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Coca-Cola sets new European sustainability commitments on drinks, packaging & society

The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners have launched their first ever joint Sustainability Action Plan for Western Europe, This is Forward, with new commitments on drinks, packaging and society.

This is Forward has been developed through an in-depth consultation process with over 100 key stakeholders, governments, NGOs and customers, using insights from over 12,000 consumers across six countries and almost 1,000 Coca-Cola employees in Western Europe.

The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners will continue to work with these partners to deliver This is Forward, with a focus on three priority actions:

1) Action on Drinks: The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners will evolve their portfolio to offer more choice to consumers. By 2025, 50% of sales will come from low or no calorie drinks, which is an increase from 35% in 2016. They will 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.

2) Action on Packaging: To ensure that none of their packaging ends up as litter or in the oceans, The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners will aim to collect 100% of their packaging. 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. They will ensure that 100% of their packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.

3) Action on Society: The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners will increase the number of local community partnerships they run and support, as well as increasing the contribution their employees make through volunteering. They will focus on empowering young people and women, and will ensure at least 40% of management roles are held by women by 2025.

These priority actions will be underpinned by three supporting actions that are core to the plan; on climate, water and supply chain:

• To cut greenhouse gas emissions from their core business by 50%
• To replenish 100% of the water they use in areas of water stress
• To make sure 100% of their main agricultural ingredients and raw materials come from sustainable sources by 2020.

Tim Brett, president of The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe, says, “Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business, and we have made some tremendous progress. But we agree we can do more. Over 300 million people enjoy our drinks in Western Europe today and, working together with Coca-Cola European Partners, we have the power to act and create a positive difference, set new standards and lead the way; whether it is offering consumers a greater choice of drinks with reduced or no sugar, or keeping our packaging out of the oceans. This is Forward defines our attitude to doing better. We are not going to settle for the way things were done. There is no going back now.”

Damian Gammell, CEO of Coca-Cola European Partners plc, adds, “We have listened carefully to our stakeholders, customers, employees and consumers and our joint Sustainability Action Plan is our commitment to delivering the change they want to see. It establishes how we hold ourselves accountable to each other and the outside world and how we create an environment people want to work in and where they believe in what we are doing. Working together with The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe, these actions will ensure we have a positive impact wherever we sell our drinks.”

The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe and Coca-Cola European Partners will report back on progress against their sustainability targets in Spring 2018.

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