Leading bottled water brand Brecon Carreg has been named the Welsh Government Responsible SME of the Year at The Wales Responsible Business Awards last month.
The awards, organised by Business in The Community (BITC) and sponsored by Swansea University School of Management, recognise companies that are making a positive difference, with a clear social purpose at their heart.
Selected from a shortlist of four companies, Brecon Carreg was recognised for its commitment to making a positive difference to the economic, social and environmental challenges facing Wales.
The company, founded in 1978, is still based in the same location in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, and uses the original water source from a spring near the bottling plant.
The mineral water’s packaging, including label and lid, is 100 per cent recyclable and the brand is working with a number of organisations on innovative ways to make recycling easier.
Brecon Carreg’s production facilities and offices are already carbon neutral and the company has committed to applying this principle to all products throughout their entire life cycle by 2020.
The brand aims to help contribute to a more sustainable future, and is working on a number of projects to achieve this.
One of these include working with an international pollinator organisation, BeeOdiversity, on improving the quality of the environment and encouraging biodiversity.
This involved the installation of two bee hives – containing approximately 50,000 bees – near the water source.
The pollen collected provides useful information about the environment and biodiversity of the surrounding area, helping to make improvements for the future.
Other initiatives include a partnership with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to create a circular economy taskforce, which aims to identify potential opportunities to drive sustainable innovation through best practice, tools and strategies.
Brecon Carreg is also co-funding an independent initiative convened by The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, which aims to develop an ambitious vision and roadmap to eliminate plastic packaging waste from drinks containers in the UK.
Commenting on Brecon Carreg’s award win, Matt Appleby, Director at Business in the Community Cymru, said:
“The Wales Responsible Business Awards are a celebration of incredible dedication by companies across Wales.
“We are united in a belief that business can improve lives and create a healthier society – and our winners, who fill us with optimism for the future, are exemplars of responsible business.
“Congratulations, Brecon Carreg, on your committed responsible business practice – and for being the best of the best. We look forward to continue working with you over the coming year.”
Jenna Bissell, Brecon Carreg marketing and CSR manager, added:
“Being a natural mineral water producer, sustainability is in our DNA. The Brecon Carreg source is found in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park – a truly unique feature for a water brand.
“It’s our responsibility to protect this land for future generations; if we look after the water, the water will look after us.
“Sustainability is one of our strategic pillars as a brand, and we both believe and have invested in a long-term vision with actionable goals.
“We are delighted to win this award. It is very much a tribute to our team’s hard work and to the commitment of all the people we work with to put our ambitious sustainability plans into action.”