Coca-Cola taps into waste heat for pilot energy project

Coca-Cola Enterprises is exploring the feasibility of using residual heat from glass manufacture as a form of closed loop energy for its drinks production lines.

The company has launched a pilot energy project in the Netherlands with glassworks specialist Ardagh, who makes the Coca-Cola bottles, to test out the prcoess at its Dongen bottling plant.

Both Ardagh and Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) sites are in close proximity to each other and if the volume of residual heat supplied is sufficient, the boilers at CCE’s site will be rendered redundant.

CCE hopes that this will generate annual energy savings of 15 million kWh, which is 30% of the total energy required to run the plant. It also anticipates that a successful heat exchange system can reduce CO2 emissions by 3,000 tonnes a year, while saving 4,000 cubic metres of water.

According to CCE’s director of supply chain operations Rein de Jong, the pilot project is the next step in making the company’s entire production chain sustainable.

“We have been working on sustainability for over ten years already and this has resulted in a decrease in energy and water consumption over the years while our production volume has been increasing,” he said.

The initiative forms part of a wider sustainability drive at Coca-Cola Enterprises to reduce the carbon footprint of each drink it creates by a third through delivering carbon reductions throughout the value chain.

Since 2005, the company has reduced its energy consumption by over 30%, from 111 kWh to 75 kWh per thousand litres.

In the same period water consumption has nearly halved, from 2.75 litres per litre of product produced to 1.41 litres per litre of product produced.

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie