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Coca Cola Shares Renewables Agenda

30 May 13:00 by Steve Walia

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Coca Cola has shared its intention of committing to a sustainable operation in the UK after the opening of a new solar facility at its Wakefield factory. As part of its plans to become a 'greener' business, it has committed to sourcing its entire energy needs from renewable power sources.

The new solar power development will be used to support the Wakefield factory's electricity needs and help the brand to reduce its carbon footprint for operations at the site. The global drinks manufacturer hopes that its moves will help the UK's renewable energy industry. Ernst and Young recently moved Britain back into its top ten countries that are attractive for renewable energy in the world - the RECAI index.

The solar farm spans eight hectares and will have 5MW of capacity. It is connected via underground cabling and will provide 15pc of the site's total electricity needs whilst reducing the carbon footprint by nearly 9pc.

The site already has a CHP system which was installed in 2014 at the cost of £1 million. In total, Coca Cola hopes to reduce factory CO2 emissions by 3,800 tonnes each year.

It will also be buying its 100pc renewable energy from EDF in line with the Ofgem Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme. Coke's representative for sustainability explained that the brand was seeking to minimise its operational impact, with a central aim of cutting the carbon footprint associated with producing its consumer drinks by a third before 2020. He said that the company was working with partners across the UK to support this aim, including the Carbon Trust.

A spokesman from the Carbon Trust said that CCEP had made continual and impressive gains from its plans to reduce operational environmental impacts whilst taking a meaningful leadership stance on the subject of sustainability.