This week the first of our 500ml bottles made from 100% recycled plastic have come off the line at our Sidcup factory. This is just the start of our green journey as strive to become Net Zero by 2040 – and Sidcup is at the heart of our sustainbility plans
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of visiting our team at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners in Sidcup to honour the site’s 60th anniversary. It’s always fantastic to visit our sites, but after such a challenging 18 months, it was especially rewarding to come together with colleagues here and celebrate such an incredible milestone.
Our local MP James Brokenshire was sadly unable to attend our celebrations due to his current health issues, but we’re proud that he has been a champion of our Sidcup factory for many years. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to be able to welcome him back to the site very soon.
Having been part of the local business landscape for six decades we have seen generations of local families join our team during that time. The people and the communities we work with play a big part in the success of the Coca-Cola brand and the Sidcup site remains a vital part of our operations in Great Britain – with a 350 strong workforce and a further 3,855 jobs estimated to be created indirectly by our presence.
The site produces some of the nation’s best-loved brands, including Coca-Cola original taste, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta, Dr Pepper, Lilt, Sprite, Schweppes and Capri-Sun, and is the only site in GB to produce 150ml and 250ml cans.
We’re marking the 60th anniversary by investing a further £28million in Sidcup. The funds will be used to install a new state-of-the-art high-speed canning line – set to open in June 2022 – which will produce up to 2,000 cans per minute, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of innovation within our business.
This latest investment also underscores our ongoing commitment to the site and to the local area, with the new line set to open up a further 19 new job roles and bring further benefits to the local economy.
Crucially, the investment we’re making in Sidcup isn’t just about increasing our manufacturing capacity, it is also representing an important point in our sustainability journey, helping us to achieve the goals set out in our This is Forward action plan.
We’ve already made good progress in making the site more sustainable in recent years, reducing its carbon footprint by 26% since 2010, using 100% renewable energy to power our operations, and ensuring that we send zero waste to landfill. The site’s Automated Storage Retrieval System (ASRS) has significantly increased efficiencies across the supply chain, saving 3,687 tonnes of CO2 per year and 10,817 road miles by HGV trucks.
Our investment will accelerate these carbon savings even further, helping us in our mission to become net zero by 2040.
The Sidcup site has also spearheaded other important sustainability projects over the past twelve months. We recently announced the transition to 100% recycled plastic in our 500ml bottles with the first bottles coming off our line at Sidcup this week. It was also the first site to produce our shrink to board packs earlier this year, which saw plastic shrink wrap being replaced with 100% recyclable cardboard packaging. This transition saves almost 1,000 tonnes of plastic per year from the Sidcup site. We’re working to transition our multipacks to board at all other GB sites by the end of 2021.
We’ve also committed to making other packaging as sustainable as possible. Through light weighting our cans, they now weigh 22% less than two years ago. The lightness of aluminium packaging helps to save resources during filling, transportation and storage, all of which reduces the carbon impact and helps us to progress towards out net zero goal.
This is just the start for our Sidcup factory and I very much look forward to continuing this journey with our people and the local community over the coming years.
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