‘Commercially viable’ sustainability: Coca-Cola Amatil looks to solar power to hit environmental goals

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Coca-Cola Amatil has hedged its bets on solar power to help it achieve its 2020 goal of using 60% renewable and low-carbon energy in its operations. ©Coca-Cola Amatil
Coca-Cola Amatil has hedged its bets on solar power to help it achieve its 2020 goal of using 60% renewable and low-carbon energy in its operations. ©Coca-Cola Amatil

Related tags: Coca-cola, Amatil, Sustainability

Coca-Cola Amatil has hedged its bets on solar power to help it achieve its 2020 goal of using 60% renewable and low-carbon energy in its operations.

According to the company’s recently-released 2018 Sustainability Report, it has invested in a programme that will see 10,000 rooftop solar panels installed across its Australian Beverages manufacturing sites including Eastern Creek, Richlands and Kewdale.

“Bottling is energy-intensive, so our shift to low-carbon and renewables is a significant change,”​ said Coca-Cola Amatil Group Managing Director Alison Watkins.

“We’re keen to support sustainability but renewables also have to make commercial sense. [That’s] why we’re pleased that the bulk of our low-carbon and renewable energy was sourced at a market competitive price versus traditional power.”

Estimations by the company are that by the end of this year, it will draw some 14% less energy from the local electricity grids, replaced by solar energy, which is in turn expected to save it A$1.3mn (US$900,562) in electricity costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4,163 tonnes yearly.

In addition to solar power, wind power and natural gas have also been major areas of focus for Coca-Cola Amatil.

“[We have] entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Victoria’s Murra Warra Wind Farm near Horsham [through which] we and other consortium members secure long-term supply and price security at competitive rates,”​ added Watkins.

Report numbers indicated that the total renewable or low-carbon energy use by the company in 2018 had hit 56.3%, and further use of solar is expected to help it hit its 60% target well in time for 2020.

In addition to renewable energy, other Coca-Cola Amatil projects to reduce energy use included a review of coffee grinding processes to optimise quality and consistency, as well as a modification of its coolers in Indonesia in terms of doors, lights and fans leading to 46% less energy consumption and 51% less running power use.

Watkins added that the company was ‘open to other technologies’​ as well.

Coca-Cola Australia and Amatil also launched a joint initiative earlier this year to have the plastic in 70% of all Coca-Cola bottles made in Australia made of recycled plastic​ by the end of 2019.

This scheme will include all bottles at or below 600ml across all Coca-Cola brands, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Mount Franklin, in addition to 750ml bottles from Pump, the company’s local water brand.

Coca-Cola Australia President Vamsi Mohan Thati previously described this as a ‘big commitment to recycled plastic’​.

Health and wellbeing

The 2018 Sustainability Report also included a dedicated section on Wellbeing, which particularly focused on sugar reduction and reformulation efforts by Coca-Cola Amatil.

Major milestones highlighted included a 5.7% sugar reduction in Australia for its non-alcoholic beverage portfolio (grams per 100ml), a 3.2% reduction of the same in New Zealand, and the offering of small packs in 95% and 100% of grocery stores in Australia and New Zealand respectively.

“Since 2015 and together with The Coca-Cola Company, we have reduced sugar and kilojoules through launching reformulations of 25 non-alcoholic beverage products in Australia,”​ said Amatil.

Additionally, Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar was launched last year in New Zealand, hailed as the first Coca-Cola beverage ‘sweetened only from the stevia plant’​ and the product of ‘over 10 years of continuous innovation with stevia’​.

Together with Coca-Cola South Pacific and Coca-Cola Oceania respectively in Australia and New Zealand, Coca-Cola Amatil has also committed to an industry-wide sugar reduction pledge to reduce sugar grams per 100ml across all sales of our non-alcoholic beverages by 20 per cent by 2025

Also of note was the company’s decision to use 100% sustainable sugar in all its Australian operations​, as announced earlier this year. 

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Accelerate your supply chain as pressures intensify

Accelerate your supply chain as pressures intensify

William Reed | 03-Oct-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Food, Drink and Non-Food manufacturers are under pressure. Range reviews, massive retail mergers, the backlash against plastic packaging and the ongoing...

Exploring Fibre Fermentation Profiles

Exploring Fibre Fermentation Profiles

ProDigest developed the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME®), which explores the fermentation profiles of fibres and evaluates...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars

Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast