90% of Container made from Trees sourced from Renewable, Ethically Managed Forests.
20% of Profits to Water Relief & Reforestation Foundations.
Recyclable in Most Areas.
Launched this year, Boxed Water is set to make a splash with its claim that is ‘better for the earth’.
Currently only available in the US, well, only in Michigan really, will boxed water take over the world?
It sure has the Aesthetic draw and is a definite conversation starter.
For now, it seems that most comments have been split into 2 camps.
Critics are up in arms over how its ‘Blatant False Green Marketing‘ and often insist the only true ‘better’ way to consume water on the go is to pick up a SIGG bottle and install a Quality Water Filter on your home tap. (They have also been thorough and point out that as a start-up, the company will probably not be able to makes its “20% of Profits” donation for a while)
Window Display at Lamb
Supporters gush over its design, bold typography, the fact that it is a step in the right direction and how it raises awareness about sustainability just by being, well, in your fridge or in your hand.
I personally love the idea of the product and am a big fan of how unlike plastic (unless its BioPVC) it is actually biodegradable. Can’t wait for it to arrive in Europe!
(Afterthought: These cartons could encourage Reusing among consumers who have been shying away from refilling their bottled water containers for fear of releasing Carcinogens)
Fiji Green (Fiji Water’s Green Blog) points out that bottled water has not been a substitute for Tap Water, a commonly held assertion, but for carbonated soft drinks & sugary fruit drinks.
From an Environmental perspective, bottled water is preferable to these other drinks that use up significant Refrigeration Energy and have a higher Agricultural Impact stemming from the Energy, Pesticides and Fertilizers used in growing their inputs, e.g. Sugar & Corn.
Quoting articles from the New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal, which propose more comprehensive approaches to measuring a product’s Carbon Footprint, Fiji Water asserts that when compared to its alternatives in this comprehensive ‘Life Cycle’ manner, demand for Fiji Water is good for the environment.
They compare Fiji Water with Apples & Lamb from New Zealand which have a lower carbon footprint (including transport) than locally sourced alternatives in England.
Why New Zealand Imported Produce have Lower Carbon Footprints:
a) Increased Productivityfrom More Sunshine
b) Lower Direct Environmental Impact from Less Fertililzer Use
c) Lower Indirect Environmental Impact from Greater Access to Renewable Energies
The above factors probably don’t hold true for Bottled Water though, it is hard to imagine that Bottled Water produced ‘Locally’ will have a greater environmental impact than Fiji Water.
What’s more, Fiji Water give themselves (and the bottled water industry) a pat on the back by crediting the switch to bottled water with: Eliminating about a Trillion calories from the American diet.
A growing form of measuring the carbon impact of food & drink has been ‘Food Miles’, the idea that the more food/drink has to travel to get to you, the greater its impact on the environment.
Fiji Water, in its Green Efforts, has actually INCREASED the Distanceit travels to get to NYC by 50%. However, it demonstrates that this results in 55% LESS Emissions.
This is largely achieved through an increased reliance on Ocean Freight which generates 85% less emissions than Trucking.
Here are the Past & Current Routes Compared:
Past: Fiji to Los Angeles (Ship) > Los Angeles to New York (Truck)
Current: Fiji to Philadelphia / Newark (Ship) > Philadelphia / Newark to New York (Truck)
Sure, alot of what Fiji Water is publishing about its activities is easily perceived as spin (e.g. comparing ‘producing’ water with the production of apples and lamb) but I believe they have taken significant steps to sustainably reduce their environmental impact and between bottled water and soft drinks, would anyone insist that we would be better off selecting soft drinks?
How about you?
Do you think Fiji Water’s efforts are a total Greenwash? Vote here: