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San Pellegrino

How ethical is San Pellegrino?

San Pellegrino is a soft drinks brand which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Soft Drinks Ratings Table. Although San Pellegrino has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in San Pellegrino if it applied for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement. Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Soft Drinks sector.

What does San Pellegrino do?

San Pellegrino is an Italian brand of mineral water which produces a range of carbonated fruit flavoured water, It was founded in 1899 in Milan, Italy, and is now owned by Nestlé S.A.

In which areas does San Pellegrino perform poorly?

San Pellegrino was marked down under our criteria for GMO as its parent company, Nestlé S.A., states that it believes GMO ingredients are safe to use. Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Nestlé states that it still uses animal testing where required by law, so San Pellegrino receives a bottom rating for Animal Welfare. Nestlé donated over $548k in recent election cycles which is above our threshold, so San Pellegrino gets a poor rating for this criterion.

Past Criticisms of San Pellegrino’s record

In 2023 an investigation revealed that some pesticides that are banned in the EU are being used by farms in Brazil supplying Nestlé. In the same year a report by Rainforest Action Network called on brands including Nestlé to cease using palm oil sourced from the Harita Group, due to the group’s destruction of indigenous communities in Borneo. Nestlé was also criticised in early 2023 for failing to cease trading in Russia.

In 2022 a consumer watchdog filed a complaint against Nestlé and Ferrero relating to E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks involving the companies. In the same year a report by Mighty Earth also revealed that a number of chocolate companies, including Nestlé, had failed to uphold their previously-stated commitment to end deforestation in West Africa.

In which areas does San Pellegrino score well for its ethics?

San Pellegrino’s parent company, Nestlé, published its ‘Creating Shared Value and Sustainability Report’ which includes a number of environmental targets relating to carbon reduction, deforestation-free supply chains and recyclable packaging. Therefore San Pellegrino scores well for its Environmental Report.

We found no criticisms relating to; Nuclear, Fossil Fuels or Armaments, therefore San Pellegrino scores well across these criteria. Find out more about how we rate.

How can San Pellegrino improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that San Pellegrino is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Soft Drinks Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, San Pellegrino has some issues to resolve, including its use of GMOs. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give San Pellegrino some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our Ethical Mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.


Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


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