Key commitments of the ‘This is Forward’ plan include 50% of sales in western Europe from low or no-calorie drinks by 2025 – up from 35% in 2016; 100% collection of packaging and at least 50% recycled plastic for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles by 2025 – an increase from 21% in 2016; and at least 40% of management positions held by women by 2025.
The two organisations 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. They will also ensure that 100% of their packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The companies 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.
Empowering young people and women
The plan was developed through a consultation process with more than 100 key stakeholders, governments, non-governmental organisations and customers, using insights from more than 12,000 consumers across six countries and almost 1,000 Coca-Cola employees in western Europe.
The priority actions outlined will be underpinned by three supporting actions that are core to the plan on climate, water and supply chain.
These include cutting greenhouse gas emissions from their core business by 50%; replenishment of 100% of the water they use in areas of water stress; and making sure 100% of their main agricultural ingredients and raw materials come from sustainable sources by 2020.
“Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business, and we have made some tremendous progress. But we agree we can do more,” said Tim Brett, president of The Coca-Cola Company in western Europe.
“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.”
‘No going back now’
Damian Gammell, chief executive of CCEP, the Coca-Cola bottler covering 13 territories across western Europe, added: “We have listened carefully to our stakeholders, customers, employees and consumers and our joint sustainability action plan is our commitment to delivering the change they want to see.”
The Coca-Cola Company in western Europe and CCEP will report back on progress against their sustainability targets in spring 2018.
Addressing a press lunch last month in London following the launch, CCEP vice president and general manager Leendert den Hollander referred to the £400M operational investment in infrastructure and logistics that CCEP had undertaken over the past seven years in Great Britain.
He also spoke about the success the company had achieved in its most recent interim results for the third quarter ended September 29 2017.