Climate-friendly and inexhaustible: Renewable energy sources are the future of power generation. Coca‑Cola HBC Austria is starting to use the power of the sun to a greater extent, commissioning the largest photovoltaic system in Burgenland with almost 3 megawatt peak (MWp) output on the roof of its production and logistics center in Edelstal. The plant was built by Selina Photovoltaic GmbH.

Coca‑Cola HBC operates in 28 countries and bottles the products of The Coca‑Cola Company as a licensee for the domestic market. In Edelstal (Burgenland), a flagship company of the group has emerged in recent years. Environmental protection and the efficient use of resources are an integral part of the Coca‑Cola system. Over the past few years, numerous investments have been made to implement the company’s ambitious goals in Austria. “Group-wide, i.e. in all 28 countries, we will reduce direct CO2 emissions by 50 percent compared to 2010 by 2020 – a goal that we have long achieved in Austria. Nonetheless, we naturally want to continue to improve,” notes Frank O'Donnell, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Austria. Since 2017, all products in Edelstal have been manufactured exclusively using green electricity from renewable energies. The photovoltaic system now represents another big step forward.

Green energy for 600 households, saving 725 tons CO2 per year

The plant officially commissioned today at a festive ceremony was built by Selina Photovoltaic GmbH in cooperation with SOL Photovoltaic Capital GmbH and is also operated by these companies. The 2.86 MWp plant has 9,200 PV modules, making it the largest plant in Burgenland and the sixth largest in Austria. The plant generates around 2,924 GW/h of electricity per year, which is fed into the local power grid. This corresponds to the annual consumption of around 600 single-family households with four people each. Mag. Egmont Fröhlich, managing partner of Selina Photovoltaic: “According to the current electricity usage, we assume that about 99 percent of the PV electricity is consumed directly in the production plant. This can cover around 12 percent of the plant's annual energy requirements.” Overall, the photovoltaic system saves around 725 tons of CO2 per year compared with conventional power generation, equivalent to the annual output of 400 mid-range cars with a mileage of 15,000 kilometers per year.

The sunny side of Austria: 2,000 sunshine hours in Burgenland

The conditions in the region for an optimal use could not be better: With about 2,000 sunshine hours, Burgenland is the sunniest federal state, as illustrated by meteorologist Dr. Christa Kummer at the commissioning. She supports private-sector initiatives like this one: “I am especially pleased with the fact that important companies like Coca‑Cola HBC Austria are placing great emphasis on sustainability and environmental awareness. The implementations here, which are also required from us as consumers, set a great example. The use of renewable energies has become the order of the day – it is a smart decision to rely on the power of the sun, especially in Burgenland. That’s how climate protection works!”

Member of the National Council Erwin Preiner also praises initiatives in this regard, since “we have only borrowed the earth.”

Burgenland’s economic councillor MMag. Alexander Petschnig emphasizes the role model function of enterprises: “The commissioning of the photovoltaic system is a visible sign concerning renewable energy and climate protection. It underlines the relevance of sustainability, ecological orientation and innovative spirit. Environmental technology, climate protection and thermal rehabilitation are the growth drivers of the future. At the same time, the plant serves as role model for other companies, encouraging them to follow the example. Everybody is able to integrate a photovoltaic system on his façade or roof in order to save energy and costs.”

Sustainable employer in the region

For 90 years now Coca‑Cola has been bottled in Austria, more than 500 million liters of beverage of the brands Coca‑Cola, Fanta, Sprite and of course Römerquelle are produced in Edelstal per year. Coca‑Cola is more Austrian than you think! “As one of the largest employers in the region we are well aware of our responsibility towards the community and the environment. We aspire to create an attractive working environment for our approximately 350 employees at the plant, while making a very local contribution to the sustainable conservation of resources. We have come a long way in this sense during the last years,” affirms Frank O’Donnell.

Ambitious sustainability goals

In order to actually live sustainability as a company and to reach the ambitious sustainability goals, you need to stretch – only then you will be able to take big steps with an impact. “Protecting the resource water is a major issue for us: For years now we have gradually reduced the water consumption per liter of beverage produced. Through ongoing investments we were able to reduce the value from 2 liters in 2013 to 1.68 liters in the year 2018. The introduction of the 100% recycled PET bottle for our mineral water brand Römerquelle last April represents a significant milestone within the beverage industry, but also within the Coca‑Cola system. This brings us full circle, for CO2 reduction is the main focus of all our sustainability efforts, which we promote with both our rPET bottles and the new photovoltaic system,” concludes Frank O‘Donnell.

Edelstal, September 6th, 2019

 

Queries and further information:
Ursula Riegler, Coca‑Cola HBC Austria GmbH
Clemens-Holzmeister-Straße 6, 1100 Vienna
Tel: 0664-96 26 839
E-Mail: ursula.riegler@cchellenic.commedien.at@cchellenic.com

Julia Fassl, MPW-1060
Tel. 01-504 16 14 0
E-Mail: austria@mpw-1060.com