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Coca-Cola bottling arm promises to cut emissions in half by 2020

Image: Flickr David Berkowitz.

Image: Flickr David Berkowitz.

Coca-Cola HBC has pledged to cut its emissions in half compared to 2010 by the end of the decade, with the aim of taking 40% of the total energy it uses from renewable and clean energy sources.

The soft drinks giant has set seven new targets for 2020 in its latest sustainability update with the aim of reducing direct carbon emission intensity of the company by 50%.

According to an update from the RE100 in January, Coca-Cola had reached just 10% renewable electricity consumption despite installing 150MWh worth of solar PV capacity at its UK-based bottling plant and Belgium-based distribution centre. This suggests the drinks producer has plans to ramp up adoption of renewables over the next four years.

Dimitris Lois, chief executive officer of Coca‑Cola HBC, said: “The ambitious targets we announce today reflect our commitment to inspire a better future for our people and the communities we serve.

“These are part of our overall strategy that established Coca‑Cola HBC as a leader in sustainability among beverage companies, and show that we are determined to grow our business responsibly, profitably and sustainably.”

In the last five years, the global carbon footprint of the company’s products was reduced by 1.07 million tonnes as a result of investing in energy efficient and low-carbon technologies. In 2015 Coca-Cola reported an 11.7 % direct carbon emissions reduction year-on-year while its energy use ratio improved by 7.2%.

Among the company’s other targets are plans to recover an average of 40% of total packaging for recycling; reduce the amount of primary packaging by 25% per litre of beverage produced; and reduce water consumption by 30%.

The bottling arm of Coca-Cola has some way to go before it catches up with the marketing and distribution division, Coca-Cola Enterprises. It hopes to cut the carbon emissions of its core business in half compared to 2007 over the same period, and according to its latest CSR Report it has already achieved 40% of this target.