Jumps from B to A rating in Carbon Disclosure Project

Coca-Cola HBC to rebrand its cold drink equipment in 2015

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Coca-Cola HBC Carbon Disclosure Project

Related tags: Coca-cola, Climate change

HFC-free coolers, investing €3m in energy saving programmes, such as installing LED lighting across plants in nine countries and expanding the Russian sugar beet industry, to avoid sugar imports, are some of the initiatives Coca-Cola Hellenic (HBC) put in place to achieve a Grade A rating by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

The company jumped from a B to an A rating this year after it gave CDP information about the measurement and management of its carbon footprint, climate change strategy and risk management processes and outcomes.

It found its initiatives contributed to a reduction in total absolute carbon emissions (direct and indirect) of 5.3% compared to the previous year.

In-depth review of climate change risks

Gary Brewster, operational sustainability and primary packaging director, Coca-Cola Hellenic, is based in Vienna and has worked for Coca-Cola for 12 years. He told FoodProductionDaily.com the company first got involved with CDP in 2007.

Speaking about what the firm did differently to go from a B grade to an A rating, he said: “In the past we weren’t as diligent in our reporting as we could have been​.

We reported our progress and reductions but we did not take the time to do an in-depth review of the climate change risks, what they mean to our business and how we would translate those into opportunities and make the right investments to reduce climate emission and benefit our company in terms of lower energy costs​.

So, we made the effort (in our reporting) and we clearly spelled out the steps we were taking with our internal investments, partnerships with suppliers, and partnering with our sugar beet supplier in Russia, for example​."

The area where Coca-Cola has the greatest opportunity to make a difference is in its cold drink equipment. HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) are one of the six gases which the Kyoto Protocol has specifically called to be reduced and the company is making good progress toward phasing out HFC use in both refrigeration and insulation as well as to improve the energy efficiency of cold drink equipment by 40-50%.

The firm continues to install HFC-free coolers and wants all its equipment to be hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free by 2015.

‘Cooler for the Future’

According to Brewster, Coca-Cola HBC has set itself aggressive targets as part of its ‘Cooler for the Future’ campaign in regard to climate change and will refresh the branding on its coolers to roll out in 2015. 

We are looking to develop energy efficient cold drink equipment and we are working with our supplier to develop technology that consumes 20% less energy than the previous generation, which is a considerable reduction in energy consumption​,” he said.

We will add additional elements on our latest wave of coolers such as refresh the branding to make them more attractive to our consumers, technology that connects it from a consumer data point of view and improving the energy efficiency​.”

CDP is a not-for-profit organisation which provides a global system for companies to measure, disclose, manage and share environmental information, motivating them to disclose their impact on the environment and take action to reduce it.

The need for data on corporate climate change impacts and strategies to reduce them has never been greater​,” said Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP. 

FTSE 350 Leadership Index

Coca-Cola HBC has been awarded a place in the UK’s FTSE 350 Leadership Index, in addition to its place in The A List: Global Climate Performance Leadership Index, which for the first time looks at all climate leader companies around the world, not just the global 500 companies.

It was also recently named the global industry leader amongst beverage companies in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). This is the seventh consecutive year Coca-Cola HBC has been included in the indices and for the first time this year it leads both the World and European indices.

We are thrilled with this recognition but we need to do more​,” said Brewster.

We want to maintain our Grade A status but we understand we need to do more. We need to reshape and reset our climate strategy against the less than 2% climate change target and advance that with our supplier partners and stakeholders to manage the issue, which is not only severe for us but society in general​.”

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