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Tuesday 05 June, 2018


Ron Lewis on building a sustainable supply chain

Last week Coca-Cola European Partners published its second Stakeholder Progress Report. The report is an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on what we’re doing well, and what we need to start doing to meet the goals we set in our sustainability action plan, This is Forward.

The whole business has bought into the plan, as have our suppliers and partners. I am particularly proud of the work we’ve done in Supply Chain to reduce our impact on the environment: 

  • 87.5% of the electricity we use came from renewable sources in 2017. In 2018, we’re switching our remaining energy contracts to renewable electricity
  • We’ve cut carbon emissions by 45% since 2010
  • We’ve reduced the water we use in manufacturing by nearly 12% since 2010, and addressed water impacts in our supply chain. That means we’ve saved 3.4 billion litres of water – or 1,364 Olympic-sized swimming pools – through using technologies, such as our water recovery system in East Kilbride, Great Britain
  • 83% of our sugar beet was sourced in line with our sustainable agriculture guidelines
  • 80% of our spend was with suppliers who comply with our Supplier Guiding Principles. From 2017, we have built the SGPs into our standard terms and conditions of purchase, so that even informal suppliers will need to comply with these requirements

We’ve undertaken a broad range of initiatives to achieve this. We’re investing in our manufacturing operations to reduce the amount of energy we use and the carbon emissions we produce. We’re also overhauling the fleet of vehicles we use to deliver and service our coolers and vending machines so they use less energy.

We’re changing the way we buy our ingredients and supplies. We are working with suppliers to make sure we respect and protect the human rights of everyone across our system and we’re working toward a goal of 100% of our main agricultural ingredients and raw materials coming from sustainable sources by 2020.

It’s a great start, but as the journey continues, there is still a lot more we can do – both as a supply chain team and as a business as a whole.

The goals set out in This is Forward were deliberately ambitious and far-reaching. This is particularly true on packaging - 100% recyclability, 100% packaging collection and 50% recycled PET. We know we need to do more on packaging and these goals give that effort a clear focus.

We don’t yet know how we’re going to deliver all these commitments, but we know they are the right challenges and we are working with our partners and the industry to address them. In supply chain, we’re excited about, and committed to, finding the answers and making more progress.

Ron Lewis, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Coca-Cola European Partners

Orignially published here

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