James Cain OBE
Managing Director, Harrogate Water
Queen Elizabeth I’s physician brought Harrogate water to royal attention in 1571. Four and a half centuries later, Harrogate Water is keeping the tradition alive by continuing to bottle its water in the spa town.
With a £25 million turnover, James Cain leads the business whilst championing environmental sustainability in the sector. Every part of the product – including caps, labels and packaging – is 100% recyclable, and its glass and PET plastic bottles, (both made with more than 50% recycled content) are one of the best examples of easily-recyclable packaging.
James believes that education will lead to changes in behaviour and increased recycling. To demonstrate Harrogate Water’s commitment to the environment, James partnered with Keep Britain Tidy to launch the ‘Incredible Shrinking Bottle’, a campaign that aims to encourage people on-the-go to take their bottles home, where they can be easily recycled.
In 2007, James oversaw the launch of Thirsty Planet spring water, a dedicated charity brand where all bottles sold provide a guaranteed donation to Pump Aid. The initiative has raised over £2 million in the last decade, bringing clean safe water to over 1.35 million people, which James describes as one of his proudest achievements. He was awarded an OBE for services to impoverished communities in 2015.