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Coca-Cola Enterprise to Build a More Sustainable Tomorrow...?

This week, we decided to take a look over Coca Cola Enterprises 2011/12 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report. Not to be confused with Coca-Cola, CCE is “its European bottling cousin” – as {{LNK|Triple Pundit|}} calls it – whose previous CSR report had already been noticed for its accessibility and quality. Carbon footprint calculated in accordance with the WRI/WBCSD Green House Gas Protocol, report verified by SGS and aligned with the GRI, CCE attempts to show how their “drinks” can build a sustainable tomorrow…

A new sustainability plan : “Deliver Today, Inspire for Tomorrow”

“We (…) convened a group of 25 key stakeholders from across our countries of operation to advise us how to develop our goals and programs further to ensure leadership. Their counsel, along with benchmarking studies and advice from regular advisors and internal experts, pushed us to develop the vision, plan and framework as well as the commitments and targets which now guide CRS at CCE - Laura Brightwell says, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications at CCE.

Based on stakeholders engagement, CCE has set 7 commitments and 37 “challenging and measurable targets” to be achieved by 2020, around three strategic priorities - Deliver, Lead and Innovate - in two focus areas : Energy & Climate Change, Sustainable Packaging & Recycling.

“We have reduced the Carbon Foot Print of our business operations by around 70,000 tonnes CO2e (8.4%) from 2010, while growing our volume by 3,5% . This is part of an overall 10% decrease in emissions from our 2007 baseline. (…) We (also) used an average of 1.43 liters of water to produce one liter of product, down from 1.48 liters / liter in 2010” says John Brock, Chairman and CEO.

The company has also built one of the biggest recycling facilities in Europe , {{LNK|‘Continuum’|}} , dedicated to recycle CC products’ packaging consumed at the London 2012, able to “process collected bottles into
new Coca-Cola bottles in as little as six weeks”. This will help save 33,000 tonnes of CO2e per year, “the same as removing over 15,000 cars from the road.”


In 2011, CCE was ranked #1 in the food and beverage industry for the third consecutive year in Newsweek’s Green Ranking, and also became the first soft drinks company to receive the Carbon Trust Standard award.

As part of their commitment to reduce carbon footprint across the value chain, CCE also launched a ‘Carbon Challenge’ for 129 of their suppliers at their Supplier Sustainability Summit in 2011. The company completed its sixth submission to the CDP, and third to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. All suppliers are to adhere to the Supplier Guiding Principles, including health and safety, human rights, labor, environment and business integrity.

Innovation and collaboration

On top of exploring how a zero-carbon manufacturing site might operate, CCE is working with the Carbon Trust on the concept of ‘Personal Carbon Allowances’ to find innovative ways to encourage consumers to recycle.

Meanwhile, CCE announces a “Zero-Waste London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games” :

- At all London 2012 venues, packaged CC products will be served in 100% recyclable plastic bottles containing up to 25% recycled content
- In addition, Coca Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero will be served in PlantBottle packaging
- Every piece of clear PET plastic waste recycled at the London 2012 will be reprocessed to make new bottles
- Recycling bins will be provided

And a “Low-carbon” Olympic Games too:

- Every CC cooler will be HFC free, energy efficient and will use LED lighting
- On top of delivering from their ‘Voltaic’ environmentally friendly warehouse, 14 blogas trucks – each with a carbon footprint less than half that of a typical truck – will be used to deliver the venues, so that Carbon footprint of distribution for London 2012 is cut by 1/3.

Energy & Climate Change

Commitment: 35 % of energy coming from manufacturing will come from renewable sources, and the carbon footprint of each drink will be reduced by 1/3 - by 2020.

Throughout 2011, $23 Millions have been invested in Carbon Reduction Projects. The target is to halve the carbon emissions involved in making a liter of product by 2020.

6% less energy has been used in manufacturing operations compared to 2007. Combined Heat and Power (CHP), Solar Photovoltaic, & Wind solutions have been implemented, alongside with the use of alternative fuels, & the increase of rail and river transports for instance, throughout Europe.

Notoriously, significant investments have been made towards improving cooling equipment energy consumption (via fitting doors, LED lighting, Energy management devices and the removal of HFCs )

Sustainable Packaging and Recycling

“We’ve set an ambitious new goal to recycle more packaging than we use and are working in a variety of ways to increase awareness of the need to recycle and to make it fun. Our festival recycling program is a great example of this, and we intend to do much more in this space.” Patrick McGuirk Director, Recycling and Chair, Sustainable Packaging and Recycling Steering Group.

Here is an overview of how they put it in practice:

- Using less material. In 2011, CCE avoided the use of 1835 tonnes of packaging materials, reducing the weight of 500 mL PET bottles from 24.7 to 21.7g in GB, France & Belgium.
- Using less secondary packaging thanks to a new trayless format
- Plantbottles & recycled materials: bottles contain up to 22.5% plant-based material and 25% PET
- Recover and recycle waste materials from own sites: “We also recovered 99.6 percent of all the waste generated at our facilities in 2011 and we’re looking to minimize the waste”

I invite you to check out {{LNK|CCE’s interactive report |}} to get more details on other points such as Water stewardship, Product Portfolio, Workplace policies or actions towards CCE’s communities. Enjoy!

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