Coca-Cola report awarded A+ grade for its sustainability initiatives

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Coca-cola hellenic, Carbon dioxide

Coca-Cola Hellenic is the first company in the European beverage industry to receive an A+ for its 2010 stakeholder-reviewed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, according to the firm.

The bottling giant’s annual CSR report assesses​the company across its four key areas of stakeholder engagement: marketplace, workplace, environment and community.

Towards Sustainability 2010​ was evaluated independently by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a network-based organisation which provides a benchmark for companies’ environmental performance.

Coca-Cola Hellenic said the report covers company efforts to address climate change, improve efficiency of power use in bottling operations and protection of water resources.

“The A+ rating is an objective verification that Coca-Cola Hellenic is fully measuring and disclosing its economic, environmental and social performance,”​ Jens Rupp, group sustainability manager told BeverageDaily.com.

Itreflects the fact that Coca-Cola Hellenic manages its sustainability performance as rigorously as its financial performance,”​ he said.

Clear benefits of the GRI grading include transparency in terms of enhanced reputation, said Rupp.

However, the prime motivation for Coca-Cola Hellenic is that it ensures that its “Towards Sustainability” programme remains on course and meets or exceeds best practice principles, he added.

Combined heat and power plants

Increased efforts to combat climate change are one of the initiatives reported by Coca-Cola Hellenic in the social responsibility report.

The company’s commitment to build combined heat and power (CHP) plants at its bottling plants is the largest energy-efficiency initiative in the beverage industry, according to Coca-Cola Hellenic, with a €200m investment in clean power generation.

“The CHP programme is at the heart of the company’s carbon reduction strategy and, once completed, will cut direct CO2 emissions by more than 250,000 tonnes a year,”​ said Rupp.

CHP plants are already in operation in Hungary, Northern Ireland, Romania and Italy, with a further five nearing completion at plants in Nigeria, Poland and Ukraine.

By installing a CHP unit, each bottling plant reduces carbon emissions by 40 per cent. This figure can be increased further by capturing CO2, purifying it to the highest grade possible and using it within the operational processes, said Rupp.

By doing so, total carbon emissions can be reduced by up to 66 per cent at each bottling plant, he added.

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