A Code of Conduct for sustainable business practices – Paving the way for sustainable European food systems

Today Natural Mineral Waters Europe is proud to announce that it has signed the EU Code of Conduct for sustainable business and marketing practices. 

With this initiative, we are paving the way towards building the foundations of healthy, circular and sustainable European food systems, while supporting the European Green recovery. 

It has been a long and intense process. We have worked side by side with the European Commission and many stakeholders from the food value chain to develop this Code. We paid particular attention to support our sector’s many SMEs on their journey to carbon-neutrality and sustainability leadership. We made it our priority to provide them with the right tools without imposing unreasonable burdens upon them

We are thrilled that under the Code of Conduct the natural mineral and spring water sector brings forward ambitious aspirations on packaging, carbon-neutrality, resource-efficiency, and biodiversity and commits to concrete actions in those fields.

MURIEL LIENAU

President of NMWE

“We strongly support the ambitions of the European Green Deal and the underlying Farm2Fork Strategy. It builds on the long heritage and tradition of our sector’s considerations on environment and source protection. With the Code of Conduct, we are paving the way towards healthy, circular, and sustainable European food systems, while supporting a green recovery”

To support the EU’s goals on circular and sustainable food systems, our sector brings forward ambitious aspirations in four areas:

1. Achieving “Net Zero” carbon emissions by 2040

We see the EU’s decarbonization goals and the Farm2Fork Strategy as great opportunities to be a leading force in achieving circular and sustainable food systems. Indeed, sustainable food production and consumption are indispensable conditions of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent.

We support the EU’s emissions reduction targets in the food supply chain.

That is why we strive to drive the sector towards climate neutrality by 2040.

Concrete action:

The natural mineral and spring water sector will undertake a first decarbonization study in 2022.

2. Closing the loop on all our packaging

Our sector is fully committed to sustainable packaging, with PET plastic, cans and glass all 100% recyclable and already achieving high recycling rates. We support Deposit Refund Systems as the most effective solution to be fully circular and to give every bottle a second life.

We support the EU’s ambition for full circularity and its focus on sustainable packaging solutions.

Our sector strives to achieve full circularity for all its packaging.

Concrete action:

• Using only recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025

• Promoting well designed Deposit Refund Systems – alongside well-performing EPRs.

• Using 50% recycled materials in new bottles by 2030 where availability of high-quality recycled PET and market conditions allow it

Enablers:

• Promoting well designed Deposit Refund Systems – alongside well-performing EPRs.

• Using 50% recycled materials in new bottles by 2030 where availability of high-quality recycled PET and market conditions allow it

3. Resource-efficiency all the way

Natural mineral and spring water producers have always managed precious water resources in a responsible, sustainable and efficient way to secure them for future generations.

We strongly support the ambitions of the European Green Deal and resource-efficiency in the European food chain.

Sustainable water resource management is our priority. We support efficient use of water in all our operations.

Concrete action:

The sector will transparently disclose all water usage in its operations and consequently strive to reduce its water usage over the next 5 years.

4. Protecting Biodiversity where we operate

We have a strong culture and long history of water source protection and restoration of biodiversity, working in partnerships with farmers and local communities. The quality and purity of our waters depend on an intact environment, free of pollution.

We support the EU’s ambition to conserve and protect natural habitats and biodiversity.

We are committed to preserve and improve biodiversity in the areas where our sector operates.

Concrete action:

The sector will define and test biodiversity indicator(s) specific for natural mineral and spring waters

Enablers:

The EU needs to provide an easy tool for SMEs together with implementation guiding tools that are practical for small projects and EU financial support (e.g.“LIFE+”).