Environment Minister Edwin Poots has welcomed an innovative Prosperity Agreement between his Department’s Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) Ireland and Northern Ireland, to protect the environment.
This is the ninth Prosperity Agreement between NIEA, part of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), and NI businesses, and encourages organisations to improve their overall environmental performance in ways that create prosperity and wellbeing.
With the new Prosperity Agreement Coca-Cola HBC commits to achieving a total carbon emissions reduction of 47%. It is also accelerating its sustainable packaging strategy to achieve a World Without Waste; with a commitment to ‘light-weight’ its primary packaging by a further 10% and eliminate at least 600 tonnes of secondary packaging. It continues to invest in recycled materials to create a true circular economy for plastic, with an ambition to move their use of recycled PET from 40% to achieve at least 50%.
Marking the Prosperity Agreement at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company’s all-island bottling facility in Lisburn, Minister Poots said: “This is the second Prosperity Agreement brokered between my Department and Coca Cola HBC aiming to reduce the beverage manufacturer’s CO2 emissions by increasing their use of recycled plastics beyond 50 per cent across their portfolio, reducing their overall packaging usage, generate less waste and enhance biodiversity, whilst working closely with DAERA to identify new ways to further improve collection and recycling rates.
“It is encouraging to see one of Northern Ireland’s major employers, commit to real and tangible improvements in their working practices that will have a positive impact on our environment.
“My Department supports many of our industries, from food and farming to fishing, forestry, tourism and energy and is increasingly finding ways to work with industry in Northern Ireland to tackle the environmental challenges we face.
“Prosperity Agreements are an excellent way for government and forward-thinking Northern Ireland businesses, like Coca-Cola HBC, to explore opportunities for reducing environmental impacts in ways that also create prosperity and wellbeing. I would encourage other businesses in Northern Ireland to consider a Prosperity Agreement with my Department.”
“Over the last 10 years, Coca-Cola HBC has reduced its carbon emissions by 19% and has an ambition to achieve a further 30% reduction by 2025. Over the last year, the bottler has also accelerated its sustainable packaging strategy to create a World Without Waste.”
A representative from Coca-Cola HBC said: “In 2019, our Group topped the Dow Jones European Sustainability Index for beverage companies for the sixth time in seven years, and we are proud that Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland contributes to this achievement by continually reducing water, waste and energy at our plant.
“An area of particular focus for us over the last year has been our commitment to our World Without Waste strategy, increasing the sustainability of our packaging while working to create a circular economy on the island. We invested in more sustainable packaging, launching the first 100% recycled water bottle range on the island with our Deep RiverRock brand and have achieved 50% recycled plastic (PET) in our on-the-go packs for our soft drinks ranges. This in turn helps to reduce our carbon footprint as a business, as recycled PET is one of the lowest carbon dense packaging types to produce.
“We value the opportunity to work with the NIEA and receive the expert support and advice they can offer in helping us achieve our goal of becoming more sustainable and efficient whilst also achieving local environmental improvements year on year.”