VALSER and Climeworks in the spotlight: CNN International visits Vals
VALSER is the first, and so far only, beverage company in the world to use carbon dioxide from the air, thereby supporting a groundbreaking technology in the fight against climate change. The pioneering project is having an impact and drawing media from Switzerland and abroad to the mountain town of Vals: Just recently, Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) and CNN International paid a visit to see how CO2 from the air ends up in a VALSER bottle.
The project is the first of its kind in the world: Climeworks, a spinoff of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) based in Hinwil, in the canton of Zurich, uses a forward-looking technology to filter CO2 directly out of the air, declaring war on climate change. What started as a startup idea has been used in beverage production since this spring. The CO2 from Climeworks adds fizz to several products: VALSER Sparkling, VALSER Viva and VALSER Sparkling Lemon & Mint.
One reason for the French-language Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) to set off for Vals: For its morning radio show, RTS visited the VALSER production plant in the Grisons mountains.
On top of that, the project has generated a lot of international interest: The world’s most watched news channel, CNN International, is reporting on the cooperation between VALSER and Climeworks in not just one, but two programs. Camera equipment and list of questions in hand, a CNN reporter and cameraman set off for Vals. Patrick Wittweiler, Sustainability Officer at Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG, answered questions during the interview.
Over eight years have passed since the initial contact between Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG and Climeworks. Ilia Tomassi, Country Supply Chain Manager and a member of the executive management of Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG, is proud of the successful collaboration with Climeworks: “This project is a big success for the team, reflecting our commitment to fostering innovation. Thanks to the excellent cooperation among the various parties involved, we’ve managed to become the first – and currently remain the only – beverage producer to integrate this new technology of CO2 capture into our supply chain. We’re especially pleased with the fact that we are able to obtain our CO2 from the air from a local supplier, like the majority of our ingredients.”
As Europe’s most sustainable beverage company, according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2019 (DJSI), sustainability plays an important role for Coca-Cola HBC. For example, VALSER is the first Swiss mineral water brand to launch PET bottles made from 100 percent recycled PET (rPET). The company plans to shift its entire portfolio by the end of 2019. No other beverage producer has managed to launch such an extensive portfolio made from 100 percent rPET in Switzerland thus far. Says Wittweiler: “Sustainability is very important, not just to us, but also to our consumers and customers. We’ve been working to reduce our environmental impact on an ongoing basis for years.” VALSER has also been insistently reducing CO2 emissions, for which the company has received climate-neutral certification from Swiss Climate.