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Magic Metrics In A Can Of Coca-Cola

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It’s true. Only geeks like me read sustainability reports, but what can you do when you’re bored waiting for a flight?

This time I read the report from Coca Cola Entreprises. Their seventh, incorporating Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS).

Here is my take:

It’s a bit of a surprise that they are reporting so prominently on key product metrics (normally the opposite for corporates), and it’s quite a good performance.

1.43 litres of water are used per litre of Coke. However, I wonder how much room there is to reduce it to 1.1 or lower perhaps? (Please forgive me for not being ‘a man’ while I grab a Diet Coke)

I love the focus on LCA, finally companies are getting it. And guess what?

47% of the carbon is packaging… with:

  • 21% used to keep the cans and bottles cold
  • 17% on ingredients
  • 8% for manufacturing

Another nice surprise is that they have managed to decouple business growth from emissions although I believe there is a further potential saving seeing that refrigeration and packaging takes so much carbon.

One of the elephants in the room is portfolio management. No company is talking about it.

How can you sell more of the more sustainable stuff and less of the less sustainable. For example CCE could consider how to shift from traditional soft drinks to low calorie ones? And given that packaging has such a high relative carbon footprint, how can they entice customers into shifting towards lower carbon packaging products?

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