Increased use of solar energy will help Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) meet its target of sourcing 60 per cent of its energy from low-carbon and renewables by 2020. According to CCA’s 2018 Sustainability Report, the Australian bottler currently sources 56.2 per cent of its energy from low-carbon or renewables – mainly wind, solar and natural gas.
“Bottling is energy-intensive, so our shift to low-carbon and renewables is a significant change,” said Alison Watkins, group managing director of CCA. “We’ve focused on natural gas, solar and wind, but we’re open to other technologies and will look at how these can be incorporated in our operations.”
While CCA is keen to support sustainability, 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,” Watkins explained. “For example, we entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Victoria’s Murra Warra Wind Farm near Horsham. Through this arrangement we and other consortium members secure long-term supply and price security at competitive rates.”
Meanwhile, CCA is rolling out more renewable energy at its facilities, with new solar panels installed this year at Amatil locations in Eastern Creek, Richlands and Kewdale in Australia, and Cibitung in Indonesia. “There’s more to be done, but we’re happy with progress and urge other manufacturers to take a fresh look at their own low-carbon and renewable options,” Watkins added.
CCA is working towards a number of sustainability targets. For example, the bottler has removed all of its plastic drinking straws and stirrers, replacing them with biodegradable paper straws.
In addition, CCA recently announced that 70 per cent of its plastics bottles will be made entirely from recycled plastics by the end of 2019. The increase in the use of recycled plastics would reduce the amount of new plastics resin the company uses by an estimated 10,000 tonnes each year from 2020. From next year, all of CCA’s plastics bottles 600ml and under will be made from 100 per cent recycled materials.
The company is a founding supporter of Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets. This initiative includes a commitment to make 100 per cent of Australian packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable, 70 per cent of plastics packaging to be recycled or composted, 30 per cent average recycled content to be included across all packaging and problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics packaging to be phased out through design, innovation or introduction of alternatives.