"The transition to 100 percent rPET is the cornerstone of our comprehensive approach to sustainability," said Elizabeth Stephenson, president of FIJI Water. "Environmental sustainability and the preservation of nature is critical to our well-being on this planet. As one of the world's leading source waters, we believe the best things come from nature, and are dedicated to taking steps to protect the environment today and for generations to come. Recycled plastics are one way to ensure that we are participating in the circular economy, encouraging recycling and reuse."
The owners of FIJI Water's parent company, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, announced in September 2019 an unprecedented $750 million pledge to world-renowned science and engineering institute Caltech to fight climate change. The commitment is the largest ever for environmental sustainability research and the second-largest to a U.S. academic institution in history. A portion of the research will focus on decomposable plastics, along with tackling issues of water, energy, food, and waste in a world confronting rapid climate change.
FIJI Water will further reach its sustainability goals through new packaging innovations and plastic reduction that advance the independent brand beyond pledges made by the largest global beverage companies.
As an alternative to single-use bottles, FIJI Water will introduce a new 2.5-gallon packaging option for the refrigerator or counter and a 5-gallon option designed to fit in a standard hot and cold water dispenser. Both options will utilize up to 76 percent less plastic—in the case of the 5-gallon option, an estimated equivalent of 38 fewer 500mL bottles. Prior innovations have also already removed a significant amount of the plastic in bottles since 2008. Ongoing improvements in the current bottles and packaging will be implemented with the specific aim to further reduce the amount of plastic used across the entire line.
The brand's commitment to sustainability extends beyond addressing plastics. Working in partnership with Conservation International, FIJI Water conserved more than 40,000 acres in one of Fiji's largest remaining unprotected indigenous rain forest, the Sovi Basin, preventing future logging and degradation of the area. FIJI Water also partnered with local community members to plant 325,000 new trees across 2,800 acres and is working with the Fijian government on their efforts to develop recycling initiatives across the archipelago. Further, the company supports recycling programs and container deposit laws around the world and is a key partner in the largest recycling program in Fiji. Overall, FIJI Water has invested more than $25 million FJD in social and environmental philanthropy in the island nation.
FIJI Water is a major economic contributor to the Fijian economy, and the South Pacific region more generally, helping promote growth and prosperity across the region, while also embracing an expansive philanthropic effort to drive social and environmental sustainability in Fiji.
FIJI Water is a subsidiary of The Wonderful Company, which has a broad commitment to sustainability, including $400 million invested in water-efficient irrigation systems, ecofriendly pest control, and creative ways to reduce energy use. Earlier this year the company announced its commitment to use 100 percent renewable electricity in the U.S. by 2025. And, together with industry partners and leading universities, The Wonderful Company invests millions of dollars in research, technology, and talent to increase crop yields and improve quality with environmentally sound methods to cultivate, propagate, and harvest crops.