Action on Sustainability

This is Forward

This is Forward is our response to these issues. Developed through extensive consultation with our stakeholders, our new Sustainability Action Plan builds upon 10 years of focused work on sustainability. It has been developed jointly by The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola European Partners.

This is Forward places sustainability at the very heart of our business strategy. We are determined to create an environment where people take pride in working for us and where we earn trust from our customers, consumers and stakeholders.

We know we cannot act alone. Accountability and transparency are central to the way in which we operate. Developing our Sustainability Action Plan will require us to build on our existing collaboration with a wide range of partners across our value chain.

Together we have the power to act. To change things. To set new standards. There is no going back. This is Forward.

Download our Sustainability Action plan here

At Coca-Cola, sustainability has been at the heart of our business for many years. Around 300 million people enjoy our drinks in Western Europe, and we’ve worked hard to ensure we make and sell our drinks in a responsible way.

Yet the world is constantly evolving. As people’s tastes, lifestyles and shopping habits change, we must change too. We believe we can grow our business in a way that makes our employees and our stakeholders proud. That’s why we have been evolving our long-term business strategy, transforming our portfolio in line with changing consumer tastes and placing shared value at the heart of our business model.

We’ve reflected on the role our drinks play in people’s daily lives. Concerns about health and obesity mean many people now want more natural ingredients, drinks with more nutrition and added benefits and less sugar. We’re listening to consumers and support the current recommendation by several leading health authorities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) that people should limit their intake of added sugar to no more than 10 percent of their total energy/calorie consumption.

We also understand that we have an impact on our environment and the societies in which we operate. Climate change, water scarcity, waste and pollution affect everyone and have far-reaching impacts on food production and ecosystems. In addition to these challenges, society is also struggling to maintain economic growth and ensure prosperity and opportunities for its citizens.

CEO message


2017 was a pivotal year for Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) in our journey to becoming a more sustainable business.

We invested a huge amount of time speaking to employees, customers, communities, stakeholders and our partners at The Coca-Cola Company to create our new sustainability action plan, This is Forward.

We are at the centre of some of the most important debates of our time – the use of plastic in packaging, the amount of sugar in our diets and the role business should play in society. This is Forward addresses these questions head on and establishes clear targets. It will see CCEP play an active and productive role in building consensus and developing solutions.

Our focus is now on working with our partners and stakeholders to define how we meet these ambitious goals.

This report details the progress we’ve made and how we plan to improve further.

  • 2017 saw a step change in how we approach packaging. We set bold and ambitious goals – 100% recyclability, 100% packaging collection and 50% recycled PET. We made a commitment to support a well-managed deposit return scheme in Great Britain, and launched our first ever integrated marketing campaign focused on recycling
  • We have reduced the amount of sugar in our drinks by 9.3% since 2010 – removing nearly 100,000 tonnes of sugar from our portfolio. 37% of the volume of drinks we sell are now no or low-calorie. This is higher still in Belgium and Luxembourg and Great Britain, where 50% of what we sell is no or low-calorie.

I’m proud of what CCEP achieved in 2017 and I am grateful for the effort, commitment and passion of our employees, suppliers, partners and stakeholders in making it happen. However, more than anything, I am excited about what is to come. This year, we will be focused on strengthening our community investment and encouraging our employees to volunteer.

I believe we have the people, scale and ambition to create long term, impactful and meaningful answers to the important questions we, and business and society as a whole, face. We also have a vital role to play in The Coca-Cola system’s global effort to create a world without waste.

We can’t do it alone, so please keep telling us what we’re doing well and what we could be doing better. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Damiam Gammell
Chief Executive Officer
Coca-Cola European Partners
May 2018

This is Forward

Through This is Forward, we will take action on six key areas where we know we have significant impact, and which our stakeholders want us to prioritise. In each of these areas we have made a number of commitments. Together, they provide a clear direction for how we intend to use our business and our brands to build a better future.

Our contribution to the SDGs

Our Action on Society commitments support UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, by contributing to making the communities in which we operate more inclusive and sustainable. Through this work, we also support Sustainable Development Goal 5, for gender equality; and Sustainable Development Goal 8, improving access to employment and work.

Our Action on Water commitments support UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, by contributing to global efforts to protect the future sustainability of our water resources.

Our Action on Climate commitments support UN Sustainable Development Goal 13. We are committed to playing our part in global efforts to tackle climate change, in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Our Action on Supply Chain commitments support UN Sustainable Development Goal 2, by promoting the development of sustainable agriculture, and supports UN Sustainable Development Goal 8, by seeking to protect labour and human rights, and eradicate forced labour and modern slavery within our supply chain.

This is Forward is our way of defining the role we can play in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide the global roadmap for sustainable development. Our strategy is closely aligned with the SDGs, with each of the commitment areas supporting one or more of the goals.

Our Action on Drinks commitments support UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, ensuring good health and wellbeing. By reducing the sugar in our drinks and evolving our recipes and portfolio to offer a greater choice of low-sugar options, we’re making a contribution to the global fight against obesity.

Our Action on Packaging commitments support UN Sustainable Development Goal 12, ensuring sustainable consumption by helping to substantially reduce waste generation through waste reduction, recycling and reuse.