Coca-Cola bottlers ramp up carbon capture research for supply chains
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has announced two additional partnerships with universities across Europe to research carbon capture technologies with a view to utilising them across the company’s supply chain.
Last year, the company announced plans to explore and scale methods to capture carbon and convert it into key materials for its products, including sugar and plastics.
CCEP Ventures (CCEPV) set up a collaborative partnership with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) to explore novel methods of capturing carbon and then using it as a feedstock. CCEP is financing the three-year research programme that will be led by the Peidong Yang Research Group at the University of California, Berkeley, which will first and foremost focus on the production of sugar from onsite carbon at an industrial scale.
Building on that partnership, CCEPV has agreed to two new partnerships to scale research on carbon capture technologies. CCEPV is partnering with Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) in Tarragona, Spain and the University of Twente (UT) in the Netherlands.
The partnerships will explore how carbon can be captured and turned into a feedstock for products like packaging materials and sugars, used to carbonate soft drinks and to create synthetic fuels to power facilities. The research will explore how these technologies can be used on site.
CCEPV’s head Craig Twyford said: “We are challenging ourselves to think differently about CO₂, which is so often only seen as a dangerous waste product. What if we could not only take CO₂ out of the atmosphere, where we know it’s causing harm but also turn it into something useful? Then we could start thinking of it as a valuable resource.
“Funding these projects is an exciting opportunity for us to be at the forefront of scientific discovery and innovation. We think it has the potential not only to significantly impact our operations, but it could also be rolled out across different industries to reduce GHG emissions and make better use of the carbon in our atmosphere.”
Supply chain focus
More broadly, CCEP has pledged to reducing net emissions across its value chain by 30% by 2030, before bringing them to net-zero by 2040.
Given that the majority of CCEP’s Scope 3 emissions are in the supply chain, the company is aiming to help all of its strategic suppliers set science-based targets and transition to 100% renewable electricity. For ingredient and packaging-related emissions, the company will accelerate plans relating to sustainable agriculture and 100% recycled plastics. Some life-cycle analyses have found that soft drinks bottles made using 100% post-consumer-recycled plastic generate 40% less CO2e than virgin plastic bottles.
To assist with this aim, CCEP has created a sustainability-linked supply chain finance programme that will be operated by specialist food and agri-bank Rabobank. The new finance programme will reward suppliers that make improvements on sustainability across the business and will feature sustainability-linked KPIs that, if met, will create discounts against the initial funding rate.
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