Coca-Cola has launched a new sustainability strategy for Western Europe that commits it to increase sales of low and no calories drinks and ensure that none of its packaging ends up as litter or in the oceans.
‘This is Forward’ is a joint action plan by The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners, which makes a number of commitments around drinks, packaging and society.
On health the pair pledge that by 2025, 50% of sales will come from low or no calorie drinks, representing a 35% increase from 2016. They also promise to further reduce sugar across their soft drinks portfolio by at least 10% by 2020, in addition to the 5% reduction achieved in the previous five years.
On packaging there is a promise to collect 100% of their packaging and ensure that all of their packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025. They will also more than double the use of recycled plastic for their PET bottles to at least 50%, an increase from 21% in 2016.
There is a commitment too to ensuring that at least 40% of management roles are held by women by 2025.
These priority actions will be underpinned by commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions from their core business by 50%; to replenish 100% of the water they use in areas of water stress; and to make sure 100% of their main agricultural ingredients and raw materials come from sustainable sources by 2020.
“This is Forward defines our attitude to doing better,” said Tim Brett, president of The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe. “We are not going to settle for the way things were done. There is no going back now.”
Greenpeace welcomed the plan but said that 2025 is too long a time frame to ensure that all of Coca-Cola’s packaging is 100% recyclable or reusable. “By that time 100 million additional tonnes of plastic will have entered our oceans, and our marine ecosystems just can’t stomach anymore plastic,” said Greenpeace UK Oceans Campaigner Tisha Brown.