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Friday 24 June, 2016

Meet with one of our Everyday Heroes, John Howlett, Manager Technical Development

John Howlett

What’s your job title, and how long have you been at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP)?

My job title is ‘Manager – Technical Development’, I’ve worked for Coca-Cola Enterprises that has just become CCEP for 20 years. I’m responsible for the development, introduction and ongoing technical support of our fleet of over 600,000 pieces of cold drinks equipment across all our territories. These include vending machines and coolers. 

I have small teams of technical specialists based in the UK, France, Belgium and Sweden providing local support and expertise to our internal and external customers. I’m fortunate to have a great group of people to work with and I enjoy my time at work very much.

What’s the importance of sustainable development both in your personal and professional life?

Many of the projects I work on are directly or indirectly linked to either our own business sustainability initiatives or to regulatory requirements relating to the environment, so sustainable development is very important to me. I try to transfer a lot of the sustainable best practices we have at CCEP to my home life - my friends and family are probably tired of me telling them about natural refrigerants and what a good idea it is to change all their old incandescent light bulbs and fluorescents to LED, which are much more energy efficient.

What's the one sustainability change you've made during your time at CCEP that you are most proud of?

This would be the low energy lighting program that we developed for our Cold Drinks Equipment. We are replacing fluorescent lights in coolers and vending machines with LED lighting because it can cut energy consumption by up to 80 percent.

We started back in 2004 when no one had really even heard of White LED and it took some real faith and foresight from our leadership to sign up to the project. It was a challenging journey due to the technology being so new, but we knew it was the right thing to do, we saw it through and it really has paid off in significantly reduced energy consumption and massive reduction in lighting breakdowns. In 2015, 46 percent of the applicable fleet has been fitted with LEDs.  We are now working on the next technology breakthrough.

What are you most proud of that CCEP has done to address the issues you are working on?

I’m really proud of the fact that our business has the genuine desire and the capability to lead on the sustainability agenda, we anticipate legislation changes and we understand that the benefits of sustainable best practices go a lot further than protecting the environment. For example, since 2009, we have fitted energy reduction devices such as energy management devices, LED lighting, doors and plug and-play energy timers, giving our customers an expected energy saving of approximately 66,197 MWh2 per year.

We are early adopters of viable environmental technologies and where they don’t yet exist we have the scale and resources in our business and the Coca-Cola system to drive new developments. I like that we are innovative and always ahead of the game.

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