Bottled Water Reporter (Sep/Oct 2020)

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W W W. B O T T L E D W AT E R . O R G


IN THIS ISSUE Putting IBWA’s Understanding Water Stewardship Water's Role in Guidance to Work the Body for You

Correcting False Statements About Bottled Water



Also Inside:

Ways to Make Your Meetings More Productive How to Have an Impact on the 2020 Election

CONFERENCE IBWA's Annual Conference Goes Virtual | Details p.5


VOL. 60 • NO. 5


24 | How to Have an Impact on the Election Encourage your employees to get engaged in the election process. COMMUNICATIONS

26 | Understanding Water's Role in the Body Experts agree: drinking water contributes to good health. TECHNICAL UPDATE

28 | Revisiting the IBWA Water Stewardship Best Practices Guidance Has your company put IBWA’s water stewardship best practices to work for you?



5 | IBWA’s 2020 Annual Business Conference and Trade Show

TABLE OF CONTENTS 12 | Marketing Makeover The most important characteristic of successful companies during the COVID-19 public health emergency is the ability to be flexible. Bottled water companies have had to pivot their operations to accommodate changes in consumer behaviors, integrate safety measures, and contend with ever-shifting budget line items. There’s one more area where adaptation is just as critical: marketing and customer service. By Christine Umbrell

19 | Getting the Message

How Meetings Can Help Achieve High Productivity and Improve Morale Let’s be honest: some meetings are an unnecessary, unproductive waste of time, but others can be highly productive and informative, if you know how to structure them. By Chris Torres

Virtual conference. Same great education. New networking opportunities.

CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTARY ...............................2 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ......................................4 CPO QUIZ .........................................................30 ADVERTISERS ...................................................31 CALENDAR .......................................................31 WATER NOTES ..................................................32


BOTTLED WATER REPORTER, Volume 60, Number 5. Published six times a year by The Goetz Printing Company, 7939 Angus Court, Springfield, VA, 22153, for the International Bottled Water Association, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213, Fax: 703.683.4074, Subscription rate for members is $25 per year, which is included in the dues. U.S. and Canadian subscription rate to nonmembers is $50 per year. International subscription rate is $100 per year. Single copies are $7. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bottled Water Reporter, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973.


Times were much slower, and I think even simpler, when I was growing up in the 1950s. Then, the great communication tool was the newspaper. Only a few people in rural America had a television or telephone, so it wasn’t unusual for a Sunday newspaper to be passed on to two or three other people to read. A popular pastime for adults and children alike was reading the comic strips in the Sunday newspaper. The one comic strip that captured my imagination was Dick Tracy, the great detective. He had a wristwatch he could talk into (the 2-way wrist radio) to communicate with his peers back at the precinct. As a child, I thought about how neat it would be to have such a device. Now, look at all the cell phone options we have! The Pew Research Center says 96 percent of Americans have a cell phone—and of that number 81 percent are smartphones. This single handheld communication device lets us send and receive text messages; talk with family, friends, and coworkers (and view them too, if we wish); store our electronic files; and manage our personal and professional schedules. You’d think with these devices helping us manage our lives that life should be easier than ever. So, why are we working 14-hour days and answering emails and texts at all times of the day and night? The answer: Society demands it. The general public knows they have access to you or your company 24 hours a day, thanks in part to that handy communication device. And they are demanding more goods and services at a lesser price. In order to meet that demand, we use our technological advances in communications and manufacturing to deliver high-quality bottled water goods and services to the end user. Therefore, we have become a more productive workforce as a result of competition in our industry. We could use a good investigative detective like Dick Tracy to help us solve the mystery of how life will look after COVID-19. Will more people continue to work remotely? Will that increase bottled water sales to the “home” segment of home and office delivery? After being homebound and living with the waste they produce, will consumers become better recyclers and help increase recycling rates? Unfortunately, neither my smartphone nor Dick Tracy’s watch can predict the future. But I can assure you of this: People will always have a need for our high-quality bottled water products, and IBWA will be here to help ensure the continued success and growth of your companies. Till next time, over and out!

Robert Smith IBWA Chairman 2 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG


International Bottled Water Association OFFICERS Chairman Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Vice Chairwoman Tara Carraro, Nestlé Waters North America Treasurer Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Immediate Past Chairman Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc..

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shayron Barnes-Selby, DS Services of America, Inc. Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Tara Carraro, Nestlé Waters North America C.R. Hall, Hall's Culligan Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Doug Hidding, Blackhawk Molding Co. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Kari Mondt, Allied Purchasing Greg Nemec, Premium Waters, Inc. Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc. William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc.

IBWA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Shayron Barnes-Selby, DS Services of America, Inc. Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Tara Carraro, Nestlé Waters North America C.R. Hall, Hall’s Culligan Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Henry R. Hidell, III, Hidell International Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Dave Muscato, DS Services of America, Inc. William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Communications Committee Julia Buchanan, Niagara Bottling, LLC Maureen Hendrix, DS Services of America, Inc. Education Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Douglas R. Hupe, Aqua Filter Fresh Environmental Sustainability Committee John Cook, Niagara Bottling LLC Government Relations Committee Viola Johnson Jacobs, DS Services of America, Inc. Derieth Sutton, Niagara Bottling LLC. Membership Committee Marge Eggie, Polymer Solutions International Kelley Goshay, DS Services of America, Inc. State and Regional Associations Committee Jillian Olsen, Cherry Ridge Consulting LLC Supplier and Convention Committee Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Technical Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc.

Taking the industry from the modern world to the future


1 (800) 781-1680


Like other businesses and associations, IBWA has had to pivot how it operates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


International Bottled Water Association BOTTLED WATER REPORTER is published for: International Bottled Water Association 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650 Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213 Fax: 703.683.4074


One such necessary move has been to reimage our annual business conference as a virtual event. So, from November 9-12, IBWA invites you to join us online for our Annual Business Conference and Trade Show. Attendees can still expect quality education sessions (and certified plant operators can earn CEU credits), fun networking opportunities, and lively industry discussions. To learn more, turn to page 5.

President Joe Doss

The ability to be flexible in trying times is a key characteristic of successful organizations. Just as IBWA has had to reconstruct our convention plan, you have probably found need to revise many of your plans as well. For example, your 2020 marketing strategy was likely being followed during Q1, but by April you recognized those plans would need to be tweaked. Now is an ideal time to review marketing plans for the rest of the year (and into 2021) and make adjustments. The pandemic has caused a lot of stress for consumers, and, in our cover story “Marketing Makeover” (p.12), we hear from experts on how you can market your business in a transparent way that shows your products can help alleviate some of that stress and make their lives easier.

Vice President of Communications Jill Culora

And to help make your lives easier and ensure your businesses continue to run smoothly during these challenging times, our second feature, “Getting the Message” (p.19), reviews the characteristics of a successful meeting. Undoubtedly, some see meetings as a necessary evil, but they do offer an opportunity to provide employees with updates on important issues— particularly now when COVID-19 policies can greatly impact plant operations. The tips in this article will help you fine-tune the structure of your meetings to increase workplace productivity and empower your workforce to carry out the company’s mission. But COVID-19 isn’t the only issue on our minds these days. The election is fastapproaching, and our Government Relations column (p.24) reminds readers that the presidency is not the only elected official voters will determine on November 3. The seats of 33 senators, 435 House representatives, 13 governors, and thousands of state legislators will also be decided. This column reviews how you can encourage your employees to get involved in the election process. In the Communications column (p.26), we discuss the health benefits of water consumption, including aiding many physiological processes. And lastly, the Technical Update column (p.28) revisits the IBWA Water Stewardship Best Practices Guidance and examines how it can help members develop a world-class water stewardship strategy at their plants. I look forward to seeing you online for the 2020 IBWA Annual Business Conference and Trade Show. Let’s make it a productive experience that sets up the bottled water industry for a successful 2021.

Senior Vice President of Education, Science, and Technical Relations Robert R. Hirst

Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin Director of Conventions, Trade Shows, and Meetings Michele Campbell Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner Director of Science and Research Al Lear Director of Communications Sabrina E. Hicks Manager of Member Services Cheryl Bass Communications Coordinator Chris Torres Education and Technical Programs Coordinator Linda Alfakir Executive Assistant Vacant Bottled Water Reporter Layout and Design Rose McLeod Tel: 315.447.4385 Editor Sabrina E. Hicks Advertising Sales Stephanie Schaefer


CONFERENCE IBWA realizes that COVID-19 is impacting organizations and individuals on multiple levels. These challenging times mean it's even more critical for the bottled water industry to convene as a community to learn, engage, and share best practices. As a result, IBWA is excited to announce that this year’s Annual Business Conference and Trade Show will be a virtual experience over the dates of November 9 – 12. The focus of IBWA’s 2020 Annual Business Conference and Trade Show is what it’s always been: connection and collaboration. The only difference? It’s virtual. Join us November 9-12 for four days of quality education, fun networking, valuable engagement, and interactive discussions.

Here’s what you can expect:

• 14.5 CEUs available

• No travel or hotel expenses

• Trade Show with enhanced engagement features for showcasing products and services through face-to-face chat functions in real time

• Reduced registration and exhibit fees • 13 Education Sessions with interactive elements for Q&A, chat, and polling

• General Session with “State of the Industry” presentation, as well as the IBWA Awards Ceremony • Virtual networking events • Conference hours: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EST)





The work of the Association doesn’t stop because of COVID-19. If fact, in many ways IBWA is busier than ever—helping the bottled water community navigate through these precarious times and also continuing our work on other important industry issues like recycling content mandates; bottled water sales bans; adding more water consumption references to the soon-to-bepublished Dietary Guidelines for Americans (and seeking to add water, in addition to dairy, to the MyPlate food nutrition graphic); taxes; and more. We’ve tackled a lot in 2020—and there will surely be more challenges on the horizon. Attend IBWA’s General Session to hear IBWA President and CEO Joe Doss present his state of the association speech, which will update members on the many successes the association has earned this year—and review any anticipated obstacles in the months ahead. Members will also vote on the slate of nominees for IBWA’s board of directors, and IBWA Chairman Robert Smith (Grand Springs Distribution) will discuss what he has learned during his tenure. This presentation will offer another IBWA first: the “Passing of the Gavel” ceremony will be held virtually, with 2020 Chairman Smith formally introducing the incoming 2021 Chairwoman Tara Carraro (Nestlé Waters North America) to the IBWA membership.

If ever there was a year for buyers and sellers to connect, it is this year. Products and services have been disrupted and reimagined as a result of many different factors, including tariffs, COVID-19, new technologies, just to name just a few. Many associations, like IBWA, are turning to virtual exhibit platforms to ensure conference attendees can learn about all the new—and tried-and-true—products and services suppliers have to offer during these unprecedented times. Trade show exhibitors and attendees will be able to meet in online exhibit booths for live conversations and exchange product information through links and videos. The platform will enable attendees to find the exhibitors they want to meet by searching product categories. All registered individuals will be able to find the names of other registrants and the companies they represent, so appointments can be set up. Yes, it will be different. However, it will also be productive. Plan to participate in this new and innovative opportunity. Who knows, you may end up liking it so much you will want to integrate this technology into your business model.


2020 ONLINE OFFICE OLYMPICS Monday, November 9, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Ticketed Event - $120) The Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) Board of Directors invites you to join us online for an evening of friendly competition! We will be playing a series of virtual “Olympic” games guided by Team Building, a virtual activity host. Attendees will break up into small teams to compete in events, such as trivia (including some DWRF-specific categories), a scavenger hunt, a “Pictionary”-esque game, and more! The ticket price includes an hour and a half of fun, high-energy games. Ticketed event: $120 per person; $80 is tax deductible. On the conference registration form, note how many people you'd like to reserve a spot for in these Online Office Olympics. Please register no later than Monday, October 26, 2020. Your participation in DWRF’s Annual Fundraiser helps fund the vital research that impacts the bottled water industry now and in the future. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact IBWA Program Coordinator of Education, Science, and Technical Relations Linda Alfakir: 703.647.4612 or




All the learning (and CEUs) without any of the travel


Bottling in the Age of COVID-19



Presenters: Glen Davis, Absopure; Bob Hirst, IBWA; Al Lear, IBWA

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire U.S. economy, and the bottled water industry is no exception. During this session, we will review the issues that have affected the bottled water industry since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. Panelists will discuss how they addressed and overcame new challenges created by COVID-19—and a public very alarmed by it, and attendees will be encouraged to contribute to the conversation by providing examples of how their companies coped with the rapidly evolving work landscape. We will review the impact on both the home and office delivery and small-package segments of the bottled water business. Topics include, but are not limited to,

meeting the demands of retail clients and the public during the “hoarding” weeks, protecting both clients and employees in delivery of water to businesses and private homes, policies on outsiders at the plant, suspension of IBWA and regulatory inspections/audits, and novel approaches to retaining business clients.

5 Things Every 1.0 Great Website Needs CEU

Presenter: Grant Price, WordPress Tutoring and Training The landscape of the web is changing every minute. It is more important now than ever before to make sure your web presence is meeting your current and potential customers’ needs. Attend this session to learn about the five things you should be doing to make your website engaging for your customers and increase your search engine optimization (SEO).


“Diving Deeper” 1.0 Into Water Use Ratio (WUR) / Energy Use Ratio (EUR) Reductions Presenter: Tim Wallisch, Antea Group This session will provide attendees with practical examples of how to achieve resource and cost savings at bottled water facilities. The key issues that will be discussed include the true cost of water, water use reduction through reuse, and specific optimization opportunities for bottled water processors.

CPOs: DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH CEUs? The IBWA Model Code of Practice requires members to have at least one CPO in each member facility. All IBWA education sessions at the 2020 IBWA Annual Business Conference are eligible for CEUs. To keep their certification current, CPOs may either retake the CPO exam every three years or accrue the required 21 CEUs (up to 6 CEUs can be from nontechnical/business topics)—within each three-year period (which averages out to only 7 CEUs per year). At this year’s conference, 14.5 CEUs are available: 7 technical CEUs CEU and 7.5 business CEUs



We might not be able to meet in person this year for IBWA’s annual conference, but through IBWA’s virtual education program you can still learn about the latest bottled water industry news and innovations—and, if you are an IBWA Certified Plant Operator (CPO), you can earn CEU credits along the way! IBWA’s online education sessions provide a diverse lineup of technical and business-related topics to choose from. By attending these educational sessions, you’ll learn the key concepts, strategies, and practical skills that are necessary to run a successful bottled water business during these unprecedented times.


SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 7



Marketing, Staying Relevant



Presenter: Damion Michaels, evamor The power of storytelling can move your brand from a consumer’s mind, where the purchase consideration is based on cost, to a consumer’s heart, where the purchase is based on rationalized need. Such storytelling is key when your brand is in a crowded category. Find your customer: Using consumer behavioral profiles for targeted, wellcrafted content, when deployed in digital and social media, increases sales, creates cost savings, and finds/cultivates better customers who have more loyalty. CEU The Impact of 1.0 COVID-19 on Plastics Recycling and Building a Circular Supply Chain

Presenter: Bridget Croke, Closed Loop Partners In spite of COVID-19 and market challenges in recent years, 2020 could be a year of major innovations in the recycling industry. Attend this session to learn about the most recent recycling innovations and the central role recycling plays in transitioning U.S. manufacturing to circular supply chains. 8 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

Bottled Water Sales Figures and Trends



Presenter: Gary Hemphill, Beverage Marketing Corporation Bottled water widened its lead in 2019 as the most popular packaged beverage in the United States, and growth has continued into 2020. Category growth has been especially driven by PET single-serve and sparkling water segments. In this fast-paced session, learn how PET and HOD categories are performing in 2020, how the industry has been impacted by the pandemic, what the key trends are, and the outlook for the future. Also, get perspective on competitive categories like carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, and more. CEU Topics in Water 1.0 Stewardship: Conducting Stakeholder Engagement and Remote Audits in Our New Normal

Presenters: Rae Mindock, SCS Global Services; Jillian Olsen, Cherry Ridge Consulting, LLC

Stakeholder engagement is valuable during implementation of

the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) and is required by several steps of the AWS Standard. It is also the one aspect of the Standard that creates the most hesitation from implementors. Now, there’s another consideration— stakeholder engagement in the “new normal.” This session will walk you through how to achieve stakeholder engagement, including stakeholder identification, evaluation of the information obtained, and how to find value during the process. Finding value is especially important during times when conversations on water stewardship may not be a priority. Remote audits are another aspect of the new normal. We’ll discuss conditions to be considered prior to the use of remote audits to avoid compromising the integrity of the assessment.

Inclusivity in the Workplace



Presenter: Neil Mairs, Solutions Recruiting, Inc. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace is a term you’ve probably heard before—but it is more than just a buzzword. D&I needs to be taken seriously and understood in the workplace. This session will explore the current environment, identify some of


IBWA and Regulatory Audits: Looking Back at 2020 and Planning for the Future



time of this session, it will also be introduced to attendees. CEU What’s New at 1.0 the Drinking Water Research Foundation?

Presenters: Jack C. West, DWRF Chairman; Ryan Schwaner, DWRF Trustee; Colleen Muñoz, PhD, University of Hartford; Michael F. Bergeron, PhD, SIVOTEC Analytics

Presenters: Glen Davis, IBWA Audit Program Evaluation Team; Bob Hirst, IBWA

Audits of food processing facilities are a critical piece of the nation’s food safety objectives and regulations. The COVID-19 pandemic caused almost everyone to step back and reevaluate the safety of continuing with such audits, considering the safety of the auditors and the plant employees. The logistics of traveling to bottling facilities also became a challenge. This session will cover how those challenges were faced and how the pandemic has changed the way audits will be completed for the foreseeable future. Attendees will also be updated on FDA and state regulatory audits and how they are changing to accommodate new challenges for keeping everyone safe and healthy. If the plan for reinstating the IBWA annual audit program is finalized by the

isms for Waterborne Pathogens in Bottled Water, ”and Dr. Colleen Muñoz and Dr. Michael Bergeron will discuss the ongoing DWRF research project on “Machine Learning in Modeling the Elusive Daily Water Requirement.”

Energy Star 1.0 Specifications for Water Coolers Are Changing in 2021 – Are You Prepared?


Presenter: Cory Martin, IBWA

Log on to this session to learn the important research role that the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) plays as a private, 501 (C) (3), not-for-profit, educational organization that sponsors peer-reviewed scientific research of interest to consumers and the drinking water industry, including bottled water. DWRF endorses research that further confirms the health benefits of water consumption and the safety of bottled water. DWRF Chairman Jack West will discuss DWRF’s history and mission, and a panel of speakers will present an overview of current research activities: DWRF Trustee Ryan Schwaner will discuss his research on the “Efficacy of Residual Ozone on Surrogate Microorgan-

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with new energy-reduction specifications for water coolers, known as Energy Star 3.0. Those changes will have a wide-ranging impact on everyone who rents or sells water coolers in the United States. ENERGY STAR 3.0 specifications will be finalized in early 2021, so be sure to attend this session to receive an overview of how ENERGY STAR 3.0 specifications will differ from those currently in place.

CONFERENCE UPDATES IBWA will publish more information for all conference programming as it becomes available. Go to convention for updated information on the dates and times for education sessions, IBWA committee meetings, the General Session, and Trade Show, as well as other updates.


the issues you may or may not be aware of, and offer some directions or solutions that will help you successfully nurture and develop D&I in your organization.

SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 9



What to Expect From the 2020 Election Results



Presenters: Cory Martin, IBWA; JP Toner, IBWA; and Nancy McNally, Van Ness Feldman

The 2020 elections will have a wideranging impact on the political and policy climates in Congress and in most state legislatures in 2021. These election results will also affect your industry and business in 2021. Start planning now to attend this session to learn how election results will impact policies in 2021 and what that means for your business. Join IBWA Government Relations staff Cory Martin and JP Toner, as well as longtime DC political operative Nancy McNally (Van Ness Feldman), to see what’s in store for 2021 and how you can prepare to meet coming political and policy challenges.

PCR Recycling Presenter: Steve Alexander, Association of Plastic Recyclers



This session will provide an overview of the plastics recycling industry efforts to increase supply and enhance the value of PET post-consumer resin (PCR), with a focus on design for recyclability, testing protocols, PCR certification, market demand programs, and federal and state regulatory efforts. An overview of broader industry coalition activities will also be presented.

HOW A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE WORKS IBWA will periodically send out emails that will educate you on the best methods for maximizing your participation in the conference on the selected virtual platform. Registered attendees and exhibitors will be sent a personal log-in code approximately 2 weeks prior to the conference. This will enable you to go onto the virtual platform to see who is registered and become familiar with how things operate. We realize this is new, but all you need to participate is a computer and Wi-Fi connection. Entering segments of the conference is as simple as logging in and then clicking on a button.


Quality problems with many odors and pollutants inside the bottle? We solve it with 20 years of know-how.

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Email: 82-31-366-4735





ATTENDEE REGISTRATION FORM ONLINE REGISTRATION: (enter this address into your internet browser) MAIL FORM TO: IBWA Conference, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314 FAX FORM TO: 703.683.4074 SCAN/EMAIL FORM TO: QUESTIONS? CALL: 703.647.4610 INFORMATION AND CURRENT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:



NAME:____________________________________BUSINESS EMAIL:______________________________________________ q Yes q No COMPANY NAME:____________________________WEBSITE: ______________________________________________________________ ADDRESS:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY:______________________________________STATE:________ ZIP:______________________________________________________ PHONE:_____________________ CELL:_______________________ FAX:______________________________________________________ (for onsite use only)

REGISTRATION FEES INCLUDE: 13 education sessions (14.5 CEUs), general session, trade show


q New IBWA Member (10/1/19-9/30/20)

q Existing Member

Select One: q Bottler q Distributor q Academic/Government Until 10/15/20: $199 per person After 10/15/20: $299 per person

NON-MEMBER BOTTLER/DISTRIBUTOR Select One: q Bottler q Distributor q Academic/Government Until 10/15/20: $400 per person After 10/15/20: $500 per person

NON-EXHIBITING SUPPLIER q New IBWA Member (10/1/19-9/30/20) q Existing Member q Member: Until 10/15/20: $400 per person After 10/15/20: $500 per person q Non-Member: Until 10/15/20: $700 per person After 10/15/20: $800 per person Payment


* DWRF Fundraising Event



#___ @ $120 each= $______


Payment Method $_______ Total Due q Check (payable to IBWA, mail with this form) q Credit Card (provide account # here or call IBWA when emailing form) ___ AMEX ___ VISA ___ Master Card ___ Discover Name on Credit Card: ______________________________________________________________ Authorized Signature: _________________________________ Account Number: ____________________________ Security Code: ______ Exp. Date: _______ Confirmations and Cancellation Policy • Confirmations will be emailed or faxed to registrants within 48 hours of receipt. If you do not receive one, please call IBWA. • Cancellations must be received in writing no later than October 15, 2020 and are subject to a $50.00 administrative fee. After that date, no refunds will be issued. • Substitutions can be made, but must be in writing.

SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 11



The most important characteristic of successful companies during the COVID-19 public health emergency is the ability to be flexible, acclimating to the new, sometimes unpredictable, climate. Bottled water companies, just like all other businesses, have had to pivot their operations to accommodate changes in the customer base, integrate safety measures, and contend with ever-shifting budget line items. There’s one more area where adaptation is just as critical: marketing and customer service. Forward-thinking companies are embracing a “back to basics” approach to meet customers’ evolving needs, seeking to “serve” customers in the truest sense of the word. A service mindset, rather than a hard-sell approach, is nothing new to IBWA bottlers—and it’s even more necessary to navigate the current, fluid landscape. “The pandemic has added a lot of stress, unknowns, and frustration to the lives of everyday Americans,” explains George Kuhn, president of Drive Research ( “When coupled with being forced to try new things— such as ordering online or through pick-up versus just going to the store to grab an item—it is important for brands and organizations to be as helpful as ever.” Savvy bottled water business owners and managers are seizing this opportunity to adopt a more responsive and compassionate marketing approach. In this article, marketing experts share specific tips for revamping marketing and customer service activities during and after the pandemic.

SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 13

MANY OPERATIONAL CHANGES PUT IN PLACE TO WORK AROUND COVID-19 HEALTH CONCERNS WILL CONTINUE TO BE PRACTICED LONG AFTER THE PANDEMIC SUBSIDES. Tip 1: Demonstrate a Commitment to Safety “Consumers are concerned for their own safety and the safety of their families,” says Russell Abratt, PhD, professor of marketing at George Mason University’s School of Business. “Many of them are also under financial constraints and will only purchase essentials. Many are working from home.” Good news for bottled water companies: a lot of consumers consider your products “essential.” To help ensure customers look to your company to meet their healthy hydration needs, you must be transparent and proactive—particularly in virus-ridden areas where numbers of the infected continue to rise, says Tom Ulbrich, executive-in-residence for entrepreneurship at University at Buffalo School of Management. Businesses should be able to answer the question, “How are we keeping our customers and their families safe?” says Ulbrich. According to a survey of U.S. consumers published by McKinsey & Co. in late July, customers are actively seeking safety measures when deciding where to shop and expect evidence of enhanced cleaning, masking, and barriers. You should expect those consumer attitudes to apply to manufacturing operations as well. Ulbrich advises bottled water companies to be forthcoming and explain that employees are wearing masks, wiping down equipment, using hand sanitizer, and engaging in other safety protocols to protect customers. You should communicate that worker safety is a priority; since the pandemic began, 25 percent of consumers believe that a company’s treatment of its employees has increased in importance as a buying criterion, according to the McKinsey survey. Kuhn also emphasizes the importance of communicating safety measures. “Do not leave your customers wondering if you are acting. Show them your business can be trusted. Let them know you are open, operational, and 14 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

safe.” He recommends showcasing your safety protocols on communication platforms such as your website and social media channels.

Tip 2: Craft “Compassionate” Marketing Messages Compassion and caring should play a significant role in today’s marketing messaging. “Times are tough for businesses. Times are tough for families. Marketing messaging should be centered around helping consumers in this time,” says Kuhn. He suggests that companies contact consumers and offer help without asking for a sale in return. “If you are a bank, offer tips to save money on a mortgage—but if you deliver water, offer tips on how to choose the best vendor for home delivery services,” Kuhn says. “If you sell bottled water in retail locations, offer a social share that talks about saving money on bottled water purchases. If you can offer helpful content and advice to help families and businesses during this time, do so.” And in communities where COVID-19 is peaking or the economy has been particularly hard hit, businesses should find creative ways to communicate with audiences. “If you are not comfortable selling in a time of crisis, find other ways to offer advice, tips, engaging information, and costsaving content to build relationships with your customers,” says Kuhn. Then, “when consumers have additional money to spend, they will come to you first.”

Tip 3: Test Strategies to Re-engage Customers As areas ramp back up activities, bottled water companies should reach out to current—and potential—customers with vouchers or coupons to welcome them back, says Ulbrich. “Share the message that you’re offering new services” to help customers maintain safety while re-engaging in their work and leisure activities, suggests Ulbrich.


It’s also a good time to expand information sharing, so customers understand your altered protocols. “I would suggest sharing as much helpful content as possible,” says Kuhn. “It doesn’t cost anything other than time to post a notice on your website, create a safety and sanitation FAQ page on your website, send an e-blast with news or information, write a blog post a week on money-saving tips related to your product, and share organic posts and helpful content on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. All of those channels are 100 percent free yet help share the story of, ‘We are here to help.’” Promoting contactless delivery options could help draw new customers, as contactless has become a popular option for many package, product, and food service delivery businesses since COVID-19 hit, according to Kuhn. “I would expect many of these changes that took place to work around health concerns will be long-lasting changes to the buying process.”


When preparing to clean and sanitize your water dispenser, it’s important to choose an effective cleaning agent against bacteria, germs, and mineral buildup. Water cooler manufacturers recommend using white vinegar or bleach, using the following amounts: • White vinegar: ½ gallon of water + ½ cup of white vinegar • Bleach: 1 gallon of water + 1 tablespoon of bleach Cleaning a Top-load Water Cooler 1. Unplug your water cooler. 2. Remove the water bottle. 3. With a clean microfiber cloth, dip the cloth into your cleaning solution. 4. Clean the water bottle holder.

Tip 4: Revamp Customer Service Strategies

5. Remove and clean the water guard.

In years past, many bottled water companies prided themselves on “high-touch” customer service. During deliveries, home and office delivery (HOD) route salespeople interacted with office staff and residential customers on a regular basis—often going above-and-beyond to carry items into homes and having one-on-one discussions, forging stronger bonds.

6. Remove and clean the drip guard (if applicable).

Those physical interactions have been limited by the COVID-19 public health emergency. For safety reasons, there are far fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions with your customers. Companies need to think strategically about new approaches to demonstrate a continued commitment to customer service. “Anything you can do safely to keep adding value, you should keep doing,” says Ulbrich. “Think about how you can give the same level of customer service remotely” that you were able to do pre-COVID. Consider strategies such as changing out water coolers or cleaning coolers more frequently, and communicating key health and safety updates. In response to the pandemic, different states have published very different guidelines on water consumption—sometimes offering guidance on water fountains, water coolers, or bottled water—so companies must study the local recommendations and shift business practices for maximum effect. While some agencies have promoted single-serve or gallon containers over water coolers, IBWA recommends instructing consumers on proper water cooler care and cleaning techniques—just as

7. Add your cleaning solution to the water reservoirs to disinfect them and let it sit for 15 minutes. 8. Run water through the reservoirs to rinse the product. When the new, refilled water bottle is in place, plug in the water cooler and allow for heating and cooling of the water. Cleaning a Bottom-load Water Cooler 1. Turn off the hot water. 2. Add your cleaning solution to the reservoirs, then dispense it into an empty water bottle. Repeat this step 2-3 times. 3. Rinse the unit by adding water to the reservoirs and dispensing it multiple times. 4. Using a microfiber cloth and your cleaning solution, softly clean the interior and exterior surfaces. 5. Replace your water bottle. Install a new water bottle with fresh water and allow approximately 25 minutes for the cooler to properly cool and heat the water. Source: Brio Water Technology

SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 15

EMBRACE YOUR “BRAND” AND WHAT IT STANDS FOR Focusing on your brand is a great way to increase awareness of your company and its values. The need for such an approach is underscored in a new report from global consulting firm Deloitte. “By putting your customers’ interests first, this can be a time for your company’s brand to lead,” note Deloitte analysts in the report “COVID-19: Maintaining Customer Loyalty and Trust During Times of Uncertainty.” As companies re-think their marketing strategies, it’s the perfect time to build your brand and develop relationships with customers, says Russell Abratt, PhD, professor of marketing at George Mason University’s School of Business. Consumers today expect companies to “stand for” something, says Abratt. “They have to clearly state their brand values and communicate these to their target customers,” he explains. “Companies and brands must have a conscience today and not just focus on profits. Safety concerns, environmental concerns, antiracism, and other social issues require firms to be ethical in their dealings and exhibit socially responsible behavior. Brands have to clearly differentiate themselves from the competition by highlighting their points of difference.” Business managers should keep in mind that consumers are looking to brands for hope in these challenging times. Forty-five percent of consumers surveyed by Media Frenzy Global in June said that not only do they want to be inspired by brands so they can be hopeful about the future but also that inspiration will lead to them purchasing from those brands after the pandemic. Focusing foremost on brand building, rather than selling water, “involves creating a unique brand positioning in the minds of consumers, making sure that consumers are reassured of safety and purity with the product,” Abratt says. He suggests that companies promote their brand by using social media and focused campaigns, explaining what the brand stands for. “Create brand communities so customers can talk about your products among each other.” Stakeholders and consumers will help create the future of brands, he says, so “it will pay for firms to listen to” their customers. “It is ‘free’ marketing research."


one would recommend proper cleaning of water fountains, which are more likely to become contaminated due to the close proximity of the nose and mouth to the faucets. Ulbrich suggests creating informational pamphlets or a safety tip sheet for office customers to display near their water coolers in office delivery points. “Offer suggestions on how to stay safe—the water cooler is a good place to post this information.” BAR HOD route salespeople should also consider making more predelivery phone calls or texts—to remind customers of an impending visit and to promise to wipe down bottles as you deliver them—and postdelivery phone calls/texts—to ensure the delivery was complete and the customer is satisfied. Those proactive service actions can help you keep the consumer relationships feeling current, even if you’re not talking in-person during deliveries, says Ulbrich.

Tip 5: Up Your Digital Marketing Game Consumers are searching for ways to do business to minimize risk and contact, says Kuhn. Customers no longer welcome in-person sales pitches and seek contactless delivery options. “This has forced businesses to shift to remote, virtual, and mobile operations to accommodate those needs.” Many consumers “have switched to mainly purchasing online and use digital tools,” agrees Abratt. With more customers working from home and avoiding unnecessary shopping trips, it’s important to ensure online ordering—for all types of bottled water customers—is simple and fast. Although many companies’ marketing budgets have been slashed, businesses can take advantage of several free inbound marketing techniques to help increase sales, says Kuhn. His marketing firm recently conducted a study with 1,200 adults around the Northeast and found that 50 to 60 percent of consumers are spending more time these days with streaming, social media, and online search. “If you’re not already, you should start practicing on-site search engine optimization (SEO) immediately,” says Kuhn. “This could be leveraged through general website copy, blog posts, whitepapers, etc.” These methods work because it is always easier to make a sale when there is already an intent to purchase—“and an effective inbound marketing strategy can help with that.” Kuhn also advises asking customers to participate in an online survey, either by leveraging an inexpensive DIY surveying platform or by working with a professional or


“IF YOU’RE NOT ALREADY, YOU SHOULD START PRACTICING ON-SITE SEO IMMEDIATELY.” expert. “If budgets are tight and you do not have the means or feel comfortable marketing or selling to your customers, what better way to stay in-touch than through a simple survey to ask for their feedback?” The survey can be designed to help you re-evaluate your marketing messaging, strategy, and operations. “Find out what your customers want and consider implementing it,” says Kuhn. “Ask them what they like about your product. What can be improved? Why do you choose us over others? How has COVID-19 impacted your spending?” Kuhn suggests including questions to determine what percentage of your customers, for example, are feeling comfortable with HOD delivery, presuming precautions are taken (e.g., sanitizing, wearing gloves and masks, etc.). Then you can share that information both internally with staff and externally with customers. Surveys are extremely informative when considering strategic and operational changes. “If you find out that 90 percent of your customer base would be interested in a new service offering or delivery option, does not it make sense to look into or pursue it?” asks Kuhn. “Let the data and feedback guide you.”

Tip 6: Seek Out New Customers Most bottled water companies have taken a hit to their office deliveries, given the office closures and shifts to work-from-home. But that may give rise to a growth in residential deliveries—so a push to deliver not just water, but coffee, energy drinks, and vitamin waters to homes could pay off. In addition, when offices start to open back up, there’s an opportunity to sign up new customers in the buildings you already serve who might now appreciate safe, clean water delivered directly to their doors. Identify potential customers and introduce them to your products and services—as well as your commitment to health and safety.

services, according to the McKinsey survey. Store curbside pickup has also gained steam: 14 percent “started using” this method and 10 percent are “using more” curbside pickup during the pandemic. Reaching out to those consumers who now prefer delivery services could lead to new bottled water customers. Another option, says Ulbrich, is to study up on your competitors to see if any have gone out of business or stopped delivering water in your area: “See if there’s an opportunity to pick up their customers.”

Tip 7: Above All, Be Flexible Much is unknown about how long states will continue to see the spread of COVID-19, or how long the economic impacts of the pandemic will be felt. It’s safe to say that consumers will continue to need safe drinking water, so bottled water companies that position their messaging in helpful and positive manners may be the most successful. Going forward, brands should “stay true to themselves and not try to be something they’re not,” says Kuhn. “Consumers are smarter than ever,” and businesses that embrace the themes of thought-leadership and offer helpful tips and advice to consumers will prevail, says Kuhn. “If you are viewed as a helpful and valuable brand, even if you are not directly selling your product, in turn, customers view you in a more positive light. This echoes into future sales.” BWR Christine Umbrell is a freelance writer based in Herndon, Virginia. Email her at

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, 10 percent of consumers “started using” grocery delivery services, and another 11 percent are “using more” grocery delivery SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 17



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GETTING THE MESSAGE How Meetings Can Help Achieve High Productivity and Improve Morale By Chris Torres

It doesn’t matter if you’re working in a bottling plant or an office, two words can set off a flurry of emotions among employees: meeting invite. While meetings are often necessary and effective, sometimes a meeting is held when a simple, detailed email should be sent. Let’s be honest: some meetings are an unnecessary, unproductive waste of time, but others can be highly productive and informative, if you know how to structure them. “Meetings keep everyone up to date on department organization progress,” says Pattie Graves, human resources knowledge advisor for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “They can boost productivity and efficiency. They can also open up dialogue for open conversations, which can lead to engagement, collaboration, and a sense of purpose within the organization. It can also lead to accountability among team members.” SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 19


Productive Meetings = Productive Work According to Doodle’s “State of Meetings Report for 2019,” 76 percent of people prefer face-to-face meetings as opposed to video calls, conference calls, instant messaging, or email ( But those statistics reflect a time before COVID-19.

In a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Danny Guillory, head of global diversity and inclusion at Autodesk, a global software company, offered the following ideas for fostering an environment where contributions from everyone are encouraged: • Distribute meeting materials in advance and share questions to be discussed. This is helpful for workers for whom English is a second language and for introverted employees who function better when they are given time to process information before reacting to it. • Reach out to teleworkers. Make sure you have the right technology for virtual meeting participants to have a meaningful experience. Welcome them to the meeting, ask them questions and pause to be sure they are given the opportunity to take part in the conversation. • Rotate meeting times if you have remote workers in different time zones. • Give credit where it’s due. When someone is recognized for an idea that someone else put forward earlier in the meeting, point out who shared the idea originally. • Be conscious of your communication style. Don’t assume you know more than others by explaining concepts they may already understand—a behavior sometimes referred to as “mansplaining” when done by men to women. • Promote active debate and be courteous. If one colleague interrupts another, call attention to it to underscore the importance of letting everyone be heard. Source: “6 Steps for Building an Inclusive Workplace,” HR Magazine, April 2018

For the bottled water industry, plant meetings provide an opportunity for route salespeople to update their managers on anticipated issues before they leave for their daily deliveries—and a chance for managers to relay any new sales or promotions the company is introducing. They’re also a chance for plant supervisors to give feedback to the workforce on how to be more efficient on the line—and lately they’ve been a way to communicate new COVID-19 requirements for employers. 20 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

Regardless of your personal feelings about “meetings,” they are necessary for information sharing, corporate decision making, product development, and employee engagement, among other things. The tips provided in this article will help you create a structure for more successful meetings, which in turn will help to improve workplace productivity and create a happier workforce.

Meeting in person has been the norm throughout Justin Brazelton’s 16 years at Hall’s Water. As the area manager for Hall’s Water in Ohio and Michigan, Brazelton often meets with the general managers (GMs), operations staff, and sales groups across 12 Hall’s Water Culligan franchises between the two states, helping to communicate best practices and standardize processes throughout the facilities. Brazelton likes that his staff feel empowered to speak up during meetings; in fact, he states that “the most productive meetings we have, in my opinion, are the ones where I talk the least.” Brazelton’s pre-COVID-19 work schedule was often booked with meetings, including quarterly face-to-face meetings with GMs, a sales manager forum every two months at a centralized location, and a service manager forum that met every three months. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things have been much different this year. Since March, Brazelton’s team have adapted by holding video conference calls via Zoom to communicate rapidly changing COVID-19 updates to GMs and others. Initially, he held daily video calls, which helped to create a sense of stability in a rapidly evolving environment, but those calls are now held on a weekly basis. “Things were changing every day, so we needed to have calls daily just to share what was happening,” explains Brazelton. “We started dialing back on it more when the calls started to feel repetitive, and there weren’t a lot of other changes happening.”

If your employees don’t like meetings, that may be an indication of lingering issues within your company’s culture. The Importance of Meeting Feedback and Engaging Employees Like Brazelton, Nick Kubiak, associate director of operations at Premium Waters, participates in numerous meetings with employees across different departments. And also like Brazelton, he thinks the best meetings are the ones in which everyone feels his or her voice is heard. Encouraging input and feedback from staff at any department level is the most important indicator of a productive meeting, Kubiak suggests. “It gives them a voice, and when you give everyone a voice and input, there’s just a tremendous amount of buy-in from the employees and managers, so all the messaging isn’t just coming from the top,” he says. SHRM’s Graves explains that kind of employee engagement is important in creating a space where employees voice their honest opinions. But honest opinions can be hard to come by unless you’ve already established a positive workplace environment where employees feel safe to express any opinions or

concerns, Graves says. To learn more, see the sidebar on page 20. Graves also recommends rotating leadership and other roles during the meeting for effective results. Kubiak creates a team atmosphere by assigning other employees the role of “meeting leader.” They’re tasked with creating an agenda, and, typically, they send out a request for discussion topics—which can include, among other things, route adjustments, promotions, and customer service. Before Premium Water’s route meetings are adjourned, employees are assigned various tasks for follow-up, which will be reviewed during the next meeting. When team members are in charge of the meeting, Kubiak says, “It puts a little bit more responsibility into the mix and makes people think a little bit deeper [about the issues]." Because we’re living in stressful times, Brazelton likes to interject some humor into his meetings to relieve a little tension and keep the energy level

According to Pattie Graves, human resources knowledge advisor for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), it is critical to distribute a clear agenda in advance of any meeting, and, leaders should ask themselves if their goal is to generate new ideas or share information. During the meeting, they should ensure that employees aren’t on any devices and are tuned in. She also suggests that, if a meeting needs to run longer than an hour, be sure to include breaks. SHRM also offers these effective meeting tips: • Have an agenda. • Make strict adherence to time, attendance and punctuality non-negotiable. • Control discussion flow. • If you are the meeting leader, save your opinions for last (if you express them at all) to encourage employees to speak up first. • Confirm the other person’s position before you disagree with him or her. • Before closing the meeting, recap the key takeaways. • Shortly after the meeting, the leader should write and distribute a Same Day Summary (SDS)—even if that’s just an email. • Include the SDS of the prior meeting with the next meeting’s advance agenda. • Most importantly, before sending out the calendar invite for the meeting, ask yourself these questions: Is this meeting really necessary? Is this the best way to get done what we need to get done? Source: “8 Ways to Make Meetings Work,”

SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 21



Meetings should create a space where employees feel empowered to voice their honest opinions. of the group high. He often invites employees to recite a funny poem relevant to a current event at the end of meetings. Brazelton’s strategy to keep employees’ attention is a clever idea, as research shows that, although we are consuming more information than ever before, our attention spans have become shorter ( releases/2019/04/190415081959.htm). Graves would also commend Brazelton, as she recommends including some light moments and pausing for brief celebrations during meetings (e.g., applaud meeting a team goal) to help employees feel a sense of belonging, which in turn can boost morale.

Perhaps surprisingly, leaders often think their meetings are more effective than they actually are. “A lot of times leaders will actually have a blind spot where they think the meeting is going really well because they’re the ones in control and have that power. So, training leaders on how to facilitate effectively is a good way to make sure you’re having productive meetings,” says Graves. When facilitating a meeting, Graves suggests that leaders remain focused on the task at hand and what needs to be communicated. Leaders must ask themselves what they’re trying to accomplish and is it necessary.





People eating during meetings

Taking phone calls or making texts


People who interrupt others


People who talk about nothing for long periods of time


People taking notes on laptops during meeting

People who don't listen to others


Arriving late or leaving early

21% People who don't contribute to the discussion

Source: Doodle’s “State of Meetings Report for 2019,”


When to Meet In short, there’s no perfect time to hold a meeting. The nature of your business dictates when meetings need to be held. For example, rounding up route salespeople is easiest in the mornings before they head out to make deliveries. It is only through trial and error that you’ll determine the best meeting schedules for your team. For Brazelton, Monday meetings are few and far between—and he’s stopped holding meetings on Fridays. That leaves Tuesday through Thursday as the “sweet spot” to conduct meetings. “We try to give people the day off [from meeting calls] on Fridays, and Mondays are pretty hectic,” explains Brazelton. “But our Tuesday morning 10 a.m. sales call is pretty productive.” For Brazelton, morning meetings tend to be more productive in general. At Premium, route meetings are typically scheduled around 7 a.m., according to Kubiak. Those meetings last about an hour, and it gives drivers time to get out into the field at a reasonable hour to make their deliveries. Meetings with office staff can be more flexible. Senior staff meetings at Premium are conducted later in the afternoon, which leaves their schedules open for working through other calls and projects during the day—then they can be more attentive during the meetings because they are less likely to be distracted by their to-do lists.

Great Meetings Lead to Great Morale If your employees don’t like meetings, it may indicate other lingering issues within your company’s culture. Holding regular meetings can help create a healthy work environment. As Kubiak explains, “Without meetings on a regular basis, it gets to a point where small issues can become big

Much of the information discussed during Kubiak’s departmental meetings is communicated by the department heads down to the route drivers, customer service representatives, and warehouse staff, who then run their own monthly meetings. “Meetings communicate the information that’s necessary for employees to feel a part of that picture and the company’s success,” says Graves. “Employees actually feel more valued and connected to management, and that makes them happier. And if you have happier employees, that’s going to equal more engaged employees.” Kubiak agrees: “The corporate vision becomes the ground level vision when you have meetings at all different levels that include all employees, so there’s a trickle down effect.”



Setting clear objectives


Having a clear agenda


Not having too many people in the room Source: Doodle’s “State of Meetings Report for 2019,”

Member Owned Not-For NotNot For-Profit ForFor Profit Purchasing Co Co-op Co-

What matters most at the end of a meeting is that employees feel empowered to carry out the company’s mission and truly feel they are part of something that matters. When you have engaged employees, the proof is evident. “Letting the GMs or the sales managers do most of the talking and sharing of best practices and updates have been the most productive,” Brazelton affirms. “When they can get off the call and implement something another location is doing, that’s been the most beneficial.” BWR Chris Torres is IBWA’s communications coordinator. Contact him at ctorres@

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issues if left unattended.” For Premium, meetings are “critical to what we do,” Kubiak says. “It really helps on a managerial level to get our groups together on a monthly basis. It just creates a consistent routine that people can depend on and have their voices heard.”

How to Have an Impact on the Election By Cory Martin, IBWA Vice President of Government Relations

“Elections have consequences, and I won,” said President Barack Obama in 2009 to Congressional Republicans who were pushing the new president to support the GOP’s economic plans. Keep in mind, not only did a Democrat win the presidency, but the party also maintained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and almost won enough elections to have a super-majority in the Senate. So, the ability for any Republican, and especially those in the 24 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

House, to have any sway whatsoever on policy outcomes was little to none. To be clear, this wasn’t some nefarious plan by Democrats once they won control; this is how politics work in D.C., and Republicans and Democrats have been working this way with each other for many years before President Obama took office. It’s important to note that President Obama and Democrats also learned the “elections have consequences” lesson as their ability to

push through their party’s policy goals was greatly minimized once Republicans took back control of the House two years later in 2011. Why the history lesson? This upcoming November, Americans will be deciding not only on the presidency but also the seats of 33 senators, 435 House representatives, 13 governors, and thousands of state legislators. While the impact of COVID-19 is sure to be on voters’ minds as they make

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS their way to the polls, ultimately, the consequences of the election will be the same as they’ve been for generations: the winners will impose policies that they support; the losers will have very little ability to influence the outcome— at least until the 2022 election. Thus, it is absolutely critical for IBWA members to engage in the elections as several policies impacting the industry— including potential taxes for bottled water sales or groundwater use, bans on the sale of bottled water, use of recycled content mandates, and extended producer responsibility requirements— will be debated in Congress and state legislatures in 2021. So, where should you begin? Start by taking an assessment of the issues that interest both your company and your employees. Don’t limit your review to only the issues listed above; think about policies that could impact your day-today operations: broader taxes, health care, or immigration. Once you’ve identified the issues that are essential to your company and important to your employees, let those topics guide your decision on which races get your attention. After completing your assessment, use the recommendations below to help your company and employees get engaged in the upcoming election.

Share Candidate Information Voters constantly search for answers on where candidates stand concerning the various political issues. As an employer, you can provide your employees information on how the election will impact a host of topics important to them, your business, and the bottled water industry. Helping your employees receive details about the candidates’ positions will enable them to make informed voting decisions and ensure that the November elections will provide your business and the industry an opportunity to make progress on key issues.

ENCOURAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES TO GET ENGAGED IN THE ELECTION PROCESS. Host Virtual Candidate Meet and Greets The video conference has become a mainstay for many offices, and they also can play an important role in ensuring your employees “meet” the candidates. When you hold virtual candidate meetand-greet events, your employees can learn about the candidates competing in local, state, or federal elections. If such an event is scheduled during a campaign, however, there are a few rules to keep in mind. For example, when any candidate visits with your employees (whether in person or virtually), it is not permissible for the company to endorse him or her. However, company leadership may endorse a particular candidate during a visit in meetings with executives, managers, and shareholders. In addition, a company can’t discuss the candidate’s campaign; however, the candidate is free to do so in his or her remarks to, and conversations with, the workforce. If the campaign is discussed, an equal opportunity must be provided to the candidate’s opponent(s), if requested. Be sure to pay close attention to the topics of each meeting, and check with legal counsel to confirm your actions are within state and federal election laws.

Provide Information on How to Register to Vote and Vote on Election Day

voting instructions, may be more important than in year’s past. This is because mandates in place to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 may mean several states offer mail-in ballots. Be sure to include information to your employees on how to successfully mail in their ballots, if required. There are several resources that can be used, and IBWA is happy to help members to ensure they get accurate information for the big day.

Plan Special Election Day Events You can make Election Day a special event at your plant or office. Consider tuning in to news channels to track election results or providing other means for updating employees about electoral outcomes. You may also want to offer transportation to and from polls or create a friendly election-oriented competition between various offices or facilities. These are just a few great ways to make Election Day something special within your organization. It’s unlike any other day, so treat it as one! Although November may seem like a long way off, it will be here before you know it. Be prepared for Election Day by planning early, being a resource for your employees, and making a difference in the 2020 elections.

Your company can become a trusted hub of information that helps employees engage in the forthcoming election. Posting information on voting times and places, as well as absentee SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 25









Understanding Water's Role in the Body By Jill Culora, IBWA Vice President of Communications

You don’t have to look hard to find scientific research illustrating the important role water plays in a healthy diet—regardless of whether that water comes from the tap or is filtered or bottled. In fact, federal guidance, in the form of the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), notes that calorie-free beverages—especially water—should be the primary beverages consumed. The DGAs encourage a shift 26 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

to healthier food and beverage choices, which “include choosing beverages with no added sugars, such as water, in place of sugar-sweetened beverages.” And in today’s on-the-go society, people consume the majority of their liquids from packaged beverages. That's why bottled water is uniquely positioned to help improve public health. Suitable for consumption at any time of the day, able to be served

ice cold and room temperature, and conveniently packaged in 100-percent recyclable materials, bottled water provides consumers who are aiming for a healthier lifestyle the best option for healthy hydration. But have you ever stopped to think about how it is that water, including bottled water, can help you keep your body functioning properly? The list that follows provides just a few

COMMUNICATIONS examples of the many ways water consumption contributes to good health. Obesity. Drinking water instead of caloric beverages can help reduce your total daily caloric intake. In a study of overweight and obese women participating in a weight-loss program, when water replaced other, more sugary beverages, it’s shown to facilitate weight loss and improve cardiometabolic outcomes ( Diabetes. In the United States alone, there are more than 34 million patients with diabetes and 88 million with pre-diabetes. How is diabetes related to water intake and hydration? Recent studies indicate that dehydration and low water intake lead to higher levels of antidiuretic hormone. A higher level of this hormone is associated with development of diabetes, heart disease, and death, says Stavros A. Kavouras, PhD, FACSM, FECSS, an assistant dean of graduate education and professor of nutrition at Arizona State University and director of its Hydration Science Laboratory ( Mood. Drinking enough water can also positively impact your mood and cognitive performance. Among women, those with higher levels of water intake reported significantly lower levels of tension, depression, confusion, and something called total mood disturbance, an aggregate measure of numerous aspects of overall mood (pubmed. And men, when even just mildly dehydrated (1-2 percent weight loss), research shows that not only their mood but also their cognitive performance is impaired. ( Digestive Irregularity. Properly hydrating the colon will promote regular peristalsis (i.e., the natural muscle contractions that move food through the intestines) and help ease elimination. In the article “You May Be Dehydrated Even If You Drink Lots of Water: Dehydration Risks &

Solutions,” gastroenterologist Leonard Smith, MD, medical advisor for the University of Miami’s Department of Integrative Medicine, recommends that you “try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day” ( Heart Concerns. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, according to the American Heart Association, it helps the muscles work efficiently. “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” says John Batson, MD, FACSM, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and American Heart Association volunteer. ( Fatigue. On the Harvard Health Publishing website, experts from the university tout water’s essential role in conveying nutrients to all parts of the body: “If your energy isn’t what you’d like it to be . . . something as simple as making sure you are adequately hydrated can make a big difference in how you feel. ( edu/healthbeat/fight-fatigue-with-fluids). Studies assessing the effects of mild dehydration on men (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/21736786) and women (pubmed. have both concluded that fatigue and tension/ anxiety increases due to dehydration. High Blood Pressure. Decreases in blood volume can occur through blood loss or via loss of body water from sweating, which can lead to increased heart rate, a drop in blood pressure, or fainting. Drinking water will reduce heart rate and increase blood pressure in normal healthy people, says Barry Popkin, PhD ( pmc/articles/PMC2908954). In addition to health issues listed above, we also know that drinking adequate amounts of water daily can help with the follow conditions:

Cognitive Function. Kids that drink more water in school perform better on cognitive tasks, says Kavouras ( Kavouras_BWR). Kidneys. Ten percent of the U.S. population is affected by kidney stones—and that figure is growing. Researchers, such as Jessica Sontrop, PhD, from Western University in Canada, have found increased water consumption can alleviate the incidence of kidney stones because water helps decrease the concentrations of substances involved in stone formation. In addition, Sontrop has found the prevalence of stage III chronic kidney disease was highest among those with the lowest water intake. Her study concluded there is “evidence suggesting a potentially protective effect of higher total water intake, particularly plain water, on the kidney" (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.

Helping to Create a Healthier Population Water’s functions in the body are wellknown for helping to dissolve vitamins and minerals, making them available for absorption, transporting nutrients and oxygen to the cells, lubricating the joints, moistening tissues, forming saliva and mucus, cushioning organs, regulating body temperature, and eliminating waste from the body. The health benefits of being adequately hydrated are indisputable, and, as such, health experts recommend that we should drink more water more often. As bottled water professionals, it’s important that we continue to actively and aggressively share the facts about healthy hydration with our customers, friends, legislators, and the media. Through our communications efforts, we can educate people and inspire them to establish healthy drinking habits and thereby help create a healthier population.

SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 27


Revisiting the IBWA Water Stewardship Best Practices Guidance By Al Learn, IBWA Director of Science and Research

In July 2016, IBWA worked with the Antea Group, an international environmental consulting firm, to distribute a water stewardship and best practices survey to all members with the intent of developing a best practices guidance. The survey participants provided examples of best practices and identified other common water stewardship opportunities at a facility level. As a result, IBWA identified the following five common topic areas: • Equipment Checks and Process Controls • Meter Use and Water Mapping • Water Recycling and Reuse 28 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

Training and Education • Supply Monitoring and Management To develop the best practices framework for these topics, IBWA combined information from three resources: consolidated best practices from the member surveys, key points from the Ceres Aqua Gauge™ framework, and common best practice examples from beverage industry subject matter experts provided through the Antea Group. Broadening the application to IBWA’s membership meant that key aspects of each best practice needed to be divided into the following three approach categories: •

Initial Steps: For companies just getting started with water stewardship and looking to identify opportunities for improvement • Advanced Steps: For companies that have established a water stewardship program • Leading Steps: For companies with a well-established water stewardship program and looking to take it to the next level IBWA’s guidance document has flexibility built-in, so an item in a specific category is not required to be completed before moving on to the next category. Categories are designed •

TECHNICAL UPDATE as “checklists” for users to evaluate their current state of operations and identify opportunities for implementation. These practices do not need to be completed in sequence; a user does not need to fulfill all aspects of the Initial Steps category before moving on to Advanced. Members can work through the categories with current operations in mind, select practices that are a best fit for their operations today and in the future. For example, under the category of “Equipment Checks and Process Controls” (shown at left), a bottler may have implemented a leading practice such as conducting equipment checks, but it has not yet developed the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which would be part of initial steps. This flexible approach allows bottlers to evaluate their current water stewardship program at their facility and identify areas for improvement as their program evolves. IBWA members can reference the guidance when evaluating current water management practices at each facility. This tool will help members identify currently used best practices, opportunities for improvement, and offer a glimpse into water stewardship activities throughout the bottled water industry. The following are the recommended steps to implement IBWA’s Best Practices Framework: • To get started, consider the broad question(s) featured at the top of each best practices chart. For example, the questions for consideration under “Equipment Checks and Process Controls” begin by asking, Does the facility have a process in place for tracking equipment use and efficiency? Does the facility have written SOPs that promote/improve water use efficiency? • Read through each “droplet” in all categories (initial, advanced, and

LEARN FROM THE BEST The Water Stewardship Best Practices Guidance is available to members on the IBWA website, following these steps. After logging on at, click on the “Members Menu,” located on the right-hand side of the screen.

2016 Best Practices Framework Guidance Prepared for: International Bottled Water Association

Under “Member Resources,” click on Environmental Sustainability. Scroll down to select “IBWA Water Risk and Best Practices Report 2016,” located under IBWA Sustainability Documents. The report also contains many tools available to help better understand opportunities for water conservation at bottling operations, including the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) True Cost of Water Toolkit. BIER’s toolkit provides a facility-focused worksheet you can use to calculate and estimate the true cost of water at defined “pinch points” within a typical beverage facility. It also provides general overview calculations and supporting information for how to populate the tool and interpret results.

leading) of the best practice topic. After evaluating the options in each category, check mark all aspects your facility currently practices under each category. Next, identify opportunities for additional best practice implementation. For instance, equipment check frequency may currently be done on a monthly basis but increasing the frequency to weekly or even daily can lead to improved equipment efficiencies. Evaluate next steps for implementing the best practice at your facility using available resources to redefine or expand water management practices (e.g., collaboration with IBWA members, use of water tools, outreach to vendors, etc.).

efforts, Antea Group will present an educational session during the IBWA Annual Business Conference this November 2020. Attend “Diving Deeper into Water Use Ratio / Energy Use Ratio Reductions” to hear about practical examples that show how to achieve resource and cost-savings at bottled water facilities. Key issues discussed will include the true cost of water, water use reduction through reuse, and specific optimization opportunities for bottled water processors.

Learn More Looking ahead, to further assist members with their water stewardship SEP/OCT 2020 • BWR • 29



certified plant operators (CPOs) are encouraged to complete the following quiz for ½ IBWA continuing education unit (CEU). The questions are derived from material presented in this issue of the Bottled Water Reporter, the IBWA Plant Technical Reference Manual, and the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice. Submit this quiz to Linda Alfakir ( / Fax: 703.683.4074), IBWA Education and Technical Program Coordinator, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314. Look for additional quizzes in future issues and earn additional IBWA CEUs!

Name______________________________________________________ Company__________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________ City_______________________________________________________ State/Province______________________________________________

ZIP/Postal Code____________________________________________

Check your selection for each question


Polyethylene terephthalate is better known as _____.


A plastic PET PLA PE


In a bottled water security program, _____ can be used to indicate intentional contamination of product with microbiological agents.


pH Conductivity Heterotrophic plate count Color


“PROCESS IMPROVEMENT AND WATER REDUCTION MEASURES TAKEN” is a set of equipment checks and process controls for best practices, at the _____ step.


Preliminary Advanced Leading Initial


A _____ recall involves a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the product may cause illness or death.


Class III Class II Class I Category A


The atmosphere is comprised of _____ oxygen.


0.05 ppb 122 ppm 78 mg/m3 49.2%



On a bottled water label, the product identity statement must be included on the _____.


Information panel Principal display panel Closure Accompanying flyer


Food Safety + __________ = Food Protection


Food Security Food Defense Food Storage Food Preservatives


The OSHA exposure limit for ozone is _____.


0.05 ppb 0.1 ppm 10 ppm 120 mg/l


A document with information on the health effects and exposure treatment for a chemical is called a _____.


Health and safety plan SARA Title III Report Chemical inventory Material Safety Data Sheet


When developing best practices for water stewardship, a company looking primarily for opportunities for improvement can follow the suggestions under _____ in the IBWA BP document.


Initial Intermediate Leading Advanced



9-10 • OCTOBER CSBWA Fall Member

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Analytical Technology. . . . . . . Inside Back Cover

22-24 • OCTOBER NEBWA Fall Convention

Blackhawk Molding Co. . . . . Inside Front Cover

Virtual Event

BMI Korea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..10

9-12 • NOVEMBER IBWA Annual Business

Brio Water Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Conference and Trade Show Virtual Event Visit convention for more details.

Polymer Solutions Int'l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Sigma Home Products Co., Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31


Steelhead Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Outside Back Cover

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12-15 • MAY NWBWA Convention and Trade Show Embassy Suites Hotel Portland, OR

Support your industry while getting ahead of the competition! Place an ad in IBWA's Bottled Water Reporter magazine. Why We Need a Federal PFAS Standard

IN THIS ISSUE Three Lessons IBWA's Water for Bottlers From Stewardship Best a Wastewater Practices Guide Treatment Facility

Why Water Should Be Added to MyPlate



IN THIS ISSUE States Consider Responding to Bottled Water PFAS Regulation Myths With Facts

Promoting IBWA Bottlers the Granted Recyclability Labeling Exemption of Bottled Water Containers






W W W. B O T T L E D W AT E R . O R G

IN THIS ISSUE IBWA Establishes Correcting a Coast-to-Coast Misinformation Advocacy Network With Bottled Water Facts


W W W. B O T T L E D W AT E R . O R G

W W W. B O T T L E D W AT E R . O R G


THE HEALTHY HYDRATION ISSUE PROVEN STEWARDSHIP How the bottled water industry is a leader in environmental sustainability

DOING OUR PART The positive impact of offering environmentally friendly beverage containers to eco-conscious consumers

Also Inside:

Who Will You Nominate for a 2020 IBWA Award? IBWA Bottlers Earn "Excellence in Manufacturing" Designation A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION

Also Inside:

Also Inside:

Why Experts Recommend Water The Case for Water's Continued Inclusion in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION

Why Meeting With Legislators Matters FDA Launches Food Safety Dashboard A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION

IBWA’s award-winning, bimonthly magazine, Bottled Water Reporter, is the only trade magazine in the United States that exclusively targets the bottled water industry. IBWA has proudly been offering digital editions of its magazine online since 2009. Issues are mailed directly to IBWA members and nonmember subscribers six times a year. Bonus distribution offered during in-person IBWA Annual Business Conference and Trade Shows. Review past issues at bottled-water-reporter. Contact Stephanie: 817.719.6197 /



CDC Removes Negative Statements About Water Coolers in Business Reopening Guidance After Receiving IBWA Comments

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published several guidance documents for reopening offices and other workplaces during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In a May 2020 guidance document, CDC suggested that water fountains were safer than water coolers and recommended that water coolers not be used. In response to comments from IBWA, CDC revised the guidance and removed the negative statements about water coolers. On June 1, IBWA sent a letter to CDC noting that water coolers are as safe as water fountains, as they too can be sanitized periodically. The letter also pointed out that it is

Go to

inconsistent to allow the use of water fountains in the work-

office-buildings.html to review CDC’s July 9 update

place but not water coolers. The July 2020 revision of the

to its “COVID-19 Employer Information for Office

CDC guidance omits any mention of water coolers.

Buildings” guidance.

IBWA Corrects Water Filter Company’s False and Misleading Information About Bottled Mineral Water


DID YOU KNOW? IBWA’s 2020 Conference and Trade Show is going virtual. Turn to p.5 for all the details.

On August 12, IBWA sent a letter to the owners and CEO of The Berkey, a company based in Torrance, California, that sells water filtering devices, regarding false and misleading information about minerals found in bottled mineral water. Specifically, The Berkey website claimed that minerals in drinking water were harmful to human health and provided numerous unsubstantiated statements about various health implications of consuming water that contained minerals. Visit to read IBWA’s letter.


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