Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is already well progressed towards its carbon and energy reduction targets for 2020 according to the company’s latest Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report for 2015.
The company made significant changes to its Sustainability Plan in 2015 to reflect the growing influence of corporate responsibility issues such as carbon emissions, renewable energy, calories and sustainable sourcing.
As a result CCE, which is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company’s eight Western European territories and has business operations in the US and Bulgaria, increased its carbon reduction ambitions for 2020. It hopes to cut the carbon emissions of its core business in half compared to 2007, and has already achieved 40% of this target.
In addition, it has reduced the carbon footprint of each drink by almost a quarter (24%) as it moves towards a 33% reduction in 2020.
The company has also made a concerted effort to reduce its consumption. In 2015, its manufacturing operations used a total of 476,670 MWh of energy, a decrease of 1.5%, including a 2% reduction in production volumes.
As a result of increased efficiencies and carbon-saving activities, CCE has already overshot its 2020 for decarbonisation in its manufacturing facilities and reduced its carbon footprint by 52.9% compared to a 50% target.
The company measures its energy efficiency through an energy use ratio, which it calculates by measuring how much energy it takes to produce 1,000 litres of product. While the 2015 ratio of 74.49 kWh per 1,000 litres was 0.5% more than the year before, it remained 18 percent less than its 2007 baseline.
The company said a significant factor in helping it achieve this has been the increased use of renewable energy. In addition to changing its energy purchasing strategy, CCE has increased investment in renewable and low-carbon energy projects at its own manufacturing operations.
A third of the energy used by CCE in 2015 came from renewable or low-carbon energy sources, saving more than 56,962 tonnes of CO2 per year and helping it move towards its 2020 goal of 40%. Throughout the year, 18.2% of its electricity came from renewable sources but the company plans to switch the majority of the remaining purchased electricity to contracts that are from renewable or low-carbon sources.
Great Britain provides a key market example of which technologies the company is using to reach its goals. CCE’s first combine heat and power (CHP) system was installed in Wakefield in 2014, while it is investigating buying electricity from a solar farm that has been proposed nearby.
In total, solar PV panels generated more than 300 MWh of electricity in 2015 across CCE’s portfolio. This is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years following CCE’s decision to sign up to the RE100 initiative, pledging to source 100% of its electricity demand from renewables.
Speaking recently at the Clean Energy Summit, Joe Frances, director of corporate responsibility & sustainability at CCE, said renewable energy “has to be at the heart of that transition” to a less carbon intensive business.
CCE also uses management and monitoring processes (MES Systems) to help control energy and carbon emissions. These include advanced systems which combine production data with live information on water and energy consumption to help line operators meet consumption targets.
Other energy saving initiatives include redesigning its PET bottle bases to require less energy during production; installing LED lighting in its manufacturing facilities and cold drinks equipment; installing more energy efficient air compressors, which will continued in the UK throughout 2016; and converting its packaging oven from gas to electricity.
CCE is also phasing out open-fronted units (OFUs) from its fleet and by the end of 2015, it had reduced OFUs by 17%. In addition, more energy efficient iCOOL units incorporating EMS, LED lighting, doors and plug and-play energy timers have been rolled out to give customers an expected energy saving of approximately 66,197 MWh2 per year.
“We believe that it is in the best interest of the business community to take an active and leading role in deploying low-carbon technologies, increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions,” the report states.
“That is why CCE has strengthened its commitments to reduce the GHG emissions associated with our own business and our value chain. It is also why we continue to support a progressive policy agenda on climate change, renewable energy and carbon reduction.”