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Accelerating the Road to Zero

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Stephen Moorhouse - VP & General Manager, Great Britain, Coca-Cola European Partners

08/12/2020

Accelerating the Road to Zero

We all know that the climate crisis is perhaps the most pressing global issue we face, and there is, rightly, ever more expectation that governments, individuals, and businesses like us will do more lead the way to a sustainable future.

The pandemic has of course presented us with a new set of challenges, but it has also given us a unique opportunity to re-evaluate and consider how we can accelerate the progress we are making when it comes to sustainability, and play our part in stimulating a green recovery.

 

Setting clear targets

The UK Government hosting COP26 towards the end of 2021 undoubtedly focuses the mind for policymakers and it’s promising to see the government bringing forward its own tougher decarbonisation commitments. But we recognise that this is not just a job for government and businesses have a critical role to play. We must work together with clear and ambitious targets to limit global temperature increase, and this forms part of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge, that we and other large companies have signed.

To achieve this we need to dramatically reduce emissions from our own business and our entire value chain – from the raw ingredients we source and the packaging we use, to the drinks we sell. That’s why we’ve pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2040 as part of our ambitious global Road to Zero sustainability action plan. This will put us ahead of the commitments outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement and ensures that we will be leading the way in moving towards a greener future.

This week, we announced a significant milestone as part of this roadmap, to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions across our entire value chain by 30% by 2030.

We’ve already made real progress in GB having reduced our carbon emissions by more than a third over the last decade and ensuring that we use 100% renewable energy to power our operations, including from a specially built solar farm based close to our Wakefield site, which launched in 2017. The Road to Zero plan marks an important next step on this journey and sets us ambitious, tangible targets to keep us on track.

 

Looking forward

As businesses, keeping our commitments under constant review is vital so that we know we’re being as ambitious as possible. At CCEP we will continue to be guided by our This Is Forward strategy, which outlines a series of commitments and actions in a variety of areas, including our drinks, our packaging and our communities. We’re also calling on our strategic suppliers to set their own science-based targets and use 100% electricity. Collaboration across all areas of supply chain is critical if we’re to shift the dial.

Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, businesses across the spectrum have kept moving at pace on key environmental issues, which is incredibly encouraging to see. Change will not happen overnight, and we cannot change things alone, but the responsibility lies with all of us to face up to the challenge. We know that token gestures are not enough – real action must be taken now.