Environmental overview

Minimising our environmental impact across the whole value chain is a core target for us. We’ve been setting annual improvement targets since 2004 and are working towards ambitious 2020 goals.

We identify our environmental impacts

Via systematic Impact Assessments, dialogue with all interested parties and regular auditing, we identify the most important environmental impacts of our activities, so as to focus our efforts on the areas where we have the greatest impact and can therefore make the most significant contribution.

These areas are:

  • Water stewardship
  • Energy and climate protection
  • Packaging and recycling

We set performance targets for each of these areas and report our progress in the Group CSR report and in our own annual Corporate Responsibility Report. Our bottling plants are also regularly audited against the environmental standards of The Coca‑Cola Company.

As well as reducing our own impacts, we work with others to address broader sustainability issues. We work with government agencies, NGOs and other organisations to support environmental conservation and education. In particular, we focus on protecting local watersheds and promoting recycling.

We function in a systematic way

We have certified our environmental management system, according to the ISO14001 standard, while we also follow the more advanced respective model of The Coca‑Cola Company. This Environmental Management System called ECOsystem is applied in all countries Coca‑Cola HBC operates and aims at managing and defining measurable efficiency targets for environmental issues. ECOsystem also confirms that the principle of sustainable development is incorporated in each area and in the daily activity of our company.

 

  • €2.9m invested in environmental protection programmes
Coca-Cola HBC waste water treatment plant

Water stewardship

Our ability to grow is directly related to the availability and quality of local water resources. As a result, we place a major focus on our water stewardship efforts by:

  • Working in partnership with the international organisation Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) to promote sustainable water management
  • Improving our water efficiency: we work hard to reduce the amount of water needed to produce our beverages

 

Improving our water efficiency

We regularly study the quantity and quality of local water supplies at all of our bottling plants, as well as environmental, regulatory and other concerns. Based on these assessments, we develop action plans to mitigate risks.

Although we have significantly improved our efficiency, we cannot reduce the amount of water in our beverages. As we produce greater volume of beverages, we will use more water. It is increasingly important to further improve water efficiency and we continuously invest in emerging technologies.

We ensure that all water returned to the natural environment is treated to a level that supports fish life. Our bottling plants (in Schimatari and Aeghio) have on-site wastewater treatment plants, or use the municipal water treatment resources (the same goes for our Heraklio and Aeghio plants). Treated water released into the environment is suitable for use in agriculture as well as for supporting plant and aquatic life.

Furthermore, our Schimatari and Aeghio plants are under preparation for the EWS (European Water Stewardship) certification.

Working in partnership

At an international level, Coca‑Cola HBC is a founding signatory of the CEO Water Mandate of the UN Global Compact . This initiative aims to address water sustainability issues in operations, supply chains and communities; and to work with government and NGOs to shape public policy. To better understand water use in our supply chain, we also work with the Water Footprint Network.

  • 23.8% reduction in water consumption
  • 24.5% reduction in water consumption index
  • 6.5m Greeks informed about protecting water resources

Energy and climate change

We aim to take a leadership position, adapting our business to the demands and opportunities of a low-carbon economy. As a result, we are accelerating our efforts in those business areas that require more energy: our bottling plants, fleet and cold drink equipment.

Energy-saving programmes

We implement energy-saving programmes across our plants, to reduce CO2 emissions for each litre of beverage. Although our bottling operations use more energy than our offices and other facilities, we are taking steps to reduce CO2 emissions there too.

Initiatives include:

  • Upgrading the energy of our blowers with eco lamps and installing an optimised system for monitoring air leaks in real time, at our plant in Aeghio
  • Installing light tubes in Heraklio
  • Installing high-efficiency LED light bulbs, improving power quality and reducing reactive and harmonics current in the network at our plant in Schimatari

Safe and eco-driving

Changing driver behaviour can make a major contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. Through our Safe and Eco-Driving programme, we are teaching drivers of our fleet such techniques as driving at optimum speed and early gear changes, with the potential for further significant CO2 emissions reduction across our business. Furthermore, we are changing our fleet to diesel cars to achieve further reductions in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

Energy-efficient cold drink equipment

We aim to provide our consumers with chilled soft drinks for their refreshment, available from restaurants, shops and other points of sale. Placing coolers and other cold drink equipment on customer premises is an important part of our business strategy.

Although we do not operate this equipment, we still have a responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint. We therefore work with our suppliers to improve energy efficiency. By developing new cooler models, as well as energy management devices, we now buy coolers which are up to 50 percent more energy efficient. We also train our employees to ensure that coolers in the marketplace operate as efficiently as possible.

In addition, we are working to eliminate hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), the greenhouse gases widely used in commercial and domestic refrigeration. We no longer use HFCs in insulation foam and are trialling alternative refrigerant gases. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been almost completely phased out from our equipment through a capture and recovery programme in the marketplace.

Transportation

We reduce our impact during product distribution. 

Our products are distributed to points of sale across Greece. The distribution of products is conducted according to solid specifications, which include:

  • Submitting product fleet vehicles to all required periodic controls at Technical Control Centres for Vehicles, which include issuing fuel emissions cards twice a year
  • Handling all special waste resulting from fleet vehicles’ maintenance through licensed institutions for further control and recycling
  • Re-examining truck itineraries annually in order to select and follow the most suitable to reduce both cost and exhaust emissions
  • Trained drivers

Working in partnership

At an international level, Coca‑Cola HBC is a signatory member of the UN Global Compact Caring for Climate programme, the largest global business coalition on climate.

  • 26.8% increase in the efficiency of our product deliveries
Avra water bottles on the production line

Packaging and recycling

We aim to minimise the environmental impacts of our packaging at every stage of its lifecycle. We do this by following our 3Rs principle: Reduce, Recovery, Reuse. We increase our use of recycled or renewable content and implement light-weighting techniques. Collection, recovery and recycling are also key focus areas for reducing our environmental impact.

In 2014 we launched a new, lighter and more environmental-friendly packaging for AVRA Natural Mineral Water (500ml and 1,5L) with 24 percent less plastic (PET). The new packaging helps to reduce emissions by 23.8 percent, while the bottle’s special design, which minimises mass with a single hand movement, reduces the total volume of waste and facilitates recycling.

  • 85% of our solid waste is recycled