An Introduction to VICE Impact's Partnership With evian

A letter from the publisher of VICE Impact.

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Jun 19 2018, 3:30pm

VICE Impact launched in April of 2017 as a call to action. A brand new VICE platform tackling the most pressing global issues. The stories it tells, the characters it profiles and the organizations it spotlights all share the goal of safeguarding our future, whether that be via gun control, curbing climate change or improving voting rights.

VICE’s reporting has taken our audience from offshore oil rigs to anti-fracking rallies to flood lands left behind after Hurricane Harvey. We tell these stories because we believe that information empowers people and that we can all contribute to enacting change. To that end, we have built partnerships with foundations, nonprofits, advocacy groups and brands seeking to drive social progress on issues important to us all.

In this context, we’re announcing a new partnership with evian to address plastic waste and the role of businesses in environmental protection. Bottled water and products made of plastic are widely regarded as agents of carbon emissions and ocean pollution. But what role should the private sector play in solving this global problem? We need to recognize when companies are taking the necessary steps to curb their emissions and reduce their plastic waste.

The world-leading French bottled water company might seem at odds with an initiative to encourage climate action, but evian is willing to prove otherwise. They have recently announced a series of bold commitments: an aim to offset pollution caused by transporting evian water by 2020, and a pledge for full circularity by 2025, meaning that all their bottles will be made from 100% recycled plastic. Here is a company recognizing its responsibility in a global problem, assuming a leadership role in solving it, and working to offset its contributions. That is why we chose to partner with evian, to tell the story of their shift to a circular business model.

How will they do it? In short: with a lot of money and a lot of effort. evian will offset their carbon emissions by funding research into ocean clean up programs and new systems that produce energy from natural biogasses. They will be fully transparent about their efforts, and in the process, hope to set a new industry standard to hold other water brands accountable. And finally, they will work hard to influence consumer behavior through initiatives that encourage reuse and recycling. Like VICE Impact, they want to empower people to make their own change.

VICE Impact will document evian’s innovative efforts through films and editorial. We will not shy away from asking them challenging questions: What is circularity and can it really improve their operations and carbon output? What material difference can a bottled water company make when it comes to fighting marine waste? And how can each of us get involved in curbing our environmental footprint?

Plans like these, coming from a global company like evian, have the power to make a significant contribution to curbing carbon emissions and plastic waste, a mission that has never been more urgent. As it stands today, global plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years and quadruple to 318 million tonnes by 2050, at which point the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by weight. Wary of the pace at which this is happening, we are confident in our decision to track evian’s commitments and journey along the way, and see how they plan to make circularity a reality.