We are committed to growing our business responsibly, by minimising our impact across the entire value chain.
It is our core priority to minimise the impact of our business on the environment. As part of doing so, we implement the internationally recognised environmental management system ISO 14001 and are working towards full certification across our business. In Romania we first achieved ISO14001 in 2004 and have maintained it ever since. We work in partnerships with government agencies, NGOs and other organizations to reduce our impact on the environment but also support environmental conservation and education for all.
We aim to make the most significant contribution by focusing our efforts in this area on three priorities of greatest impact:
- Water stewardship
- Energy and climate protection
- Packaging and recycling
We set performance targets for each of these key-priorities and report our progress annually.
With a growing global population and fast moving economy, the demand for natural resources increases. The availability of fresh water is also heavily affected by factors such as climate change. Our operations and our ability to grow depend on the availability and quality of local water resources. This is why our major focus is set on water stewardship efforts. We've adopted an integrated approach to this critical resource:
- Improving our water efficiency: we adopt technologies that help us reduce the amount of water needed to produce our beverages
- Working in partnerships: to protect local watersheds and promote sustainable water management, we work in a growing number of partnerships
Improving water efficiency
All our three plants, in Ploiesti, Timisoara and Poiana Negrii have achieved the European Water Stewardship Gold Medal - the most important certification for plants aiming to reach top performances in reducing water consumption. Romania was the first country within the Coca‑Cola HBC Group with all the plants certified according to this standard. In all our plants we keep a close track of the water we use. To improve our water efficiency, we decided to incorporate water saving technologies in the production lines, which lead to important improvement:
- We use dry lubrication technology which eliminates substantial water consumption, due to the use of a special gel to help transport PETs on our bottling lines
- We apply ionised air technology, which rinses PET bottles, instead of water
We ensure that all water returned to the natural environment is treated to a level that supports aquatic life. Our three bottling plants in Romania all have on-site wastewater treatment plants. In Ploiesti, we have made a significant investment in water recycling by using sand filters in the water treatment room. Thanks to the technology we use, treated water released into the environment is suitable for use in agriculture as well as supporting plant and aquatic life.
Our global system is becoming more efficient in its water use by reducing the amount it uses per litre of product produced, even as production volume increases. In Romania, we're committed to strengthening our progress every year:
- In 2015 we reduced our Water Ratio by 12 % since 2014 due to water use optimization and water saving projects.
- The recovery of water used increased in 2015 by 0.5% compared to 2014.
Performance on reducing water usage ratio (litre/litre of beverage produced)
- 2.2L 2014
- 1.93L 2015
Our top 3 initiatives to reduce water waste in 2015:
- Treatment of effluents from waste water recovery plant in Ploiesti, an investment of €200,000 that allows the wastewater to be treated and reused as clean water for the cooling installation at Co-Generation Plant (CHP).
- Reuse of backwash water from sand filters. We recover large water quantities, which after the pre-treatment phase are pumped again in the water treatment system.
- Clean-in-Place matrix optimisation. By optimising sequences, various steps duration and measurements we reduced significantly water, energy, chemicals used for CIP as well as production time.
Energy and climate protection
Climate change is considered to be the greatest and most urgent environmental challenge our planet is facing.
- In our bottling plants, we're building combined heat and power units (CHP). We're also expanding energy-saving programs.
- In our fleet, we're exploring and expanding our use of hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels. We're also changing driver behavior with our Safe and Eco-Driving program.
- Our new energy-efficient cold drink equipment emits up 50% less CO2 emissions than 2004.
Combined heat and power
We've estimated that the greatest reductions to our carbon footprint will come from the reduction of our energy consumption. The solution we came up with are the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants constructed at Ploiesti and under construction at our Timisoara plant. Four CHP plants are currently in operation with 12 others at various stages of development or construction across our Group’s business.
These on-site CHP units will supply the heating, cooling and electricity needs of bottling plants, with great benefits, as they are cleaner and more efficient than conventional power plants. When completed, the program will reduce the CO2 emissions from all our manufacturing plants by 20%, and by more than 40% in Ploiesti and Timisoara.
With the help of energy-saving programs, we're making progress towards reducing the CO2 emissions resulted from producing each liter of beverage.
- Halogen bulbs replacement with LED – The better lighting improves working conditions and energy is saved.
- Optimising sterilisation of sugar syrup by method differentiation - pasteurization and UV treatment
- Reducing compressed air consumption by installing air blowers
In 2015, we managed to reduce our energy use ratio for producing our finished goods to 0.45 MJ/L which is 9.2% less than the value for 2014. For the successful implementation of the new energy efficient technologies, processes and energy saving programs, we invested approximately € 245,000.
Hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels
We're evaluating and expanding the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles in our fleet. Additionally, all employees are trained in fuel-efficient driving (“Eco Driving”). In 2015, 3% of our new fleet consisted of low carbon emission cars.
Safe and eco-driving
Changing driver behavior can also make a major contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. Through our Safe and Eco-Driving program, we're teaching drivers of our trucks and company cars techniques such as driving at optimum speed and early gear changes. Initial results are encouraging, showing the potential for significant CO2 emissions reduction across our business.
Energy-efficient cold drink equipment
Our consumers expect to find chilled beverages available in restaurants and shops when they are thirsty. To satisfy this request, we place coolers and other cold drink equipment (CDE) on customer premises.
By developing new cooler models as well as energy management devices, we now purchase coolers up to 50 percent more energy-efficient compared to 2004.
In addition, we're working to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the greenhouse gases widely used in commercial and domestic refrigeration. We no longer use HFCs in insulation foam and are trialing alternative refrigerant gases. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been almost completely phased out from our equipment through a capture and recovery program in the marketplace.
In 2015 we reduced CO2 emissions by 423.84 metric tons vs. 2014, due to CDE contribution.
Another important progress consists of reducing light fuel consumption for our operations by 15% in 2015. We don't use heavy fuel oil since 2012 and we increasingly use more renewable energy for electricity compared to previous years. The decrease in the Light Fuel Oil Consumption is mainly attributed to the Poiana Negrii Plant replacing LPG for boilers instead of light fuel oil, in February 2015.
Packaging and recycling
Packaging is crucial in the process of delivering our beverages safely to customers and consumers. Once the beverage inside has been consumed, however, the package can become either valuable material for recycling or recovery in heat capture incineration plants – or waste, ending up in landfill.
We're working to reduce the environmental impacts of our packaging at every stage of its lifecycle. Our integrated approach includes:
- Reducing the amount of packaging we use
- Increasing recycled content
- Promoting recycling and recovery
Minimising the amount of packaging we use is one of the most significant ways in which we can reduce its environmental impact. This also helps to reduce the carbon footprint of packaging throughout its lifecycle: from manufacture to transportation to disposal or recycling.
Since 2014, we have introduced a new bottle, the PlantBottle, the first ever recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle made partially from plants. It reduces the packaging weight of PET bottles resulting in an efficient and safe product which performs as PET, doesn't conflict with food chain or the land used and can be recycled using the existing recycling stream of PET infrastructure.
Moreover, the Ultra-Glass bottle, which uses a third less glass, is now used in Romania and 16 other countries in which Coca‑Cola HBC Group operates.
Increasing recycled content
Our beverage containers consist mostly of recyclable materials: PET plastic, aluminum, steel and glass. Our aluminum cans and glass bottles already contain up to 60% recycled content.
Dupa Noi, strangem tot noi - The educational program that encourages selective collection
The educational program launched in 2018 within the After Us Sustainability Platform is part of Coca Cola HBC Romania's strategy of being responsible for the environment and the communities where it operates.
To encourage consumers to contribute to a common effort to collect selectively and recycle waste, we are present at two of the most popular music festivals in Romania: Neversea (July 5th – 8th) and Untold (August 2nd – 5th), where we offered solutions for separate waste collection:
- The Ecoisland – an integrated solution for all recyclable types of waste (glass, plastic / PET, paper, aluminum, biodegradable waste)
- Plastic collection points – the most common type of recyclable waste used at festivals
- The PhotoCollector - a photo booth that collects glass, plastic and paper and rewards users with a photo on the spot
Environmental achievements - 2015 vs 2014
- 8% less energy use due to energy optimization & energy savings projects
- 12% less water use due to water optimization & savings projects