Corporate sustainability and social responsibility are indispensable elements of the corporate culture of Coca-Cola HBC. As a responsible economic operator, we consider it important to manage the environmental risks arising from our operations and to make a positive contribution to the protection of our environment and natural resources in many different areas.

We are committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our own operations. Improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, responsible water management, and the collection and reuse of packaging waste all contribute to a more sustainable environment. In addition, we ensure that the development of responsible, sustainable operating processes goes hand in hand with raising the awareness of our employees and consumers, as we believe that wide-ranging cooperation is the foundation of our success. Our sustainability strategy and objectives are inextricably linked to our business goals, and sustainable operations are the driving force behind our growth.

 A core pillar in our sustainability strategy is the enhanced commitment toward “World Without Waste”, although our initiatives are not ended there. We are continuously working on to conduct sustainable circulation of our products’ whole lifecycle. That includes the procurement process of raw materials, design of products and packaging, production processes and also social engagement for common goals.

Towards World Without Waste

Packaging waste is a strategic environmental issue for Coca-Cola HBC Hungary: it is an issue related to our basic business process, the solution of which is becoming increasingly urgent. Appropriate packaging is essential to keep our products fresh and also for food safety aspects.  At the same time, the long-term impact of packaging materials, especially plastic packaging, on the environment has made it clear that we need to find new, sustainable solutions.

We are committed to being not only actors but also engines of change. Our approach and goals for the greater sustainability of packaging have been consolidated in our “World Without Waste” strategy announced in early 2018. With the strategy, the Coca-Cola HBC AG company-group is closely linked to the efforts of The Coca-Cola Company, and we consider it a priority to work together and through a variety of means for this common cause. The recycling of waste is a priority among our sustainability goals.

World Without Waste: Our Commitment
  • By 2030 all primary packaging must be 100 percent recyclable - PET bottles used by Coca-Cola HBC Hungary are 100 percent recyclable;
  • An increased proportion of recycled PET should be used to produce PET bottles – 35 percent by 2025 and – 50 percent by 2030;
  • By 2025, 75 percent of beverage packaging should be collected, and by 2030, 100 percent.

Packaging Design and Development

We sell most of our products in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, as primary packaging material that we manufacture at our plants. Besides bottles, screw caps lead to significant plastic waste at the end of their life-cycle.

In addition, aluminium cans and glass bottles are presenting another major part of our products. These materials’ advantage relies on their recycling process, which has less environmental impact compared PET bottles. Thus, our aim is to actively support the implementation and development of these packaging solutions. In order to increase effective recycling and to decrease the environmental footprint of our products, we have outlined an innovative packaging design for waste reduction and material usage, while continuously improving our packaging technologies.

Innovative packaging design & development is based on three pillars:


Coca-Cola HBC Hungary's PET bottles are 100 percent recyclable. In order to appropriately recycle PET bottles, selective collection and re-collection are necessary processes. Therefore, in order to avoid unnecessary waste we inform our customers about the importance of recycling. Our new caps are intended to raise customers’ awareness of this issue.

"Look at the cap, recycle the bottle!”

In 2019, Coca-Cola Hungary has established a new approach towards plastic waste management. In this manner, our cups feature new slogans (e.g. I am not trash! Recycle me!) instead of the brand logos, encouraging customers to recycle. The graphic design of caps advocates recycling and adequate collection of plastic materials, activities that support a sustainable cycle of plastic waste management.

According to previous years’ practices, we have continued to reduce the weight of our bottles. Due to our projects in 2019, the overall reduction of PET bottles was 2.1 tonnes, while the waste of aluminium cans will be reduced by 170 tonnes from 2020 on. Due to a new palletizing technique of aluminium products, we have managed to reduce our plastic film consumption by 50 percent in 2019. Thanks to our recent developments, today we need 15 percent less plastic to manufacture one PET bottle than in 2010.

We continuously seek to increase the percentage of recycled plastics (rPET) used in our beverage packaging. In 2019, this figure reached 24.8 percent, although in some cases we face obstacles from procurement or from the regulatory side hindering our ambitious efforts to increase rPET rate in products. Nevertheless, our company continuously pursues holding meaningful discussions with regulatory bodies and monitoring of market opportunities and drawbacks, in order to optimize rPET rate usage at a rational cost level.

As part of our strategy, we have always encouraged the implementation of new, innovative solutions and sustainable technologies, that are intended to reduce plastic packaging materials and, consequently, the environmental footprint of our company.

KeelClip™ packaging technology on multipack cans

Coca-Cola HBC group and its European partners as pioneers, have begun rolling out the KeelClip™, an innovative, minimalist paperboard packaging solution, on multipack cans across Europe. This new packaging solution representing a first for the non-alcohol ready-to-drink (NARTD) industry is based on a recyclable paperboard “topper” that will replace plastic shrink film in all can multipacks. This pioneering multipack packaging solution supports Coca‑Cola’s global goals to work towards a World Without Waste, where all packaging is collected, recycled and reused. Accordingly, it will save 2,000 tonnes of plastic and 3,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. In Hungary, this initiative is going to be introduced from the first quarter of 2021.

Coca-Cola bottles made of paper, or even marine waste

The Coca-Cola Company puts huge effort into finding new, sustainable ways of packaging. In 2019, The Company has manufactured its first 300 sample bottles, which have partially been produced from recycled marine trash. Twenty-five per cent of the bottles were made from recycled plastic, collected from the Mediterranean Sea, Spanish and Portuguese coasts. This new chemical recycling technology proves, in practice, that it is possible to produce bottles from marine waste, or even from lower quality and tinted plastic, something which was no possible before.

 

 

Thanks to a HUF 500 million project investment, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary has developed new NaturAqua Mineral Water glass bottles, which are available in hotels and restaurants (in other words Horeca sector) from mid-2019. The renewed bottles can be completely recycled, after collecting and washing them, as worn-down glass has become part of the industrial cycle by grinding. The current investment includes, among other things, the technological transformations of the filler, bottle tester, bottle washer and label, as well as the replacement of the glass fleet.

We are continuously seeking new opportunities to redesign secondary packaging materials as well. Many of our products are available in multipack form, packed by printed shrink wrap. In collaboration with our shrink film manufacturers, we are working on new technologies aiming to reduce plastic waste by decreasing the weight and thickness of the produced shrink wraps.

 

 

A significant amount of driftwood, organic material and communal waste go down in the River Tisza with the floods every year. The Kisköre Dam is the first facility that stops the flood of garbage preventing the lower sections of the river from a heavy pollution.

In 2019, after the spring floods, a record amount of waste consisting of driftwood and household garbage – mainly plastic – has hit the Kisköre dam again. The size of the drift-field reaches 17 000 square metres and it is more than 3 metres high right at the dam. The water management organisation, an NGO and a company have now joined efforts to find an effective solution. The Directorate General of Water Management plans to develop the load area, the Plastic Cup non-profit environmental program participates in the sorting and recycling of the waste collected. The Coca‑Cola Foundation – the global foundation of Coca‑Cola – provides financial support for the remedy of the problem within the framework of the project Zero Waste Tisza. The cooperation of the three parties aims to prevent the river from being polluted by continuous issue management, to recycle the mass of the waste collected and to clean the river in an increasing extent.

Employees of Coca‑Cola Hungary actively contributed to the implementation and the success of the project. Nearly 70 enthusiastic employees participated in the cleaning of the Kisköre section of the river on the 26th of July 2019. On this day, they collected the mostly plastic waste stuck in the reeds and floating on the surface of the water into bags together with volunteers of Plastic Cup. The bags full of waste were collected by the PETényi “waste eater boat” the peculiarity of which being that it hovers on many plastic bottles formerly removed from Tisza. Hard work could be judged by the numbers at the end of the day as nearly 1.5 tonnes of waste were gauged. This will soon be sorted out properly and recycled.

During the second activity on the 27th of September, nearly 100 Coca‑Cola Hungary employees travelled to the port of Tiszanána, Dinnyéshát, to join the cause of the World Cleanup Day on the 21st of September. The participants collected waste from the water surface, reeds, and floodplains on a canoe, and they also sorted the waste for the recycling of the suitable pieces.

The results of this second action exceeded the first: they cleaned Tisza of 170 bags and more than 1.8 tonnes of waste – including municipal waste, glass, metal, and plastic garbage. Most of these were also sorted in place depending on their type.

The third volunteer day took place between the 28th of February and the 1st of March 2020, in Tiszaszalka. During the weekend, one of the most polluted Natura 2000 floodplain forests of the Hungarian Tisza was cleaned of the waste accumulated there, with the help of Plastic Cup and Coca‑Cola Hungary volunteers. Just like last year, Coca‑Cola Hungary provided accommodation and catering for all volunteers participating in the „Zero Waste Tisza” project this year too, through The Coca‑Cola Foundation.

 

The professional handling, delivery and recycling of garbage is ensured by the Association of Environmental Service Providers and Manufacturers, the National Coordination of Waste Management and Asset Management Plc and the North-Alföld Environment Management Ltd. Based on the previous experiences and the high number of participants, approximately 3 tonnes of waste was collected over the three days.

Coca-Cola Hungary for the circular economy

One of the driving forces of Coca-Cola Hungary's activities is to be at the forefront of replacing take-make-dispose practices in the linear economy. We strive to help build a closed-loop economic model that is built on resource efficiency and innovation, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint.

We want to build a future in which the unnecessary or wasteful use of the raw materials we use is avoided and materials retain their value within the cycle for a long time. In the case of packaging, we want to apply these principles at the stages of design, development, use of raw materials and production. If the cycle is closed, the collection and recycling of packaging is not only a theoretical possibility but a reality, and packaging materials will not endanger the environment or terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

We strive for conscious and responsible use of resources in our manufacturing processes. Our goal is to design our water, waste and energy management in a way that they help reduce our environmental footprint. In the interests of responsible resource management, we are also constantly striving to improve our carbon footprint.

We cannot realize our circular vision alone. The circular economy is built on collaboration, where we work with consumers, decision-makers, industry and professional organisations for a common goal. The creation of a circular economy requires such multi-player cooperation, which we at Coca-Cola Hungary are also trying to encourage. In this way, we strive for active dialogue and cooperation with both suppliers and regulatory bodies and consumers, so that the collection of waste from beverage packaging can take place as much as possible in Hungary.

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