The world has never been more in need of decisive climate action, but results at COP27 were mixed. Despite an historic agreement to establish a ‘loss and damage’ fund to support those nations most impacted by the climate crisis, COP27 did little to convince that the world is any closer to delivering the kind of ambitious climate action required to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
In particular there remains a huge disconnect between those calling for ambitious climate action and those unwilling to shift away from business as usual. As such, the role and voice of the progressive business community has never been more important.
We joined We Mean Business and hundreds of businesses and civil society organisations in reconfirming our commitment to do everything we can to support the 1.5°C ambition and reiterating our call on governments to urgently pursue delivery of the Paris Agreement.
It is critical that companies demonstrate ambitious climate action, by setting science-based emissions reduction targets, by building decarbonisation roadmaps, by transitioning to renewable electricity and by engaging their suppliers to take similar action.
It is why CCEP’s sustainability action plan, This is Forward, sits at the heart of our long-term business strategy and sets out how we intend to conduct our business in line with societal expectations on key topics like climate and packaging.
Following CCEP’s acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil in 2021, we have now extended our sustainability action plan to include our markets in Australia, the Pacific and Indonesia. This means that all of our markets across 29 countries are now working towards the same set of goals, which are fully aligned with and support The Coca-Cola Company’s global sustainability ambitions.
All of our 20 ambitious This is Forward commitments are time-bound and quantifiable and we will continue to report annually on the progress we are making. The plan reflects the topics where we know can make a significant difference and which our stakeholders want us to prioritise. You can see all of our commitments here.
Given the complex socio-economic environment in which we operate, our Society commitments matter more than ever and we have introduced a new commitment to support the skills development of 500,000 people facing barriers in the labour market by 2030. We have also extended our commitment to gender diversity and introduced a new target for increased representation of people with disabilities in our workforce.
We have updated our Water commitments; prioritising our manufacturing sites which are located in areas of water stress or which face the highest water-related risks and setting a target to achieve 100% regenerative water use at these locations. This is aligned with The Coca- Cola Company’s 2030 Global Water Strategy.
We have also updated our Packaging commitments to align closely with The Coca Cola Company and ensure we are tackling the multiple challenges we face in different markets. Collecting our packaging for recycling is a complex challenge and while good progress has been made across many of our European markets, we have much more to do in less developed markets where waste infrastructure is less mature and where there is a lack of collection infrastructure for beverage packaging. We need to account for these variations and accelerate our work to help develop effective collection systems in these markets in order to achieve our target to collect and recycle a bottle or a can for each one we sell. We have updated our timeframe for achieving this target to 2030 – mirroring The Coca-Cola Company’s global World Without Waste commitment and reflecting the complexities we now face across different markets.
We are already working hard to implement solutions which will support and enhance circularity, particularly for plastic beverage packaging. This year we opened a new JV recycling facility in Indonesia and have significantly upscaled the collection of post-consumer plastic bottles that will be recycled via the facility. We have also joined forces with industry partners to do the same in Australia. We also continue to increase our investment in recycled PET – at least 50% of the material we use for our PET bottles will come from recycled plastic by 2025, with an ambition that by 2030, we will be able to fully eliminate our use of oil-based virgin plastic.
We are also committed to setting a target on reusable packaging next year. This will support The Coca-Cola Company’s global reuse target and we are now conducting a full assessment of reusable packaging across our business to accelerate this work. As part of this, we are continuing our work to drive innovation in refillable packaging and dispensed delivery models; for example our Compact Freestyle dispensed solutions pilot for European customers.
The upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference will shine a light on another critical topic – highlighting the need for broad-based action to tackle biodiversity decline and nature-loss. The role that businesses can play here will be just as important as the role of governments.
We are committed to ensuring that our business can achieve a positive impact by helping to restore and enhance biodiversity and nature across our value chain. To help us understand and measure our impact on nature, so we can better map our future actions and commitments, we are in the process of joining the Science Based Targets Network’s Corporate Engagement Programme.
We are making strong progress and I am confident about the difference we can make through This is Forward. The social and environmental challenges we are facing are greater than ever, but we are committed to using our business and our brands to build a better shared future for people and the planet.