Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola, has announced a new £31m investment at its manufacturing site in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
The investment will support the development of a new state-of-the-art canning line, which will be operational in 2024 and will be capable of producing 2,000 cans per minute.
In addition to increasing production capacity for CCEP’s lightweight 330ml cans, the new canning line will incorporate advanced technologies to help minimise energy, water, and CO2 consumption. These technologies include air rinsing capabilities, dry lubrication on conveyors, and an auto-sleep function on motors.
“We’re committed to developing our sites to keep at the forefront of innovation, ensuring we can continue to deliver drinks to our customers and to consumers in a sustainable way,” said Vanessa Smith, Director of Supply Chain Operations, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.
“This latest investment underscores our commitment to our Wakefield site and the 500 colleagues who work here, from our apprentices to our longest-serving employees.”
CCEP says the investment is another step towards its ‘This is Forward’ sustainability action plan, which was launched in 2017 and sets out the bottler’s target to reach net zero emissions (across Scopes 1, 2, and 3) in Europe by 2040.
As part of its plan, the bottler has also committed to making 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025. In 2022, 48.5% of the Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in its plastic bottles was recycled.
The investment in Wakefield is also set to support job creation and economic development. CCEP says it is focused on attracting more diversity into its supply chain, and has opened up multiple vacancies at the Wakefield site, including roles for those with little or no experience of working in manufacturing.
CCEP is a licensee of The Coca-Cola Company, and sources its concentrates, beverage bases, and syrups from the parent company. However, CCEP is an independent company with its own board of directors and management team.
Earlier this year, CCEP joined seven other bottling partners, along with Coca-Cola, to launch a $138m venture capital sustainability fund to focus on technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of the Coca-Cola system in areas including packaging, heating and cooling, facility decarbonisation, distribution, and supply chain.
CCEP has also announced its intent to buy Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines (CCBPI) an acquisition that would position it as the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler by both revenue and volume.
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