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Harrogate Spring Water

How ethical and sustainable is Harrogate Spring Water? 

Harrogate Spring Water is a bottled water brand that appears on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Bottled Water Ratings Table. The company does not presently meet our ethical standards, and we hope that the brand will make the necessary changes in the future to operate as a brand that prioritises ethics.

Harrogate Spring Water might boost consumer and investor trust by applying for Ethical Accreditation, which would allow for a more in-depth review and recommendations for ethical development. Visit The Good Shopping Guide to Ethical Bottled Water for additional details regarding the value of ethical plastic bottles. Then, compare it against other water bottle brands in our table of Ethical Bottled Water Ratings.

What does Harrogate Spring Water do?

Harrogate Spring Water’s story began in 1571 when William Slingsby discovered Harrogate’s mineral spring. The brand produces many size variations of still and sparking water bottles packaged in plastic bottles. In 2020 Danone acquired a majority stake in Harrogate and Danone is now its parent company. This is unfortunately part of the reason that Harrogate Spring Water has fallen below our Ethical Benchmark.

For which criteria does Harrogate Spring Water perform poorly? 

Harrogate Spring Water’s Public Record and Animal Welfare regulations have all been rated ‘poor’ or ‘lacking’ by The Good Shopping Guide. Animal testing is carried out by Harrogate Spring Water’s parent company Danone to assure the safety of new goods, according to the company’s website. PETA has also criticised Danone for its horrific treatment of young cows. Danone has been found to ‘dehorn’ calves; a petition has been launched to protest Danone’s treatment of animals.

Also, Danone has contributed thousands of political donations in the United States. Donating to political campaigns and elections can sway the processes of democracy, and can benefit private companies above the interests of a nation’s people.

Past Criticisms of Harrogate Spring Water’s ethical record

Global Witness criticised Harrogate Spring Water’s parent company, Danone, after it was revealed that the brand’s Amazonian Brazilian suppliers were linked to fraudulent land grabs and unethical palm oil production. According to Green Left, Bonafont, one of the parent company, Danone’s, brands, has been accused of extracting 1.4 million litres of water a day, in order to sell them for profit, leaving locals in Mexico with no access to water. This exploitation of vulnerable local people, living in the Global South, is an example of the damage that can be done when a company does not prioritise ethics.

In what areas does Harrogate Spring Water score well for its ethics?

We have given Harrogate Spring Water high ratings for its accountability on its use of Fossil Fuels, GMOs, and its clear Environmental Reporting. On its website, Danone provides a list of goals for the year 2030 along with updates regarding how the company is doing in achieving those goals.

How can Harrogate spring water improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide calculates a brand’s Ethical Rating based on three study categories. We consider how the brand’s ideals and deeds relate to the Environment, People, and Animals. Learn more about our rating and research processes here.

Harrogate Spring Water might seek specialised sustainability guidance and evaluation by applying for Ethical Accreditation.

Harrogate Spring Water may raise its grade and meet our core Ethical Benchmark by eliminating any animal research from other Danone products, which has a knock-on effect on the brand’s score.

If you work for or with a company that sells bottled water and values ethics highly, why not look into The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation? Brands including Clearer Water, Brecon Carreg, Highland Spring, and One Water have benefited from this certification of sustainability and ethics. To learn more about Ethical Accreditation, get in touch with us, or fill out our brief form to get a preliminary assessment.

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


  • Public Record Criticisms+


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