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Highland Spring Group


Supporting Highland Spring Group with its near and long-term science-based targets to achieve net zero by 2040

Supporting Highland Spring Groups ambition to achieve Net Zero by 2040 through science-based targets

Absolute Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions reduction by 2040
Near & Long-Term targets submitted to SBTi

The Company

Established in 1979, Highland Spring Group is a leading UK supplier of natural source water. The core purpose of the business is to provide hydration in an environmentally sustainable way.

Highland Spring Group engaged Carbon Intelligence, now part of Accenture, to evaluate how well sustainability is integrated in its business by reviewing its governance, procurement, and operations functions. The Group wanted to acquire the necessary resources, technology, and up-to-date climate literacy needed to establish a robust emissions baseline and set ambitious near and long-term science-based targets (SBTs) to meet the 1.5 degrees Paris Agreement. Setting these targets are a crucial step for any credible net zero strategy and a high priority for the dedicated team at Highland Spring Group. By keeping sustainability at the heart of its business operations and with strong climate governance, Highland Spring Group is committed to taking all necessary steps to tackle  climate change and mitigate emissions beyond its own value chain.

The challenge

The company had previously set a broad sustainability commitment to achieve net zero by 2040, however, it did not have a quantified roadmap on how to achieve these targets. The team from Carbon Intelligence worked closely with Highland Spring Group identifying where reductions can be made in their key emission hotspots. With the release of the update guidance in 2021 on a SBTi aligned Net Zero strategy, a company cannot claim to be net zero without having a long-term science-based target. With this in mind, Highland Spring brought in sustainability expertise to build an ambitious decarbonisation pathway underpinned by robust data.

Why Highland Spring brought in Carbon Intelligence

Highland Spring was looking for a long-term sustainability partner to provide the confidence and assurance required to achieve a lasting, positive impact on climate change. Carbon Intelligence’s world-class team of strategists, technologists and data scientists has deep expertise in solving sustainability issues facing the food and drinks sector and ideally placed to add credibility and assurance to their net zero commitment.

The process

Carbon Intelligence deployed its proprietary 6D diagnostic framework to assess how well sustainability is integrated into Highland Spring Group’s operations. The consultancy team conducted bespoke interviews with different departments and ranked their understanding and integration of sustainability using quantified scores. Based on the captured information, Carbon Intelligence provided best practice recommendations and strategies to Highland Spring Group on where and how to curb emissions.

Next the consultancy carried out a thorough Scope 1 and 2 review to ensure the baseline data and emissions calculations meet the high-quality assurance and standards. Following this, Carbon Intelligence conducted a gap analysis to calculate Scope 3 emissions. The 6D framework, Scope 1 and 2 review and Scope 3 gap analysis laid a concrete foundation for Carbon Intelligence to set science-based targets powered by data and analytics. Carbon Intelligence also screened Highland Spring’ Group’s current carbon offset projects and advised how to undertake new and innovative projects with the potential to mitigate emissions beyond their value chain.


Key benefits


Significant carbon and cost-savings

Decarbonising the supply chain through the 6D framework is driving company-wide carbon and cost savings.

Set credible and robust science-based targets

The near and long-term net zero targets provide a concrete goal to work towards

Gained confidence in their net zero practices

Highland Spring became confident that they are on the right track to reaching net zero by 2040.

“Highland Spring must play its part in addressing risks of climate change through reducing our carbon footprint and impact on the planet.  We chose to partner with Carbon Intelligence to support us to develop an emissions reduction roadmap and set credible and robust Science Based targets.” Morwen Mands, Head of Sustainability, Highland Spring Group

Next steps

Highland Spring Group has adopted the 6D framework as a core component of their carbon management program and governance. The 6D programme helped Highland Spring Group evaluate their operations and governance through a sustainability-focused lens and identify departments and practices that need to be navigated towards low-carbon options and solutions. The recommendations from the 6D framework provided the business with a crystal-clear guide on how to best navigate towards net zero.

Carbon Intelligence is invested in a long-term partnership with Highland Spring Group and next steps include exploring the TCFD Framework for the business and how it can be used to improve risk analysis and disclosure.


The 6D framework helped Highland Spring Group to assess and redefine its approach by embedding sustainability at the heart of its values and ways of working.

Highland Spring has now executed strategies to lower emissions throughout its supply chain such as low carbon transport technologies and renewable energy, which will also result in reduced costs through energy savings. The Scope 1 and 2 review and Scope 3 gap analysis helped Highland Spring Group quantify and understand its carbon footprint and identify key areas of improvement to reach net zero by 2040. The offset project provided the business with insights into the latest science and innovative technology backed projects that can be adopted to sequester emissions from the atmosphere and remove emissions beyond the value chain.

Absolute Scope 1&2 emission reduction by 2030
Absolute Scope 3 emission reduction by 2040
Absolute Scope 1, 2 & 3 emission reductions by 2040
Near and long-term targets submitted to SBTi

Services used in this case study