Sustainable sourcing and packaging

Our focus on sustainable and responsible sourcing is all about delivering excellent results.

Sustainable and responsible sourcing is a priority for our business. For us, it’s about delivering excellent results. For two consecutive years, we have received the maximum industry score against the raw material sourcing indicator of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index assessment. Sustainable sugar sourcing and expanded risk assessment played a vital role in this achievement.

Selecting our suppliers

To select our suppliers, we have developed rigorous pre-assessment criteria. We use a robust audit process, risk assessment and SEDEX, the supplier ethical data exchange; take part in Ecovadis, the supplier sustainability ratings provider, and check whether potential suppliers hold ISO 9001, 14001, FSSC 22000 and OHSAS 18001 certification. In addition, for agricultural commodities, we refer to standards from the Rain Forest Alliance, Fair Trade, Bon Sucro, SAI Platform and the Forest Stewardship Council.

We are committed to achieving a 100 percent sustainable supply chain and to reduce our supply chain impacts by 2020.

Our sustainable supply value creation initiatives with our supply partners are critical in supporting our long-term goals. 

We also require all our suppliers to follow the ethical standards, employment, environmental and work safety practices set out in our Supplier Guiding Principles. Agricultural suppliers must meet our Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles, while ingredient and primary packaging suppliers are required to comply with food safety standards.

Recycling plastic shreds

'Green' suppliers & materials

A large and complex network of suppliers provides us with our ingredients, packaging and services. These suppliers have a far wider footprint than our own operations - in terms of environmental impacts, jobs created and more. While we do not own or control our suppliers, we have a responsibility to ensure that the way they work reflects our standards.

The nature of our business means that we source as much as we can locally. This is not only efficient for our business; it also reduces the environmental impacts of transport and brings economic benefit to local communities. 

In addition to complying with our 'Supplier Principles', we ask our supplier to complete an HSE questionnaire at least annually which allows us to evaluate their environmental status. The survey examines their policies and accreditations, as well as the processes they use.

For example, we have worked with our suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of our cold drink equipment and coolers. Read more about this here.  

Coca-Cola HBC waste water treatment plant

Supporting natural habitats

Water is a key ingredient in the beverage but is also used in the manufacturing process, e.g. cleaning. We constantly seek to minimise our water use within the production plant itself.

Most of the water we do use comes from boreholes on or close to the plant. We undertake a Source Vulnerability Assessment every five years to understand changes, risk and to allow us to ensure water sustainability, quality and quantity, for local community and future of the business.

We ensure that 100% of our waste water is treated. The quality of treated waste water leaving site is measured by COD levels and the COD load is now so low that it can support aquatic life.

Our Waste Water Treatment Plant also provides some of its treated water to the Combined Heat and Power plant on site to reduce what it is required to take from the boreholes.

In addition to reducing the water we use in our bottling plants, we help protect local watersheds. Working together with government bodies, NGOs and others, we support conservation activities and raise public awareness.

Read more about our work with An Taisce and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful on the Clean Coasts programme to engage communities in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life.

Coca-Cola bottling line

Reducing Packaging

We are committed to minimising the packaging used throughout our supply chain as well as reducing waste. We have already achieved our target to commit zero percent of waste to landfill five years ahead of schedule. 


Some other actions we have taken to reduce our packaging includes:

  • Aluminium cans are made from 50% recycled material
  • Cardboard used in layer pads and trays have been reduced and are made using recycled cardboard.
  • We have reduced the amount of shrink wrap used around each pallet and light-weighted the amount of plastic used to wrap each case.
  • Any cardboard layers that we do use are reused to make new boxes for the postal/delivery network.

We have also adopted a range of light-weighting initiatives:

  • The iconic 200ml glass bottle is now 20% lighter than the original design.
  • The can body is as thin as a human hair, 5% lighter than previous designs.
  • PET bottles, both 2L and 500ml have been reduced in weight over the years
  • The closure used on PET bottles has also been reduced in weight (from 2 piece to one piece).