Leendert Den Hollander
Vice President & General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners
These are challenging times we’re living in, with businesses large and small seeing huge shifts in the way they operate. The current pandemic has not only demonstrated how quickly and efficiently we can all pull together as a community, but has also given us an opportunity to step back and assess how we rebuild the economy in a way that is cleaner, sustainable, and more resilient.
Climate change remains humanity’s greatest long-term environmental threat and our sustainability commitments are always front of mind.
We’re one of 207 businesses calling on the Prime Minister and his government to deliver a Covid-19 recovery plan that balances both economic recovery and environmental commitments, putting low carbon growth at the centre. As a group, we have a collective responsibility to drive action against climate change and it’s crucial we continue to provide a leading example to the rest of the world.
The UK was one of the first countries to legislate for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and the government had put forward ambitious plans for a year of climate action in the run up to COP26. Covid-19 has positioned us at a crossroads, and this time represents a point at which many are stopping to reassess their strategies and priorities. This period of reflection gives us an opportunity to pave a new path and, in due course, accelerate our transition to a net zero carbon economy. We stand committed to working with government to make this happen.
At Coca-Cola European Partners in GB, sustainability is business critical, which is why we launched our This Is Forward action plan three years ago to place sustainability at the heart of our strategy. Carbon emissions are down 65% from 2010 in our core business and 39% across our whole value chain, and all of our electricity is 100% renewable. While this is good progress, we know we still have much further to go.
Individual businesses can play their part, ultimately though it needs to be a collective effort. Together with government and our peers, we have the opportunity to drive the sustainability agenda forward and really shift the dial when it comes to making long-lasting changes which result in a stronger, more resilient economy.