Resource efficiency will drive investment decisions, says Coca Cola

Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE) has made a commitment to ensure retailers selling its products keep sustainability "high on the agenda" and predicts it will drive store investment decisions in the future.

Unveiling its ‘Store of the Future’ report, written by researchers IGD, in London on Tuesday (February 21), CCE UK managing director Simon Baldry said that sustainability is “at the heart of what we do” and that as a result it looking to grow its business while boosting energy, water and waste efficiency.

Speaking at the launch, IGD director Anne Bordier, who co-wrote the report, said: “We very much expect sustainability to remain a growing trend. Despite a recession we have seen a growing proportion of shoppers and retailers very interested in this.”

As a result, she noted that “transparency across the supply chain” will increase as there is a growing interest from consumers “in finding out more about where products come from and how they are made” as they are “increasingly environment and health conscious”.

This, she said will drive greater innovation from retailers about how to collate and present information on its supply chain, carbon footprint and product sustainability to consumers.

In terms of energy efficiency, the report predicted that the ‘store of the future’ would use more energy-efficient refrigeration, with more energy supplied from renewables. This is in line with a CCE target of 35% of manufacturing energy from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2020.

Water reduction will also play a major role in the store of the future, predicted the report, which described reducing water and energy consumption as a “commercial imperative”, and that “businesses will need to address issues regarding product formulation and both water and carbon footprints”. Legislation is also anticipated to play a major role in driving decisions.

In addition, packaging and waste reduction is expected to offer a “real opportunity” for advancing sustainability and improving efficiency as products are packaged using improved lightweight materials. There will also be a “greater requirement for packs to be easily identifiable throughout the supply chain and growing pressure on manufacturers and retailers to reduce packaging across the entire life cycle”.

Plans to launch a new 375ml bottle to the market were also announced, which Mr Baldry said was in line with consumer demands.

Meanwhile, he added that CCE intends to supply the 2012 Olympic site with bottles made from 25% recycled PET and 22% plant PET, as well as double the amount of food based recycling in PET to help the games meet recycling targets.

Carys Matthews

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