Half of the UK’s leading soft drink producers and suppliers including Coca-Cola and Britvic have signed onto the Soft Drinks Sustainability Roadmap, a supply chain study that aims to reduce the environment footprint of the industry’s products.
The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched the Soft Drinks Sustainability Roadmap today during a conference in London.
The study is the first to outline the £1.3 billion ($1.98 billion) UK soft drinks sector’s affect on the environment and offer recommendations on how it can reduce that impact. The report includes infographics (see above) summarizing these insights across the whole soft drinks supply chain from raw material production to end of life, Best Foot Forward says.
The roadmap, which is based on analysis by consultancy firm Best Foot Forward, found the UK soft drink industry supply chain emits 4.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.
The study highlights the five key impacts the soft drinks industry has on the environment, including growing and processing fruit and sugar, packaging materials, refrigeration of goods, supply chain waste production and water scarcity.
The roadmap recommends reducing the amount of water used in manufacturing to help limit consumption and save money, improve refrigeration to boost energy efficiency and use low carbon fertilizer to reduce the footprint of fruit-based soft drinks by as much as 20 percent. The study also recommends increasing cooperation between manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and waste management companies to improve recyclability and recycling of packaging by consumers.
Defra expects another 25 percent of the soft drinks industry to sign onto the voluntary agreement by the end of the year.
In May, the US dairy industry launched a reporting guide to help companies and farms measure their environmental footprint and report on their sustainability efforts. The guide also gives retailers and manufacturers information to track their sustainable sourcing and supply chain management goals.