As the largest soft drinks maker in Great Britain, Coca-Cola European Partners are committed to investing in the regions they operate in. Find out how they’re supporting the future of local manufacturing…

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) are proud of being a local business owner and employer. They see their employment of some 3,800 people across Great Britain as an investment in the economy.

Their factory in East Kilbride was established in 1964 and currently employs 155 people who produce 16 million cases each year. They’re committed to growing the business sustainably, with investment in Great Britain surpassing £400m over the past seven years.

But what does that investment look like on a local level?

Investing in… training

With continued technology advancements, CCEP are dedicated to evolving the capabilities of their entire workforce – providing the right training to upskill and future-proof the business. In conjunction with East Kilbride and District Engineering Group Training Association the site has developed an enhanced training plan for new and existing employees.

They also provide several points of entry for young people through their business including:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Work placements
  • Internships
  • Graduate programmes

Investing more than one million pounds into the business’ apprenticeship programme, this year CCEP had 17 new apprentices joining their programmes in Great Britain. In East Kilbride this took the number of apprentices up to five.

Scott Hanton is an East Kilbride local who cycles into site for his engineering apprenticeship: “One of the things I most enjoy about my role on site is being practical in a fast-paced environment. I love helping to solve problems – it gives me a sense of accomplishment and I really thrive from the challenge.”

CCEP’s apprentice programme has had clear successes, with recognition at the regional level – Scott received a skill award – and national level – with apprentice Josh Sloan being awarded ‘Young Talent of the Year’ at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards and ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at the Food and Drink Federation Awards.

“In 10 years, I’d like to be a qualified electrical engineer within the business who can guide and inspire future apprentices.”

Investing in… manufacturing

Last year, a £2.3m investment was announced at their East Kilbride site for modernisation of the factory’s infrastructure.

This included:

  • A new water treatment plant – saving an estimated nine million litres of water a year, minimising the environmental impact of their operations
  • The installation of a 360° camera vision system – facilitating in-depth quality checks on their aluminium bottles

"In 10 years, I’d like to be a qualified electrical engineer within the business who can guide and inspire future apprentices.”  — Scott Hanton

To mark the investment, Linda Fabiani MSP and Dr Lisa Cameron MP visited the site

CCEP are aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of every Coca-Cola drink by a third by 2020. But how are they going to achieve that?

Investing in… sustainable packaging

The Coca-Cola system will seek to continually evaluate and evolve our sustainability strategy – ensuring that we contribute positively to local communities and help to protect the environment. Over the summer, we unveiled our new sustainable packaging strategy for Great Britain, which focuses on three key areas:

1. Packaging innovation

All of the packaging – including cans and bottles – Coca-Cola European Partners creates in Great Britain is 100% recyclable. They’re committed to finding new ways to use more recycled materials and lightweight packaging. Their goal is to double the amount of recycled plastic (rPET) in all Coca-Cola’s bottles to 50% by 2020 through our long-term partnership with Clean Tech reprocessing facility in Lincolnshire.

2. Promoting recycling through consumer communication campaigns

We have a responsibility to educate and inspire consumers around the importance of recycling. So as a system we are:

  • Launching our biggest ever consumer communications campaign on recycling, set to reach around 35 million people by the end of this year. Our ‘Love Story’ ad, highlights how plastic bottles can be reused.
  • Enhancing recycling messages on our bottles
  • Promoting recycling to six million people at festivals and events across Great Britain
  • Supporting the Scottish Government’s Deposit Return Scheme

The entire set of the ‘Love story’ ad is made from 100% recyclable Coca-Cola packaging

3.  Championing the circular economy in Great Britain through collaboration

Coca-Cola European Partners are continuing their work with organisations like Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), including support for KSB’s roadside littering campaign, ‘Give your litter a lift, take it home’. The campaign has reached circa one million people across Scotland in just over a year.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, says: “We look forward to continuing our important work with Coca-Cola European Partners and our other stakeholders as we all work towards a more sustainable future.”

Find out more about other Coca-Cola system sustainability projects