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Coca Cola UK Marks 50th Anniversary with Zero Waste

Along with making significant reductions in energy and water losses, multinational beverage giant Coca-Cola Enterprises announced that waste from all its UK plants will be zero.

Coca-Cola senior management gathered at the company's Sidcup plant on the border of London and Kent to publicly present and celebrate this milestone in making its operations more sustainable, as well as to mark the plant's 50th anniversary.

Coca-Cola has reduced energy usage by 20% per liter of product and cut water losses in half since 2007, Steve Adams, operations director told attendees. Even more impressively, zero waste was sent to landfill in 2010 for the first time ever, an achievement the Sidcup plant expects to repeat this year. That compares to 650 metric tons in 2000.

"We've been here for 50 years and we've got to make sure we're here for the next 50 years and that means managing our impact on the environment, we must lead change for a sustainable future," Adams stated, according to an Edie Newsroom report.

That's a goal company management is looking forward to reproducing across all its UK operations. "Here in Great Britain all of our sites will have zero waste by the end of this year and since 2006 we've reduced the energy we use in each of our factories by 14% and the amount of water we use to produce a litre of product by 17%," group operations director Richard Davies was quoted as saying.

Assessing success through the use of measurable goals and metrics, Coca-Cola's sustainability strategy is centered on seven "core areas":

* Improving the health benefits of beverages for diverse lifestyles and occasions;
* Supporting people leading active, healthy lives through nutrition education and physical activity programs;
* Fostering sustainable community building; leading the beverage industry when it comes to energy efficiency and climate protection;
* Adopting sustainable packaging;
* Reducing water usage and waste; and
* Creating healthy, diverse work environments.

Andrew Burger headshotAndrew Burger

An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.

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