Coca-Cola Enterprises invests £1.75m in biomethane fleet

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Coca-Cola Enterprises is to invest £1.75 million in a fleet of 14 dedicated Iveco biomethane heavy goods vehicles during the course of 2011, following recent trials.

The vehicles will be used in the London area and will transport all products into Olympic venues during and prior to the games next year.

The company will also be investing in the refuelling infrastructure to operate the vehicles, which will be based in Enfield, north London.

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Tests have revealed that biomethane can generate carbon savings of more than 50 per cent compared to conventional diesel, according to CCE.

Wendy Manning, customer logistics director at CCE, said: “Reducing the carbon used by our own fleet and by our third party hauliers is a key objective for CCE – we put about 200,000 loads per year onto the roads of Great Britain and so we believe we can make a real difference.

“All of our hopes on the environmental benefits of biomethane were easily achieved during the trial.”

The move is part of a wider initiative to reduce environmental impact which is detailed in the company’s Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report 2010/11, which was published today (22nd July 2011). CCE is set to invest tens of millions of pounds implementing projects to fulfil these commitments.

The company has pledged to reduce carbon emissions across its direct business by 15 per cent by 2020 against a 2007 baseline.

So far, the absolute amount is down by 5.5 per cent, while the business is still growing.

Transport accounts for 11 per cent of all carbon emissions, so CCE is working on its own vehicles and those of its 3PLs to bring this figure down further.

It is currently working with its partners on backhauling operations. Last year 9,000 deliveries were made using vehicles that otherwise would have been empty. Joe Franses, head of corporate responsibility and sustainability, said: “We can only do that because we collaborate.”

CCE is also looking at its refrigeration units to bring down carbon emissions. Previously it had used open coolers within the market place but it is revisiting these and retrofitting them with doors – half of which have now been done – which can reduce energy by 50 per cent.

CCE cut 476,000 tonnes of carbon from its business in 2010, but Franses says it is equally important to cut the carbon footprint across its wider supply chain, including everything down to the ingredients, which is what it is starting to focus on now.

He said: “We certainly don’t have all the answers… but collaboration is key now and will be even more so into the future.”

Last year CCE’s water ratio was 1.36 litres per litre of drink produced, which is a 12 per cent reduction since 2007, and according to managing director Simon Baldry this is one of the lowest performance ratios in the Coca-Cola system.

He said: “We must look beyond the walls of our business though and look at the total water supply chain.”

For packaging and waste, CCE has committed to zero manufacturing waste. Five of its six key manufacturing sites now have zero waste to landfill and 99.9 per cent is recycled.

Some 97 per cent of its packaging is now recyclable and CCE has established 130 Recycle Zones across the UK, exceeding its original target of 80 zones.

CCE sells more than four billion bottles and cans in the UK each year and has a 28.1 per cent share of the UK soft drinks market, according to Nielsen. The company has 22 manufacturing, distribution and office sites across the country and 95 per cent of its suppliers are based in the UK.

Other than Coca-Cola its brands include Innocent smoothies, Schweppes, Fanta and Ocean Spray.

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