A row of coke bottles. © Amy Sparks/The Coca-Cola Company
A row of coke bottles. © Amy Sparks/The Coca-Cola Company

Coca Cola reveals its five pathways to sustainability

Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE) is to invest £56m in its UK operations this year to improve the sustainability of its manufacturing after a year-long research project.

CCE has published the final findings from its research with Cranfield University, which outlines five “pathways” to achieve a more sustainable manufacturing industry by 2050.

CCE said the new investment would increase its total investment in sustainability to £356m over the past six years.  

The white paper, Sustainable Manufacturing for the Future, says that the five key actions for sustainability are:

  • Anticipating the future – big data, the Internet of Things, technology and analytics will help improve efficiency across the supply chain. The industry must share more information with customers, using rich data to optimise production processes.
  • Providing nutrition – the food and drink industry will continue to face greater scrutiny in all aspects of business. The industry must focus on delivering broad value to customers, increasing emphasis on personalisation and nutrition, and use more local resource.
  • Sharing the benefits – increased industry collaboration is expected to emerge, from co-creating new products to sharing intellectual property (IP). The industry must engage society when creating products, with shared IP and open innovation used as a way to protect the environment.
  • Inspiring the next generation – the skills gap will continue to grow as a generation of experienced employees retire. The industry must do more to integrate with schools and universities, reaching learners as early as possible.
  • Joining forces - the way value and leadership is understood will change dramatically as companies join forces with customers, with society and with each other. Manufacturers must use their insight to help educate and strengthen different aspects of the value chain and society on how to achieve positive environmental impact.

CCE said its investment in sustainability this year would include a new £33m automated storage and retrieval system warehouse at its Sidcup site, a £14m investment at its Morpeth factory to build a new high-speed, fully automated water-processing and bottling line, a new £2.3m water treatment plant at its East Kilbride factory and a new £3.5m pallet system at its Wakefield site.

Steve Adams, group director of supply chain operations at CCE GB, said identifying the five key pathways was helping the company shape how it thought about the future of its business.

“Leadership by both individuals and organisations feature strongly as a core theme throughout the research,” he said.

“We hope others will embrace these pathways and visions for the future to help shape and transform the future of the sector towards more sustainable manufacturing.”

Mark Jolly, professor of sustainable manufacturing at Cranfield University, said: “We’ve unearthed five pathways, with specific actions that businesses can apply which will have an impact not only their own organisations, but their employees, their consumers, their customers and the wider society in which they operate.”

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