Why it’s important for everyone in the world to have access to an affordable, refillable water bottle
The only bottled water company honored for sustainability in the 2019 SEAL Awards, PATHWATER, is recognized among the most sustainable companies in the world. We’re proud that PATHWATER is being recognized for our sustainability initiative to help end the plastic crisis by getting a reusable water bottle in the hands of every person, dare we say, in the world. This is done by the clever placement of reusable bottled water right next to a single-use plastic bottled water - that’s priced comparably. The simple placement of a refillable bottle on a store shelf next to a single-use plastic bottle is not only a genius move for sustainability, it forces us to have a conversation and question the choices that are available to us. It then brings about the question: why didn’t someone think of this sooner? And for this most casual yet impactful initiative, PATHWATER has been honored with a SEAL Award.
What are the SEAL Awards?
The SEAL Awards began in 2017 to recognize businesses and environmental initiatives for their sustainable contributions to the planet. SEAL is an acronym for just that, the honoring of Sustainability, Environmental Achievement, and Leadership. More than feel-good greenwashing, the SEAL Awards base their recognition on the efforts of companies that make a measurable contribution to solving one of the many environmental issues we face today - single-use plastic.
Plastic Crisis Tipping Point
What is the importance of the SEAL Awards?
The SEAL Awards are significant, in that they look objectively at math instead of rewarding greenwashed initiatives, they base decisions on the measurements of sustainability assessments.
We’re honored and encouraged by the confidence of the SEAL Awards in the PATHWATER mission. The mathematically judged contributions to sustainability are assessed via two scaling systems, 1) the 2019 CDP A-List, and 2) the SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment. The CDP is a global environmental disclosure system that helps companies and governments measure and manage risk and opportunities on climate change, water security, and deforestation so that investors, purchasers, and stakeholders can make educated decisions and plan ahead for a more sustainable future. Since 1999, SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment has been evaluating companies’ sustainability practices. SAM is recognized for its advanced scoring methodologies in analyzing the sustainability initiative impacts on a company's long-term value. Both systems calculate our sustainability impact that in fact, less single-use is by far more sustainable.
Achievements in Sustainability for Bottled Water
For bottled water, the measurement of sustainability is very difficult to achieve because the mainstream single-use version of bottled water is extremely detrimental to our planet. That’s why we’re impressed and honored that the SEAL Awards have recognized PATHWATER as leader of the pack for truly sustainable bottled water. Typical single-use bottled water is racked with immense environmental conflicts such as:
- Single-use bottles create immense amounts of waste that may or may not be recycled
- Plastic bottles are made from climate contributing petroleum-based single-use PET plastic and most often get downcycled, not recycled
- Carton water poses its own set of issues to our planet - learn more
- Most bottled water is sourced in one location and shipped around the globe as a model
- No other bottled water company except PATHWATER supports fixing local water infrastructure to remove the need for single-use bottled water
Part of the reason PATHWATER was chosen to receive the SEAL sustainability award was that our environmental initiative is not just part of our business, it is our business. Our mission is executed through our model of selling a reusable bottle that happens to have purified water in it. The impact of our solution is massive and has the potential to thwart some of the most damaging practices in the beverage industry, single-use containers. There are many alternatives to the ubiquitous single-use plastic waste from its water bottles, such as glass and carton containers. However, none are intended for shatterproof, long-term reusability and promote reusability, like PATHWATER bottles - they are meant to last for a very long time when taken care of.
Achievements in Accessibility - Reusable Bottled Water for ALL
At PATHWATER, we’ve reevaluated what bottled water means from multiple perspectives of people. For all of the reasons people purchase bottled water, we created a solution to choose refillable PATHWATER instead of single-use. Here’s the shortlist of people that PATHWATER had in mind when creating our conveniently refillable bottled water:
- The person who forgot their hydro flask but refuses to buy single-use plastic - don’t go thirsty, just add a reusable bottle to your back up plan.
- The person who can’t afford a hydro flask or Yeti but would like to live more sustainably - grab the refillable bottle that makes it simple to Join the Refill Revolution!
- The person who realized how bad plastic is for their health - we’re on this journey together, grab a PATHWATER and cheers to a new you!
- The person who realized the damage plastic is doing to our earth - you can make the easy switch now.
- The person who wants to help their friends and family easily, affordably make the switch - send a case to your family, or order one for the office. Share the love of refilling with your world, whatever that looks like.
- The corporate campus that supplies water as a courtesy but wants to meet zero-waste goals - great work! Now, let’s get you set up with ample hydration stations.
- The restaurant that’s going green - your customers are going to thank you!
- The hospital lowering its waste bill - bye, bye trashy plastic. Hello, zero-waste!
- The airport that’s transitioning from plastic and making hydration stations the norm for travelers - You are now free to roam about sustainably.
The list goes on… You see, water is a human right and shouldn’t be bottled up and sold for 1,000X the cost, the only justification ever is if you’re also offering a sturdy reusable bottle that people can take with them and refill on the go. In the grand scheme of life, it doesn’t benefit anyone to be profiting from single-use bottled water. Water is free, it’s a human right and if it is sold, it should be sold with reusability in mind.
What is PATHWATER’s sustainability initiative?
The SEAL Awards evaluates a company's sustainability initiative. However, our initiative is our entire mission which began in 2014 under the name Refill it, Inc. We later rebranded as PATHWATER in early 2017 with the same mission to disrupt the plastic-ridden bottled water industry and introduce the first reusable bottle. This hybrid solution is meant to be a bigger solution and blueprint for all bottled beverages to follow. From this first simple initiative, we’ve adopted additional measures to educate and engage people on plastic pollution, such as beach cleanups, street cleanups, and pop-up education for K-12 students.
The Clean Mission x PATHWATER Cleanup
The tangible environmental benefits of the PATHWATER initiative include:
- Beach Cleanups
- Street Cleanups
- Pop-up education about health and reuse in K-12 schools
- Accessibility, combining affordability and being in grocery and convenience stores throughout the U.S.
Measurable contributions: PATHWATER’s impact on the plastic crisis
PATHWATER bottles are designed to be accessible to every socio-economic group. We understand that real change and genuine sustainable solutions to the plastic crisis must be a reusable affordable and accessible bottle everyone can adopt.
In 2018, we sold 3 million PATHWATER bottles and educated users on the importance of replacing their single-use plastic water bottle with our reusable bottle. This means we were able to divert, on the extremely low end, 3 million to up to 468 million single-use plastic water bottles from being used. This estimation is based on data from EarthDay.org where it is estimated that the average person drinks roughly 156 single-use plastic bottles of water every year. On the low end we estimate that for every person that picks up a PATHWATER and commits to refill for one year, they are preventing 156 single-use plastic water bottles from entering our waste stream.
On the high end of plastic bottled water waste, we look to Penn State where researchers estimated that the average person consumes 217 plastic bottled water per year, and a family of four can save $120,000 over the course of 5 years from choosing a reusable bottle instead of single-use plastic.
The largest measurable contribution we can attest to is how many plastic single-use water bottles are not used when an individual makes that one simple grab for a PATHWATER instead of a single-use plastic bottle and commits to refill it.
Partnering to save the planet with PATHWATER
Extreme Home Makeover x PATHWATER on set
Saving the planet doesn’t happen when only a few people make a shift, real change occurs when everyone understands their place in our planet’s health and takes action. That’s why we’ve amplified our impact through Partnerships to Save the Planet. Through our efforts to support large entities to make the shift from plastic we’ve been able to have an impact on:
The Music Industry - Empire
Entertainment Industry - Extreme Home Makeover and other
Tech Industry - Intuit, Facebook, and Dropbox
Fashion Industry - ReDone, RHUDE, and Oliver Peoples
Universities - Yale, Wisconsin, CSU system in California
K-12 Schools and entire school districts - Hayward Unified School District, PUC Schools
Professional Sports - Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Mohamed Sanu, Sebastian Lletget, Luke Voit
These are just a few of the industries and brands that have partnered with PATHWATER in an effort to grow the revolution and stomp out plastic. With these leaders on board, it’s easy to see why 2019 was the beginning of the end for single-use plastic bottled water.
Here’s how anyone can Join the Revolution and solve the problem of plastic bottles
Wherever you’re at on the path to sustainability, you’re invited to #Refillit with us. Here’s how!
- Follow us on Instagram to grow the Revolution
- Help us reach 10,000 BOOSTS by requesting PATHWATER at a store near you
- Are you a student? Join the Revolution by becoming a PATHWATER Student Ambassador
- Do you represent a business, organization, or government that’s ready to achieve zero-waste goals? Fill out the form below to cobrand with PATHWATER
The PATHWATER team celebrates earning the SEAL Award for our sustainable initiatives. Our bottled water is much more than an average product, it’s a way out of the plastic crisis for individuals, businesses, and governments. Through a plan to get a refillable bottle in everyone’s hands, we can tackle this crisis collectively. We consider being effective by our measurable contribution to solving the plastic crisis. We’re inviting everyone to Join the Refillit Revolution. Whether you’re a student, individual, family, or work for businesses, non-profit, or government, everyone is invited to share this sustainability award with us and call it your own. It’s time for everyone to get on the right PATH and refill it.