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by Jim Fox, Coca-Cola
04 March 2022
Associate Feature: Togetherness is crucial in achieving our sustainability goals

Associate Feature: Togetherness is crucial in achieving our sustainability goals

Glasgow’s hosting of the COP26 Conference last November put Scotland at the heart of global discussions around sustainability and emphasised the urgency with which we must act. There is now an expectation on government and businesses to deliver bold climate action over the coming months.

The Scottish Government has laid out its ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2045, and businesses have a role to play in realising this goal. At CCEP, we have committed to becoming a net zero business by 2040, leading the way in moving towards a cleaner, greener future for our business. As part of this we will be working closely with our supply chain partners to bring them with us on our journey.

Despite recent challenges, we’ve remained resolute in prioritising our environmental goals. For example, last year we introduced 100% recycled plastic (rPET) 500ml bottles across our core range, helping to save more than 29,000 tonnes of ‘new’ non-recycled plastic across our operations in Great Britain every year. 

However, we know that we have a responsibility to go further and faster with our sustainability targets.

To have the biggest possible impact, industry needs to work together to ensure everyone is engaged in this mission, right along the value chain. CCEP is working towards an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions across our value chain by 30% by 2030, and we are supporting 150 of our suppliers to help them set their own science-based net zero targets by 2023. 

As part of this we led a 12-month collaboration between one of our longest serving logistics providers, MJD, and Green BioFuels. As a result, MJD has been able to transition to a Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) biofuel across its fleet of haulage vehicles, cutting carbon emissions by 17,000 metric tonnes of CO2e per year.

We’re also determined to do more to increase the amount of quality recycled material we use in our packaging. The confirmation that the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Scotland will go live in August 2023 is an important and welcome change. In support of Circularity Scotland, the designated scheme administrator, we’re working with all stakeholders to introduce a scheme that recycles our packaging and reduces our litter, as soon as we can. Our hope is that the implementation of the Scottish DRS will be recognized as best practice so that similar, interoperable schemes can be rolled out across the rest of the UK in a timely way.

We have a responsibility to protect the planet, but we also have a responsibility to deliver value for our customers. Increasingly the two are becoming intertwined – recent research showed 61% of consumers are making more environmentally-friendly, sustainable or ethical purchases, with 89% likely to continue this approach post-pandemic . That’s why we’re proud that our 500ml bottles are made with 100% rPET on our packaging at no additional cost to the consumer.

We are also closely involved in the Net Zero Pubs, Bars and Restaurants initiatives in association with Net Zero Now, the Sustainable Restaurant Association and Pernod Ricard UK. The programme is designed to help the hospitality industry to help address its greenhouse gas emissions by providing guidance on how to reduce carbon emissions, the actions needed to get there, and setting a standard against which they can be certified.

The example of DRS in Scotland demonstrates the transformative potential for environmental policy when government and industry work together. To meet broader sustainability goals, we must take the learnings from this collaboration and extend them to innovative ways of creating a better, greener future – together.

This article was sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

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