Coca-Cola Enterprises invests £56m towards sustainable food systems

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has launched a £56-million operational investment plan for operations in Great Britain, following the results of a white paper from Cranfield University looking at sustainable food manufacture.

Sustainable Manufacturing for the Future’ includes research on the vision and pathways for sustainability in the UK’s food and drink industry. Over six months, three masters students from Cranfield interviewed 43 representatives from industry and academia about themes from the first white paper – people, big data, technology, collaboration, value and resilience.

Findings from the investigation included a number of actions that aim to lead the food and drink industry towards its vision of sustainable manufacturing. They included showing the flow of ingredients and materials ‘farm to fork’ and  using local resource and obsessively banish waste.

The paper also ‘uncovered five pathways’ to 2050, which were: ‘anticipating the future’, ‘providing nutrition’, ‘sharing the benefits’, ‘inspiring the next generation’ and ‘joining forces’. The pathways look at what could be done in the future, for example, with the development of ‘smart’ technology, more of the manufacturer’s processes can be monitored.

The report recommends that the food and drink industry share more information with customers, that it offers services that focus on delivering broad value to customers and emphasises personalisation and nutrition and that it engages society when creating products, to deliver against customers’ needs.Coca-Cola Enterprises invests £56m towards sustainable food systems

Leadership a core theme of research

Steve Adams, Group Director of Supply Chain Operations at CCE GB, said: “Our research with Cranfield University has revealed valuable insights on how sustainability will evolve across the food and drink supply chain.

“Identifying five key pathways and suggested actions to support the sustainable journey to 2050 and beyond, is helping us shape how we think about the future of our own business. We’re excited to already be putting these actions into practice and have today launched a £56m investment plan as we continue our commitment to sustainable local manufacturing here in Great Britain.

“Leadership by both individuals and organisations feature strongly as a core theme throughout the research. We hope others will embrace these pathways and visions for the future to help shape and transform the future of the sector towards more sustainable manufacturing.”

Mark Jolly, Professor of Sustainable Manufacturing at Cranfield University, added: “This joint research project between Coca-Cola Enterprises and Cranfield University has been a fascinating exploration of how the food and drink industry can truly embrace sustainable manufacturing in the future.

“We’ve unearthed five pathways, with specific actions that businesses can apply which will truly impact not only their own organisations, but their employees, their consumers, their customers and the wider society in which they operate.”   

More information and the full report can be found at CCE’s website.