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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Ballygowan?

Ballygowan, a bottled water brand, is one of The Good Shopping Guide’s top ethical brands.  The brand receives an excellent Good Shopping Guide ethical score in our Ethical Bottled Water Table and therefore passes our Ethical Benchmark as a good ethical brand.

We encourage other companies in the Ethical Bottled Water sector to follow Ballygowan’s example and adopt more ethical policies and practices.

The Business History of Ballygowan

This mineral water brand from Ireland is called Ballygowan. It is bottled close to its source at the location of a holy spring that the Knights Templar utilised in Newcastle West, County Limerick. Leading water brand Ballygowan is particularly popular in the Irish market.

Geoff Read created the business in 1981. In 1984, he formed a joint venture for marketing and distribution with soft drink producer Richard Nash. In 1989, Anheuser- Busch purchased a stake that had been acquired in 1987. Ballygowan was purchased by Cantrell and Cochrane (now C&C) in 1993. In 2007, C&C sold its non-alcoholic brands to Britvic.

In the 1993 agreement, Nash sold the source while keeping a portion of the source region, which it subsequently exploited for its own competing spring water brand.

In what areas does Ballygowan perform well? 
The brand received a top rating in important categories such as Nuclear Power, Animal Welfare, and Political Donations. You can find out more information about how we rate and rank brands on our methodology page.

Certification for Bottled Water Brands in Ethics and Sustainability

Why not look into Ethical Accreditation from The Good Shopping Guide if you are employed by or own an Ethical Bottled Water brand? Receive tailored advice and suggestions on business ethics and sustainability, and submit your application to use our highly respected Ethical Mark on your products, packaging, and platforms. To begin the process, fill out our short Sustainability and Ethics Application form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating