Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

In a sign that Coca-Cola Amatil is sweetening up to corporate sustainability, the beverage behemoth has committed to 100 per cent renewables across its entire operations by 2030.

By joining the global RE100 renewable energy initiative, the Asia Pacific bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company’s beverages is one of 290-plus members that have done the same, including some big Australian businesses.

The company has a patchy track record on other sustainability issues, namely plastic waste. Coca-Cola has been identified as the biggest plastics polluter on the planet and Coca-Cola Amatil resisted efforts to curb its waste footprint by challenging container deposit schemes in Australian states and territories.

The company could be cleaning up its act on waste as well. In 2018, it implemented a scheme to recycle bottles consumed at music festivals and donate proceeds to charity.

Making soft drinks with renewable energy

Today’s announcement will see Coca-Cola Amatil power its entire operations across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, PNG, Fiji and Samoa with renewables by 2030. It’s got a closer target for its Australia New Zealand operations: 100 per cent renewables by 2025.

Sourcing renewables will support the company’s new target to achieve net zero by 2040, which it announced last month.

Its upcoming renewable projects include the delivery of Indonesia’s largest rooftop solar system at West Cikarang in Java, covering 72,000 square metres. The company will also expand its rooftop solar program to manufacturing facilities elsewhere in Indonesia.

“Given our scale, making a whole of business commitment means we will be able to achieve region-wide outcomes as we build on our existing investments in renewable energy sources,” Coca-Cola Amatil chief procurement and sustainability officer Sarah Cook said.

“This will enable us to maximise the positive impact to the environment, while helping to drive the growth of renewable electricity industries, including the creation of new jobs, in all of the countries where we operate,” she said. 

RE100 Australian coordinator Jon Dee said pushing for 100 per cent renewables across its Indonesia operations will “help to bring about a tipping point to renewables in that country and across the region.”

RE100 in Australia

Sixteen Australian companies have now signed up to RE100: Woolworths Group, Westpac, Sun Metals, Suncorp, QBE, NAB, Mirvac, Macquarie, Interactive, Dexus, Commonwealth Bank, Coca-Cola Amatil, BINGO Industries, Bank Australia, Atlassian and ANZ.

These 16 members use a combined 5 TWh/year of electricity, which is enough to power over 800,000 Australian homes.

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