Since 1929, Coca‑Cola mainly represents togetherness: “Together!” is not only the motto of the anniversary year, but also shows the joint efforts of the Coca‑Cola System in Austria in the field of sustainability in practice.
The first jointly released sustainability report has been created and reviewed according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. It shows how the sustainability strategies in the fields of environment, society and business are consequently continued and expanded. The report is now available on www.coca-colahellenic.at as a download in German and English.
In 2019, Coca‑Cola is celebrating its 90-year anniversary in Austria. During this anniversary year, the company will carry out all its activities under the sign of togetherness. “Our local production, our contribution to the Austrian economy and our long standing relationships with customers and consumers are all based on our responsible and confident behavior within the Coca‑Cola System. The sustainability report at hand – which is published as a joint Coke system report of Coca‑Cola HBC Austria and the Coca‑Cola GmbH for the first time – shows how we implement this principle together,” said Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Austria, and Laszlo Niklos, Country Manager at Coca‑Cola GmbH. After the first EMAS certification in 1997, this year’s report was once again created according to the recognized GRI standards. Also, it was reviewed by an external reviewer concerning materiality processes and the material sustainability key figures derived from them.
Packaging and climate protection as the dominant topics
The twelve most important sustainability topics, which were determined via a materiality analysis, provide the basis for the report. This analysis is based on an internal employee survey and a survey among external stakeholders in Austria. The results: The company’s stakeholders consider packaging the most important topic, followed by climate protection & energy and water. Whereas product quality was identified as the most important topic last year, the field of packaging (ranked 2nd in 2018) has gained importance. This can also be seen in the latest public debate about this issue.
Step by step to 100% recycled PET bottles
In accordance with the assessment of materiality for our stakeholders, Coca‑Cola Austria has consequently continued and expanded its sustainability strategies over the past year. Thanks to these measures, the company has set the course for big milestones this year. Thanks to a shortened bottle neck/a shortened closing thread, we have been able to save about 190 tons of PET material for our Römerquelle packaging in 2018. Overall, Coca‑Cola Austria had its greatest success at the use of recycled PET: Since April 2019, all Römerquelle PET bottles are made from 100% recycled PET – without exception. In order to make the vision of a “World Without Waste” come true, the company aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030. “Together with our partners ARA (Altstoff Recycling Austria AG) and PET2PET, we make sure that our packaging is recycled in an ecologically responsible way after consumption,” says Frank O’Donnell. Currently, three out of four PET bottles are captured in the separate collection via the ARA system. This is an important contribution in view of the responsible handling of valuable resources. “To make it possible to let bottles become bottles again, even more PET bottles will have to find their way into the recycling cycle and we hope that our consumers will support us by proper disposal in yellow bins or bags. This enables us to keep using this important secondary raw material.”
The “World Without Waste” progress report, which is the first chapter of the sustainability report, provides information about the current initiatives of companies in Austria which go beyond the reporting period.
Efficient use of water and energy
Every year, Coca‑Cola HBC Austria produces about 500 million liters of beverages in Edelstal. Water takes center stage in the process. The vital resource is used not only for the products, but also for many manufacturing steps in the entire production process. Frank O’Donnell explains, “Concerning the efficient use of water, we have taken another step towards our target value of 1.5 liters of water per liter of beverage produced. Last year, this value was already 1.68 liters.”
Furthermore, the company has been working actively for many years to reduce its ecological footprint in production and transport as well as at its business locations and cooling devices. The Edelstal plant is supplied with 100% green electricity. This means that we can avoid about 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
Taking social and societal responsibility – together
In the past year, the Coca‑Cola System implemented many initiatives in Austria that empower disadvantaged groups in our society. Since 2007, the Get Active Social Business Award – Austria’s biggest funding initiative for social business start-ups – has been promoting social start-ups that tackle current problems in the fields of environment and society.
Employees of the Coca‑Cola System also take a strong stand with their active involvement. With #YouthEmpowered, Coca‑Cola HBC Austria aims to give unemployed young people a hand with training programs. By the end of 2018, almost 2,000 young people had taken part in one of the modules of the initiative.
The topic of inclusion is very important to Coca‑Cola. Laszlo Niklos concludes, “Especially in times in which there are major changes in our society, a connecting and peaceful atmosphere of togetherness is particularly important. It is our goal to spread appreciation, respect and recognition. With almost 1,000 participants at the Coca‑Cola Inclusion Run, we have achieved this goal.”
Vienna, June 24, 2019
Coca‑Cola HBC Austria GmbH
Clemens-Holzmeister-Straße 6, 1100 Wien
Tel: 0664-96 26 839
Tel: 01-504 16 14 0