Coca-Cola's largest independent bottling company pledges to spend €250m over the next three years in order to achieve a 30 per cent emissions cut across its value chain by end of the decade
Coca-Cola's largest independent bottling company has become the latest major brand to pledge to achieve net zero emissions, unveiling plans this morning to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated across its value chain - from the ingredients it sources to the packaging it uses, and the transportation and cooling of its bottles - over the next two decades.
Coca Cola European Partners (CCEP), the bottling franchise part-owned by Coca-Cola, announced this morning it plans to reduce emissions across its value chain by 30 per cent by 2030 compared to a 2019 baseline, before achieving net zero emissions 10 years later. The plan has been validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as being in line with the Paris Agreement's more ambitious 1.5C warming scenario, the company said.
The UK-headquartered firm said it will invest €250m over the next three years on its decarbonisation programme, and would also ensure that all its ‘strategic suppliers' also set science-based climate targets and transition to renewable energy sources. Any remaining emissions would be offset using "verified carbon offset projects" that remove carbon from the atmosphere, it said.
The three-year funding package is to be channelled into solutions and measures that help the firm, which bottles Coca-Cola products across Western Europe, to eventually transition to using 100 per cent recycled plastic, as well as into depolymerisation technology that can improve rates of plastic recycling, it said.
CCEP chief executive Damian Gammell said the science-based carbon reduction plan had been developed out of a recognition for the urgent need to tackle climate change, which he said was "one of the most serious and complex challenges facing society and our planet".
"We know it will be a long and challenging journey - there are no quick fixes or silver bullets - but we are determined to drive this change as fast as we can and to play our part in helping and influencing others," he said. "We've made significant progress so far, and looking ahead, we will continue to help lead the transition to a low carbon future by putting environmental impact at the heart our decision-making."
The emissions targets will be formally tied to employee pay, with 15 per cent of all available staff incentives over the next three years to be linked to progress on CCEP's greenhouse gas emissions reduction programme, the company said.
Maria Mendiluce, chief executive of We Mean Business coalition, commended the company for its commitment to boost the decarbonisation agenda of its key ingredients, packaging, refrigeration and transportation suppliers. "Coca-Cola European Partners is showing clear leadership by aligning their development strategy with the 1.5C pathway and the Paris Agreement," she said. "By engaging key suppliers in the shared objective of aligning with science and investing in renewable energy, not only will they tackle the biggest emission reduction challenges but also contribute to the green recovery."
Roughly 93 per cent of the CCEP's emissions are indirect, Scope 3 emissions, produced across the company's supply chains in the transportation and development of purchased goods and services and through the end-use of its products by customers, according to a breakdown supplied by the company today.
CCEP's announcement comes as Coca-Cola faces growing pressure to ramp up its green credentials. As the world's largest drinks producer, it has has been singled out as the most polluting brand in the world for two years running by the Break Free from Plastic campaign in its global audit of plastic waste. The firm has pledged to cut its carbon emissions across its business and value chain by a quarter by the end of the decade - a goal that is set against a 2015 baseline and has been verified by the SBTi as aligned with the Paris Agreement's 2C global warming scenario - but is yet to unveil a net zero target.