their suppliers, with a common
worldwide scheme for carbon footprint measurement. It also enables audited
results to be combined with other environmental information in a
consumer-friendly form on product labels.

This innovative approach has been developed as a joint venture between two
world-leading industry advisers – food and drink industry consultancy, Zenith
International Ltd
, and food safety and standards organisation, NSF
International
. They are working closely with Trucost Plc, an
international environmental research provider recognised by Defra (the UK Government’s
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

NSF Vice President of International Operations Koen Bontinck says, “The
great advantage of our Carbon Action Plan is that it builds on the work that
most companies are already doing. NSF’s prime role is to check methodologies of
measurement and independently verify company returns and claims.”

The Carbon Action Plan (CAP), unlike other schemes, will be global. It will
extend carbon footprints right up to the shop shelf and will cover a range of
sustainability ratings. Zenith Chairman Richard Hall explained: “For the
first time anywhere in the world, we have proposed five key genuine green
rating scores to go beyond carbon footprints. These are:

  • the amount of renewable energy used
  • the percentage of recycled material in the packaging
  • the number of water litres used to make 1 litre of
    product
  • the extent of a company’s carbon reduction in the
    previous two years and
  • the amount of carbon emissions verified as having been
    offset.

The CAP label design is based on ideas used for nutrition labeling so that
consumers will understand them more easily. “This is still work in
progress, and we would welcome ideas for further improvement, but we believe we
have already gone further than any other scheme available so far,” Richard
Hall added.

The first CAP pilot was undertaken by leading UK bottled water producer Highland
Spring. “It has been an exciting challenge for us,” remarked its
Technical Manager Bryan McCluskey. “We are assessing the environmental
impact of our suppliers, including all our fuel and energy use as well as
distribution and waste. As a result, we can see our total direct and embedded
Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and can break them down by type and size of
bottle. The biggest benefit of the CAP scheme is that we can now identify GHG
hot spots in our supply chain – by managing them, we will reduce our carbon
footprint with certainty.”

The Carbon Action Plan will first be implemented across the bottled water
industry, and pilots are in the process of being established with leading
companies in each continent. Soft drinks will be the next priority and the
scheme will then be rolled out to other food and drink sectors.

A new not-for-profit organisation, the Carbon Action Plan Partnership, is
being set up to monitor and develop the scheme. Its Chief Executive is Ian
Hall, former Chairman of the UK Natural Mineral Water Association.

“We are convinced this is the right direction for companies who are
genuinely committed to taking corporate responsibility for the environment,”
explained Ian Hall. “On such a vital issue, there should be no half
measures. It is a demanding and ambitious plan, but we now have a proven scheme
that delivers actionable results. Companies can not only measure their carbon
footprint, but plan how to reduce it. Consumers will be able to see these
results in the context of wider environmental measurements and, without doubt,
this will influence their attitudes and shopping behaviour. Access to an
effective environmental reporting scheme is essential if the beverage industry
is to demonstrate to customers, employees, shareholders, governments and the
media that it is meeting the challenge of global climate change. The CAP
Partnership uniquely meets this global need.”

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent,
not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and
writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed
to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health
Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor
Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water
industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF
International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by
Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center
for Public Health Education.