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Lesley Lammers headshot

Coca Cola Enterprises Invests $23 Million in Energy Efficiency

By Lesley Lammers

International beverage icon Coca-Cola Enterprises recently released their seventh Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) report entitled, “How can a drink build a more sustainable tomorrow?”  The report details accomplishments, challenges and future goals in their seven CRS areas of focus which include energy and climate change, sustainable packaging and recycling, water stewardship, product portfolio, community, active healthy living, and workplace.  The report covers operations implemented by 13,250 employees in Great Britain, France, Monaco, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden as well as offices in the United States.

So how does the mega soft drink heavyweight, which serves over 170 million consumers, literally respond to the report’s title question?  CEO John Brock answers, “We’re learning that the answer is a journey not a destination.  We’ll continue to embed CRS into our organization, in everything we do.  We’ll follow our plan to meet the goals we’ve set and we’ll work with others to innovate when we don’t know all the answers.  In this, our first CRS Report since its launch, we hope to show you how we are already delivering for today and inspiring for tomorrow.”

The report highlights the company’s strides on climate change as follows:

  • making a significant investment in carbon reduction, with $23 million being spent on energy efficiency programs which include initiatives such as solar panel installations at three plants in Great Britain as well as a new “green” distribution center located in Belgium;

  • scoring the highest out of over 600 companies when becoming the first soft drink company to receive the Carbon Trust Standard Award;

  • launching a ‘Carbon Challenge,’ surveying 129 CCE suppliers on their carbon footprint and requesting suppliers to implement carbon reduction plans;

  • reducing emissions by 8.4 percent from the company’s manufacturing, distribution and cooling of products processes, while simultaneously growing in volume by 3.5 percent;

  • initiating recycling programs reaching over 4.7 million consumers at festivals and major retailers ASDA and Carrefour across Europe;

  • outlining plans to make the 2012 London Olympic Games “low-carbon and zero-waste”; and

  • being invited as member of the EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.

Notable accomplishments in water stewardship include reducing the amount of water used to make 1 liter of beverage product by 13 percent since 2007 and establishing a water replenish partnership with WWF-UK in order to increase water quality in Southeast England’s river catchments.

On the social responsibility front, CCE has invested $5.7 million in communities, which help to spur projects like their ‘Real Business Challenge’ a year-long work-related enterprise competition in which 45,000 students participated. To learn more about the report, listen to this interview with CEO John Brock and President Hubert Patricot.

In related news, 3p’s Tina Casey points out that Coca Cola, along with several other major corporations, announced they would be leaving the anti-climate change American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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Lesley Lammers is a freelance sustainability consultant and journalist, focused on the intersection between the environment, food, social impact, human rights, health and entrepreneurship.

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