Coca-Cola slashes water footprint by 13%

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has revealed it is continuing to make progress on its water, carbon and waste and packaging reductions.

Released yesterday (May 9), its 2011/2012 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report (CRS) highlights how CCE is delivering against its 2007 sustainability targets. This follows on from its ‘Reasons to Believe’ sustainability report released at the start of this year, which saw CCE pledge to become “water neutral” by 2020.

In terms of water foot printing, the report revealed that water use decreased by 13%, against a 2007 baseline, with 1.43 litres used to produce 1 litre of product in 2011, compared to 1.64 litres in 2007.

Its total water consumption in 2011 was 9.4c um – down from 9.5c um in 2010, which CCE said demonstrates it is on track to meet its 2020 target of a 20% reduction – or 1.2litres across its operations.

Last year, 100% of CCE’s wastewater was treated to a standard which supports aquatic life before being returned to an ecosystem, with 3.2m c um discharged safely.

In addition, CCE joined forces with WWF-UK as part of its water replenishment partnership, which aims to improve the water quality in river catchments in South East England.

Meanwhile the increased use of new technologies, such as air rinsers, dry and semi-dry lubricants and electro chemically activated water also helped further cut water use.

Carbon emissions from the manufacture, distribution and cooling of products were shown to have decreased by 8.4%, while product volume grew by 3.5%.

An investment of about £14m was made to support carbon reduction projects, such as solar photovoltaic, wind and combined heat and power. It also pledged to generate 35% of its energy from renewables by 2020.

Meanwhile, a plastics recycling joint venture with ECO Plastics, when operational, is anticipated to see 25% rPET used in all its plastic packaging in the UK by the end of 2012.

Carys Matthews

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