Coca-Cola bottler slashes 1.1m cubic metres from water usage
The second largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world has released its sustainability report revealing notable gains in water-efficiency, energy use and recycling.
The headline figure for a drinks company is its water use, which the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) reduced by 4% year-on-year.
The company invested more than €5.8 million in water saving projects including water treatment plant upgrades, reuse of backwashed water, and a rigorous leak-repair programme at all sites. In total these efforts saved more than 1.1 million cubic metres of water.
Energy and emissions
Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions fell by 7.8% year-on-year, partially thanks to increases in energy efficiency. Since 2004, Coca-Cola HBC saw a 40% reduction in energy use per litre of beverage produced.
Efficiency measures include a €630,000 investment in anaerobic pre-treatment of wastewater at an Italian plant. The anaerobic pre-treatment will decrease solid waste, or sludge, by 90% and create biogas which will reduce plant energy use by 55%.
Coco-Cola HBC- which was identified as the 2014 industry leader in the Dow Sustainability Indices - also revealed that its recycling rate ticked up from 89% in 2013 to 91% in 2014.
The amount of overall waste per litre of beverage produced also fell by 2.2%. One of the contributing factors to this downward trend was the development of a new bottle with 22% less plastic. According to the CSR report: "The new bottle contributes to the reduction of gas emissions and its special design helps to reduce waste."
The company is also a signatory of the UNGC CEO Water Mandate and the UN Global Compact leadership intitiative.
Coca-Cola itself was the target of criticism for its use of water in India last year, but the company's CSR report revealed that it replenished 68% of its water, and is on track to be water neutral by 2020.