Investing to support customers and our Net Zero ambition

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Investors, Sustainability | Jose Antonio Echeverria

Following the publication of our 2020 financial results, we sat down with Jose Antonio Echeverria, Chief Customer Service and Supply Chain Officer, to discuss his 2020 highlights, and plans for 2021.

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What were your highlights for 2020?

First, it was the way the whole company supported each other in staying safe and well. Alongside that, I take huge pride in the way we supported our communities – we donated over 3.3 million litres of products and worked with The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation to provide financial aid through the Red Cross and local NGOs.

Despite the challenges we faced last year, I’m also proud to say that we maintained our great customer service levels at 98%.  This was direct result of passion of our people and the actions we took, like reducing the number of products and packs we produce. At the height of the pandemic this was down by over a third, ensuring product availability and visibility for our customers, as well as making our supply chain more efficient.  

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How did investment support our performance in 2020?

At the outset of the pandemic, we made an important decision to protect the business and closely manage spending. In total, we invested €360m to help support our colleagues, serve our customers and achieve our sustainability commitments.

The investments we made in the service we provide helped create value for our customers. We were the largest creator of retail value in the NARTD category in 2020, adding an additional €500 million versus 2019 according to Nielsen.

That’s nearly twice as much value as our nearest competitor and we had three of the leading five brands for absolute value growth in our portfolio.

Other important investments include:

  • Safety equipment for colleagues still going to their place of work and enhanced digital tools to help colleagues as they work from home
  • improved data and analytics so we can plan, forecast and serve customers better
  • exploring package-less delivery of our drinks through Lavit and ITS
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Why is sustainability important?

Climate change is one of the most serious and complex challenges facing society and our planet. We want to play a leading role in driving the transition to a low carbon future and identifying and supporting meaningful ways to stop climate change.

Our vision has always been to deliver great brands and service in a sustainable way. And we recognise there is even greater urgency to address climate change.

That’s why we’re reducing absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our entire value chain by 30% by 2030 (vs 2019) and setting a path to become a Net Zero business by 2040.

Over 90% of our GHG emissions are related to the activities of our suppliers, so we’re supporting them to set reduction targets, use 100% renewable electricity and share their carbon footprint data with us.

Our ambition is backed up by a three-year €250m investment which will provide targeted financial support to decarbonise our business.

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What is your focus for 2021?

Alongside delivering the best possible service to our customers, our response to coronavirus and climate change is a key focus for me. To support this, we’ll again invest in a targeted way, in the areas which will drive growth for our business and customers and support our sustainability commitments.

We’ll invest in new supply chain capabilities to deliver our portfolio ambitions. This includes manufacturing line improvements to deliver a new Aquarius bottle in Iberia, a new Capri-Sun pack in Great Britain and sleek cans in France and Belgium.

We’ll continue to invest in digital systems to enhance customer service, like improved demand forecasting so we have the right products when customers want them.

We’ll continue to move away from plastic shrink wrap to cardboard for our secondary packaging - removing 11,000 tonnes of plastic.

This goal will be supported by the greater use of our innovative KeelClip packaging technology and reducing virgin plastic by using more recycled plastic. We’ll also speed up the process of moving to electric vehicles.

But my priority will remain the safety and wellbeing of our people. Restrictions are still in place in many of the countries where we operate, and it is an important as ever that we look after ourselves and each other.

While there may be further challenges ahead, I’m confident that we can overcome them together.

-- Jose Antonio Echeverria, Chief Customer Service and Supply Chain Officer