Coca-Cola applies for water self-supply licence

Multinational bottling firm Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has redoubled its water stewardship commitment by applying for a self-supply water and sewerage retail licence.

Since April’s opening of water retail competition, organisations provide their own retail services including their billing, customer service and account management, to help improve efficiency and drive down costs.

If granted by Ofwat, the licence will allow CCEP to directly manage the supply, volume and quality of water at ten manufacturing, warehousing and office sites across England.  

“The deregulation of the water industry in the UK is an exciting development and opens up opportunities for us to work with the most innovative water suppliers, those who share our passion for managing water supply and treatment in the most sustainable way”, said CCEP head of sustainability, Great Britain, Nick Brown.

CCEP has agreed a deal with Waterscan to take on the role for the retail functions such as market transactions, data validation and bi-lateral communications. The firm says that a licence will provide it with an opportunity to drive down costs and build on its long-term global commitment to protect and replenish the water resources it relies on.

Earlier this year, CCEP announced that a 10.3% reduction in water usage had been achieved since 2010, using an average of 1.61 litres of water to make one litre of product. In addition, 100% of the company’s wastewater is “safely returned to nature”, while partnerships with NGOs have been formed to replenish 100% of the water used in water-stressed areas.

Embracing change

Businesses across England are already beginning to see the benefits of renegotiating with their existing water supplier or shopping around for a better deal. Metal manufacturer Magnesium Elektron is among a number of organisations from across the public and private sectors that have realised thousands of pounds’ worth of efficiency savings by capitalising on the market.

However, not all businesses are embracing the change. Only 53,268 switches had taken place by 1 September 2017. More than half of small businesses are still unaware of the open water market competition, according to research by the Consumer Council for Water.

George Ogleby

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