Coca-Cola bottler sourcing 100% renewable electricity

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has launched a new solar farm in Yorkshire to coincide with news that the firm is now sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy.

The 5MW solar farm will support the production of CCEP’s brands, such as Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite, at Europe’s largest drinks factory in Wakefield. Together with an existing combined heat and power (CHP) system, the farm is expected to deliver 15% of the site’s total electricity use and save 3,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

The solar panels have been installed by solar PV specialists, Athos Solar, with the deal forming part of a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). CCEP has confirmed it plans to further invest in technologies such as CHP across its UK sites.

CCEP head of sustainability Nick Brown said: “At CCEP we are committed to minimising the impact of our operations, with a core goal to reduce the carbon footprint of the drink in the consumers’ hand by a third in time for 2020. By guaranteeing that 100% of the electricity we use comes from renewable sources we’re taking a major step forward in achieving this.”

Positive step forwards

The 100% renewable electricity commitment will comply with Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme, certifying the proportion of electricity sourced from renewable generation. The package is also fully compliant with the emissions reporting guidelines set out within the global Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

The move undeprins great strides being taken by CCEP to improve its sustainability credentials. Its most recent sustainability report highlighted 40% absolute reductions in core-business carbon footprint operations against a 2007 baseline – just 10% short of the company’s 2020 target.

Commenting on the latest announcement, the Carbon Trust associate director John Newton said: “Working with CCEP over the past decade, the company has continuously made impressive reductions in its environmental impact, at the same time as taking a strong leadership position on sustainability issues.

“This new move to purchase renewable electricity is yet another positive step forwards from the company, demonstrating that the business case for going low carbon is no barrier to commercial success.”

CCEP’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.

George Ogleby

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