BRU attains highest recognition for sustainable water management

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After SPA Monopole two years ago, it’s the turn for the BRU production site, located in Stoumont, to be awarded the Platinum certificate by the AWS (Alliance for Water Stewardship). The BRU site managed to achieve this exceptional standard thanks to the initiatives taken over decades to protect its water assets, in close collaboration with the public authorities.

The Alliance for Water Stewardship is a globally applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. The Standard is intended to drive social, environmental, and economic benefits at the scale of a catchment.

The conditions for obtaining this certificate are particularly demanding. They are based on four key criteria:

  • – Fully transparent collaboration with all local stakeholders (particularly the municipalities and public authorities)
  • – The sustainable management of water resources
  • – A guarantee of good water quality at all times
  • – And the protection of the environment and biodiversity close to the springs

In other words, the Platinum certificate obtained by Spadel for its Stoumont site shows that all Bru mineral waters are managed and bottled sustainably, without overexploitation, in full transparency, and with the trust of the other local actors that use these waters.

Draw without depleting

An important aspect of the certification is tracking our water use. For many years Spadel has been protecting its waters by applying the motto ‘puiser sans épuiser’ (draw without depleting). It means Spadel never collects more than the annual rainfall in the catchment areas. This is accomplished by:

  • – a hydrogeological assessment to identify the total water available for sustainable extraction.
  • – a pumping test to set the maximum flow rate regarding the local water resource capacity.
  • – monitoring the Water Exploitation Index (WEI) on an ongoing basis. The WEI indicates the ratio between the average annual abstraction and the average annual water available in a given region. The EU identifies a WEI of 20% as “low-stressed” and 10% as “non-stressed”. Spadel’s standard is to have a WEI < 10% at all sites. In 2021, 4 Spadel sites had a WEI below 3%, one site was at 5.2%.

“We are not yet observing changes in the water cycle linked to climate change, but we are monitoring it. We know that there will be some on the quantity of water. So it's up to us to anticipate and make our plans, taking into account that the water that is available today may not necessarily be the same as that will be available tomorrow.” – Arnaud Collignon, Water Resource Manager, Spadel

“Protection” objective on track

As part of its CSR strategy, Spadel wants to have its five water extractions sites AWS Platinum certified by 2025. In 2020 Spa Monopole became the first mineral water company in Europe to achieve the Platinum status. The audits at the sites of Carola & Wattwiller (France) and Devin (Bulgaria) took place in late 2021. All sites achieved the ‘Core’ score and are on track to reach the 2025 target.

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