CCE: ‘Employees on the ground provide most useful insight for improvement’

Coca-Cola Enterprises goes back to the factory floor for top decision making

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Coca-cola Cce

CCE PPMA show Birmingham NEC
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) claims almost half of the total carbon footprint of its products comes from packaging and wants to reduce this by a third by 2020.

Ian Barnett, environment manager, CCE Sidcup, will present ‘Behind the Bottle – How Coca-Cola Enterprises is embedding sustainability into its business’, at the PPMA Show at Birmingham NEC, (September 30-October 2).

Employees ‘on the ground’

Barnett told FoodProductionDaily its employees ‘on the ground’ are often best placed to provide the most useful insight and ideas for improvement.

For example, he said two initiatives led to a combined 15m litre reduction in water usage per year at its Sidcup site.

One of our line technicians identified how to reduce the duration of spray pulses on our empty bottle rinser from 0.7 seconds to 0.3 seconds, without compromising food safety or product quality on the line​,” added Barnett.

Secondly, Clean-in-Place (CIP) optimisation was achieved for our Process area on-site following data analysis by a member of staff. For minimal cost, a drain down was programmed and introduced to the process following the caustic cycle, negating an additional rinse​.

Small changes can lead to significant optimisation in all areas of sustainable manufacturing; however this is rarely more prevalent than when it comes to water use​.”

Barnett will take to the stage on the second day of the PPMA Show, a UK production line event for processing and packaging machinery, as part of a seminar to discuss how CCE reduced site waste water by 70% and energy consumption by 40%.

Adapt or Die'

Kevin Vyse, packaging technologist, M&S, will also present ‘Adapt or Die – ​The evolution of consumer packaging’, ​which explores how global consumer and lifestyle changes will have an impact on packaging.

Barnett added CCE now uses 27% less packaging than it did in 2007. Its most sustainable bottle weighs 19.9g, compared to 36g in 1994, using 25% recycled plastic and 22.5% from plant-based materials.

In the past year, we have saved around 1,400 tonnes of PET through our light-weighting initiatives. All of the bottle and cans we produce are 100% recyclable​,” he said.

We are constantly looking for ways to innovate on packaging across the production process. For example, we converted electric packer ovens across our sites to use gas as a heating source to shrink film for bottles or can packs, reducing the carbon footprint of the ovens by more than 50%. We also installed roller shutters and oven ‘sleep mode’ systems​.

Other initiatives include installing ceramic reflectors to optimise the heat generated within the ovens. 18 machines have been upgraded to the most efficient standard, reducing carbon by 760 tonnes​.”

ECO Plastics

This year, a joint venture with ECO Plastics, Continuum Recycling, set up in 2012, surpassed a billion bottles to reprocess PET bottles in the UK. The partnership means the bottles are returned to the supermarket shelf, each containing 25% rPET, through a process that lasts as little as six weeks.

The company implemented a number of CRS initiatives into its operations this year, including a £30m Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) warehouse at Wakefield, to hold and automatically move 30,000 pallets.

CCE Sidcup Factbox

History:​ Plant opened in 1961 under Schweppes management. In 1997 CCE purchased the site.

Number of employees:​ 332

Average production:​ 40m cases of drink every year

Number of production lines: ​7

Key brands produced: ​Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke, Powerade, Sprite, ​Dr Pepper, Lilt, Fanta

The facility doubled the site’s storage capacity allowing all manufactured products to be delivered to customers directly, saving approximately 500,000 road miles by HGV trucks per year.

This year, it installed a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system also at Wakefield to produce electricity and heat from one energy source with lower carbon emissions, saving around 1,500 tonnes of CO2e a year, a 5.6% reduction for the site.

It will also identify ‘hot spots’ where heat and energy is escaping from equipment as part of infrared thermographic surveys taking place at six manufacturing plants. A remedial programme will follow to install insulation where needed to reduce waste.

“Alongside implementing new technologies at our plants, we have a three year replenishment partnership in South East England with WWF to improve the quality and quantity of water in two river catchment areas impacted by our business in Norfolk and South London,” added Barnett.

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