Gomez Acebo (CCEP): Collaboration between companies and suppliers in the field of sustainability is revolutionizing business processes

MADRID – Cooperation and communication between companies and their suppliers, as well as with their customers, in the areas of sustainability, decarbonisation, transport or logistics have multiplied in recent years and revolutionized processes in production and distribution chains, as explained to EFE. Carmen Gomez Acebo, Director of Sustainability at Coca-Cola Europeacific Partners Iberia (CCEP).

In this sense, the person responsible for these policies in Spain and Portugal estimates that six of the eleven plants owned by the bottling company CCEP in the Iberian Peninsula have already achieved carbon neutrality and that the international consulting company LRQA has verified that these plants have achieved net zero. Zero direct and indirect emissions in manufacturing.

These factories are aligned with our Sustainability Strategy, which sets the roadmap and outlines all our sustainability commitments. Among these commitments on climate change, we must highlight The global goal of achieving carbon neutrality for the entire value chain by 2040“.

“This is our commitment It requires action on both direct emissions that depend on our own businesses (Scope 1 and 2) and those that depend on our suppliers (Scope 3), which represent the majority (94% in Spain). And more difficult to operate.” “This commitment has already led to the development of a decarbonization plan for each source of emissions, which has already been done Validated by SBTI (Science-Based Targets Initiative)

In the current scenario, “SBTI is the most credible international entity, and sets a series of criteria on which the said plan should be based, such as that only 10% of emissions can be offset in the long term, and the rest must be offset.” Excluded”

If you don’t address those indirect emissions that depend on your suppliers, you won’t reach the commitment to be carbon neutral.

“Our sustainability strategy and commitments integrate all areas of our company’s business and all geographies, in both Europe and Asia-Pacific, where on some issues they are at a different level.”

Thus, “we are evolving the way we work, the way we obtain supplies, and the way factories distribute and transport products.”

In Europe, societal awareness is very broad and clients increasingly need information in different areas; From the products used in the various stages of production to the use of alternative fuels in transporting beverages.

Coca-Cola Europacific (CCEP) bottling plant in Aguas del Maestrazgo (Teruel). Image courtesy of CCEP

The relationship with our customers is developing very rapidly, and, for example, supermarket chains have begun to request information about the “commitments” of their suppliers, in the same way that CCEP does – he adds – with its own commitments.

“We collaborate upstream with our suppliers. We also ask those of us to transform and also collaborate with our customers, telling them what we are doing to learn from each other.

Regarding business in Spain and the measures taken, he pointed out that 43% of the country’s carbon footprint comes from its packaging, “so we have to continue implementing the whole path that we have already been working on for years so that packaging has less and less impact on the environment.

In addition, Coca Cola is working on the refrigerators installed at its customers so that they consume less electricity, because it also depends on the company’s carbon footprint, as well as on more sustainable means of transportation.

Coca-Cola truck fleet starts using HVO vegetable oil fuel

More than 20 Coca-Cola distribution trucks in Spain already use hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as fuel, part of an initiative that will be extended to include more vehicles and which the company has embarked on alongside Repsol and Transport Group Cici.

Carmen Gómez Acebo explains to EFE that since 2022 tests have been carried out using “this fuel of non-fossil origin that comes from used cooking oil and other materials of non-fossil origin as well.”

For this reason, “these products have a very significant reduction in carbon footprint, which can be up to about 90%, and can also be used in diesel vehicles. That is, you do not have to change what the truck, van or vehicle is,” which is why we continue to work with Repsol and calculate With available (and future) service stations to expand their use in the company. This is alternative fuel.

HVO oil is “renewable diesel” whose raw material uses cooking oil and is obtained through a process that uses hydrogen as a catalyst.

Currently, the initiative already includes 15 trucks running on hydrogenated vegetable oils at the Galdecano (Vizcaya) plant, while five more trucks at the La Coruña plant and another three at its facilities in Madrid and Barcelona operate on this alternative fuel.

He added: “Meetings are held with Repsol practically every week to discuss our expansion plan and the opening of its stations with this fuel. For example, a few weeks ago, a service station was also opened in Betanzos, next to our plant in La Coruña.

The company’s head of sustainability policies in the Iberian Peninsula points out that transportation must play an important role in these measures.

In addition to its commitment to HVO, Coca Cola uses “electric vehicles, but above all for last-mile transportation. Within cities we use hybrid cars as well as electric charging. “Volvo electric trucks, which are transported with chargers and are high-payload vehicles,” he adds.

“Together with the electric ones we have in our factories in Valencia, or on platforms in Madrid, we see if we can expand them to other methods,” he concludes.

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