Food Engineering

Carbon neutral and refreshing

September 3, 2007
Getting on the shelf with an attractive container may no longer be enough to sell premium bottled water: Discriminating consumers want energy offsets, too.



Icelandic Glacial Inc. elbowed its way onto the overcrowded shelves at Whole Foods, Super Target and other stores a year ago with a PET bottle blow-molded to resemble a glacier formation. The bottles are designed and produced in the UK by London-based Design, Bridge and Bath-based Zenith, then shipped to Iceland for filling and international shipment.

Thousands of miles of diesel-powered transport contradicts the goal of sustainability, however, so Icelandic Glacial secured the first carbon-neutral certification for bottled water from the CarbonNeutral Co., London. 

“There’s been some criticism recently about shipping bottled water long distances,” notes Patrick Racz, a London entrepreneur and 20-year veteran of the purified water business. When the product’s unique selling proposition is purity, greenhouse gas is unwelcome baggage. Hydroelectric and geothermal power used in his product’s production is enough to offset the CO2 emissions generated in distribution, Racz says, and that enables Icelandic Glacial to claim, “We don’t have a negative impact on the environment.”