Coca-Cola is becoming more sustainable. Coca-Cola European Partners’ Clare Bottle introduced her audience to the latest methods the global beverage company – which shifts four billion bottles in Great Britain annually – for reducing waste across the supply chain.
The firm’s new “This is Forward” initiative was designed to meet – and indeed surpass – its obligations to the Courtauld Commitment, which was agreed by a number of huge organisations to cut carbon, water and waste by 20% by 2025.
Its efforts even extend to its consumer-facing branding, which has taken a marked turn towards sustainability.
But its greatest achievement, according to Bottle, is that Coca-Cola now sends nothing to landfill. It’s all down to good planning and intelligent demand forecasting.
In this way, Coca-Cola has increased the proportion of ‘good’ stock it sends to market, and extended shelf-life significantly. It has also better rotated its stock, ensuring older products are sold first.
Large quantities of faulty stock are sent to the Company Shop Group, which runs exclusive membership-only retail outlets used by food and drink sector employees.
Poorer-quality stock is sent for use as animal feed. According to Bottle, pigs actually enjoy the taste of diet coke, and it is regularly used to add consistency to ‘high calorie porridge’ often fed to pigs.
Meanwhile, aluminium cans are crushed into reusable bales, and plastic is reused so that 30% of all PET bottles come from recycled sources. The rest is used for biofertiliser.
In this way, Coca-Cola has made enormous strides towards its Courtauld Commitment goals, making it one of the most sustainable major companies in the world.