The company will only use sugar from growers that have been independently certified in terms of sustainable production, under certification by the production frameworks Bonsucro and Smartcane Best Management Practice (BMP).
Under these frameworks, the sugar production process will need to meet criteria such as decreased and/or prohibition use of herbicides and pesticides, decreased water usage, natural systems management to protect the surrounding environment, reduced use of fossil fuels, have independent auditing and more.
“The switch to sustainably accredited sugar is a step forward for our overall operations, and also in meeting customer demand,” said Group Managing Director Alison Watkins, describing the move as a ‘good environmental and commercial decision’.
“We have responsibilities to the community on resource use and renewal, and we’ve also heard customer feedback in favour of greater sustainability in the products we sell.”
This move is part of Coca-Cola Amatil’s overall sustainability goals targeted to be achieved by the end of 2020, which includes a reducing its carbon footprint of its drinks by 25% (as compared to 2010) and using 60% renewable and low-carbon energy in its operations.
Coca-Cola Amatil has signed sustainable sugar purchasing contracts that will last until 2021.
The Coca-Cola Company also runs its own collaborative sustainability project together with the Australian government, the World Wide Fund for Nature and local resource management groups, deemed Project Catalyst.
This focuses on reducing the water and agricultural run-off by sugar cane plantations in Northern Queensland from entering the Great Barrier Reef.
Sustainability in water bottles
Coca-Cola Amatil-owned Australian spring bottled water brand Mount Franklin also revealed sustainability initiatives of its own in the form of 100% recycled plastic bottles.
“[Our] Mount Franklin Still 350ml, 400ml, 500ml and 600ml bottles are now made from 100% recycled plastic, with a goal to move more of the portfolio to 100% recycled plastic in the future,” said Coca-Cola Amatil Director of Strategy and Marketing Gaelle Boutellier.
“Mount Franklin bottles are also 100 per cent recyclable. We’re calling on Aussies to keep recycling bottles and cans, so they can be reused again and again.”
She added that 100% recycled plastic had ‘one of the lightest environmental touches’ in terms of carbon footprint when it came to packaging.
The Mount Franklin initiative falls in line with another of Coca-Cola Amatil’s sustainability targets, which is to achieve packaging neutrality by 2030 by helping recover the equivalent of one bottle or can for each one sold.