Coca-Cola bottler extends 2020 sustainability targets

One of Coca-Cola's leading bottlers, Coca-Cola HBC, has on Friday (30 September) unveiled seven new sustainability goals to build on the company's initial 2020 targets made last year.

The bottling company has introduced the new goals to help minimise its environmental footprint, improve production efficiency and develop communities, extending its 2020 pledges to better address the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The new commitments will see the company strive to produce 40% of its total energy use from renewable and clean sources, as well as recycling 40% of average total packaging. Community targets to invest 2% of pre-tax profits in communities and double employee volunteering schemes are also in place.

With Coca-Cola already using plant-based bottles in circulation, the HBC bottlers will aim to source 20% of total polyethylene terephthalate (PET) products from renewable materials and reduce primary packaging per litre of beverage produced by 25%. The final commitment will see the company certify more than 95% of key agricultural ingredients against Coca-Cola guidelines.

Commenting on these new targets, Coca-Cola HBC’s chief executive officer Dimitris Lois 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.”

Green bottles sitting on a wall

Coca-Cola HBC has already reduced water usage by 2.1m litres, the equivalent of one glass of water per-person globally and has seen total carbon footprint reductions of 1.07 million tonnes over the last five years due to its implementation of energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.

The bottler also set early Science-Based Targets (SBTs) to reduce scope one and two emissions by 50% per litre of beverage produced by 2020 and reduce total value chain emissions by 25%.

Additionally, the company invested £7.06m into its sustainability drives, partnering with 230 NGOs as part of its sustainability pledges.

This announcement comes just a few weeks after Coca-Cola HBC was named a sustainability leader of the beverage industry in the Dow Jones sustainability index – receiving a score of 90 which is 40 points higher than the industry average.

Furthermore, the bottler’s parent company Coca-Cola recently became the first fortune 500 company to fully replenish all of its water it uses across its global operations back to nature and communities – achieving the company’s initial 2020 water replenishment target 5 years early.

Alex Baldwin

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