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Princes Gate Water – an inspiring find

Sometimes pleasant surprises come in the simplest of forms. Last week I was on an EasyJet flight and I bought a bottle of water. Sounds simple enough – handed over my money and was given a bottle of Princes Gate water. First thing I noticed was that the plastic felt very thin and then I had a look at the label. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Princes Gate Water Label

I prised the label off this Princes Gate water bottle because I liked many of the things I read, especially;

  • Spring Water lovingly drawn from and bottled on organically managed farmland.
  • Delivered by clouds. Filtered by rock. Bottled by us.
  • Then there’s that fantastic little logo on the far right saying – “Jump in and help us make a better world. CO2 Then. CO2 Now. www.princesgatetrust.com”

I just had to find out if all this really was good or if it was just marketing. After some research, I’m really inspired by how well they run their company and how seriously they are trying to reduce their environmental impact. It works out that they’ve been doing something close to use10percentless for a few years now. Read on…

Princes Gate Water – their main website

The first place to check out is the main website for Princes Gate Water – http://www.princesgate.com – and what a treat it proved to be.

By following the link to their Still Water page (http://www.princesgate.com/SpringWater/) I found the following amazing quotes.

On the “About” page

  • We’ve been farming on this land for generations and diversified almost 22 years ago into bottling Spring Water.
  • The company was started by two brothers, David and Glyn Jones, who still maintain directorship of the business.
  • We’ve recently built a pretty impressive big bottling hall on the site of our still Organic Farm.
  • Princes Gate now employs over 50 people local to the Pembrokeshire region and our family’s growing all the time.

On the “Our Organic Farm” page

We began life here on our little Organic farm in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, almost 22 years ago. We have come a long way since then! We’ve built a purpose build bottling hall on the site of our farm and are continually investing in our machinery. The farm is still a fully operational organic dairy farm, and we look after the land we love: Our bio-diversification has gained us several accreditations as we manage the land for the betterment of the wildlife and the plant species of the area.

On the  “Our Beliefs” page

  • We believe in Sustainability, but it’s a word that’s brandished around a lot of late. For us, however, it’s something very simple but extremely meaningful.
  • Sustainable business is the provision of goods to meet our needs, without compromising the needs of future generations. For us it means looking after the factory (the climate and the landscape) for future generations of bottled water drinkers.
  • So you see, we’re not tree-huggers, and we don’t wear flip-flops. We just love Pembrokeshire, and we love what we do. And we love Rain!
Princes gate water - solar panels on roof

Photo from the Princes Gate Water “Environment” page showing the solar panel array on their factory roof

Princes Gate Water, Sustainability and use10percentless

I got the most amazing surprise on the Princes Gate Water “Our Beliefs” page. Here’s what they said;

We’re sure not perfect here at Princes Gate. There’s lots we’d like to do better, but we’re trying harder all the time to do our bit.

What we’ve done well:

A combination of reducing packaging, reducing our waste to landfill, recycling on-site and using greener forms of energy (in addition to planting lots of trees) have yielded the following results:

  • Reduced electricity by 30% year on year (despite growing in size!)
  • Reduced oil use by 10%
  • Reduced Carbon emissions by 45%!
  • Reduced waste landfill by 35%
  • We’d like to be carbon neutral in a couple of years.

We’re in the process of evaluating our energy efficiencies on-site with a view to making some radical changes to our production facility and distribution network – all of which will serve to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.

Princes Gate Water - Green energy report

An image captured from the home page of Princes Gate water. They are consciously trying to use less fossil fuels.

That’s just incredible. It seems like they’ve been on the Use 10 Percent Less (use10percentless) path for quite some time. Their progress sounds fantastic and they should be very proud of their achievement.

The idea behind use10percentless is that the easiest way to be kind to the environment is to reduce the amount of stuff we use, consume and emit as pollution. Rather than try and stop completely, it’s much easier to try and reduce usage by 10%, and then try for another 10% after that, etc. For example, trying to burn 10% less fossil fuels, using 10% less plastic, flying 10% less miles, using 10% less electricity, and the list goes on and on. It feels so much easier to reduce usage by just 10% than to try and completely eliminate something.

I’m very heartened to see that Princes Gate Water has been on this track of reducing their usage and emissions and appear to have been quite successful at it.

If only all businesses could have similar goals and ideals.

The Princes Gate Trust 

The website for this trust –  http://www.princesgatetrust.com – is a simple one-pager, yet is passes on a very clear message. A couple of the key statements are;

Princes Gate Spring Water has been working to a set commitment for a number of years to raise vital funds for its charity partners and help make a better world.

and,

Princes Gate Trust is now the primary philanthropic arm of Princes Gate Spring Water, providing grants and donations to charities working all over the world so that they can continue the wonderful work that they do and help those who are in need.

The Inspiration of Princes Gate Water

When I was handed that humble bottle of Princes Gate Water on a standard EasyJet flight, I would never have imagined that it would lead to the inspiring story that has unfolded. From what I’ve found out about the Princes Gate water company, I’m feeling very inspired by a great example of how a company can be run. Their goal is to run their business “without compromising the needs of future generations”.

Who could argue with that?

I can’t think of why that shouldn’t be a basic requirement of all companies and enterprises – to operate “without compromising the needs of future generations”.

Are there any companies that inspire you in this way? We’d love to hear about them.

2 Responses to “Princes Gate Water – an inspiring find”

    • Peter

      Hi Pete.

      You have a valid point. It’s an expensive price to pay for natural water, and it sure would be better to get water without having to put it in plastic bottles that won’t degrade and are hard to recycle. But, if someone is going to buy water in plastic bottles (I hope we’re doing this less and less), Princes Gate Water doesn’t appear to be the worst choice.

      Reply

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