Coca-Cola in Western Europe commits to sustainability

The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners have launched their first ever joint Sustainability Action Plan for Western Europe, This is Forward, with new commitments on drinks packaging and society.

This is Forward sets out how The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners will address some of the biggest issues in society to meet complex global challenges.

It has been developed through an in-depth consultation process with over 100 key stakeholders, governments, NGOs and customers, using insights from over 12,000 consumers across six countries and almost 1,000 Coca-Cola employees in Western Europe.

The partnership will a focus on three priority actions:

Action on drinks: By 2025, 50% of sales will come from low or no calorie drinks, which is an increase from 35% in 2016. They will further reduce sugar across their soft drinks portfolio by at least 10% by 2020, in addition to the 5% reduction achieved in the previous five years.

Action on packaging: To ensure that none of their packaging ends up as litter or in the oceans, they aim to collect 100% of their packaging. They will also more than double the use of recycled plastic for their PET bottles to at least 50%, an increase from 21% in 2016. They will ensure that 100% of their packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Action on society: They will increase the number of local community partnerships they run and support, as well as increasing the contribution their employees make through volunteering. They will focus on empowering young people and women, and will ensure at least 40% of management roles are held by women by 2025.

These priority actions will be underpinned by three supporting actions that are core to the plan; on climate, water and supply chain:

•To cut greenhouse gas emissions from their core business by 50%

•To replenish 100% of the water they use in areas of water stress

•To make sure 100% of their main agricultural ingredients and raw materials come from sustainable sources by 2020

Tim Brett, president of The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe, said: “Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business, and we have made some tremendous progress. But we agree we can do more. Over 300 million people enjoy our drinks in Western Europe today and, working together with Coca-Cola European Partners, we have the power to act and create a positive difference, set new standards and lead the way; whether it is offering consumers a greater choice of drinks with reduced or no sugar, or keeping our packaging out of the oceans. This is Forward defines our attitude to doing better. We are not going to settle for the way things were done. There is no going back now.”