Our waters only come from sustainable, natural and renewable sources. We recognised early the importance of environmental management and sustainability. Taking too much groundwater can have disastrous and irreversible consequences on streams and wetlands, as well as the habitats of flora and fauna.
We take daily measurements on all our catchments of both rainfall and groundwater levels to make sure we have long term records of our impact and that we are never over abstracting. At our Ochils site, we have taken this a stage further by measuring the flows from the streams and evapotranspiration to provide a full water balance. In 2015 it showed that we abstracted less than 2% of the rainfall that fell on the catchment area.
Constant eye on improvements
At each of our sites we have a team with direct responsibility for the management and protection of the catchment areas. These teams report into the Group to share learning and experience.
In 2008 at our Ochils site, we installed an 'Air Recovery System' which reduced annual energy usage by 1.25m Kilowatts. More recently we have installed a reed bed system to filter and return water at our Beacons site.
Hands off flow
Many licences held by UK producers are subject to 'Hands-off Flow' restrictions. During periods of drought the Environment Agency can force a manufacturer to reduce or stop their activities completely. With a current annual production capacity of over 700 million litres, we have permits from local environmental agencies to sustainably abstract a total of 2.2 billion litres – clearly, thanks to the prevailing climates in Scotland and Wales we have some way to go before we need to worry about running out of water!
*At Ochils site
In addition Highland Spring Group is part of the following initiatives:
- Members of SEDEX; a not for profit membership organisation dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains.
- Highland Spring Group is a signatory on the Courtauld Commitment 3; a voluntary agreement within the UK Grocery sector which aims to reduce the weight and carbon impact of household food waste, grocery product and packaging waste, both in the home and the UK grocery sector.
- Highland Spring Group was one of the first clients of Plan Bee with a dozen bee hives located at our catchment area at the Ochil hills in Perthshire.