Britvic to invest in river and wetland restoration in London and Leeds
Soft drinks giant Britvic is set to funnel £125,000 into river and wetland restoration projects near two of its UK factories, through a partnership with The Rivers Trust.
Britvic joined the Rivers Trust’s water stewardship programme last year and, after taking short-term interventions such as litter picks involving its staff, the business has now confirmed plans to fund the NGO’s habitat restoration work.
The funding will be split between a project at Chellow Dene, seven miles from Britvic’s factory in Leeds, and another project in Beckton, East London, less than four miles from another of Britvic’s factories.
At Chellow Dean, the Rivers Trust and the Aire Rivers Trust will restore at least 600 square metres of wetland. Among the planned work is the implementation of a leaky dam, which will provide flood management benefits. The leaky dam should be completed by spring.
The Beckton project will be larger and longer, covering 14 hectares and running for multiple years. Key aims include reducing pressure on the aquifier and creating new wetlands and reedbeds. These habitats can sequester carbon, trap contaminants and provide a home for wildlife.
At both projects, Britvic staff will have the opportunity to volunteer and learn skills relating to habitat conservation and restoration from experts at the Rivers Trust.
“As a leading soft drinks company, water is our most precious resource,” said the firm’s director of sustainable business, Sarah Webster.
“We recognise our impact on water and partnering with The Rivers Trust allows us to work with experts to support vital projects in Great Britain to improve our waterways and in turn, support business resilience.”
Britvic states in its latest annual report that it has conducted a water risk analysis for all manufacturing sites using tools provided by WWF, to improve its understanding of water-related risks and impacts. The findings were used to develop the plans with The Rivers Trust.
The report also states that Britvic’s sustainability, engineering, quality, safety and engineering team have developed a metric for including the “true cost” of water in business decision-making – similar to an internal carbon price mechanism.
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