Why Coca-Cola is investing millions in sustainability at its Wakefield site

The largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola has announced an investment of £11m as it looks to drive greater sustainability at its manufacturing site in Wakefield.

Andrea Jenkyns MP at the manufacturing site in Wakefield.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) is making the investment over the next five years in its material handling equipment (MHE) fleet, including forklift trucks, which is used to move products around the production site and will be powered solely by renewable electricity.

Stephen Moorhouse, vice-president and general manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (GB), said: “With COP26 currently underway, it’s arguably more important than ever that businesses do all they can to bring their sustainability strategies to life and to support UK governments in their efforts to build back better.”

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In total 76 MHE units are being introduced at the Wakefield site, which has used 100 per cent renewable electricity for over 10 years and has reduced its carbon footprint by 62 per cent since 2010. Changing from gas-powered to lithium ion battery-powered MHE will result in a 5 per cent reduction in carbon produced by the site in Wakefield alone, equivalent to a reduction of almost 900 tonnes of CO2.

CCEP welcomed Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns to the site.

Mr Moorhouse added: “This latest investment in our MHE fleet is just one way we’re accelerating our path to net zero. Our people at our Wakefield site have been key to making this – and the site’s ongoing evolution – happen, and I’m proud they were to be able to showcase this to Andrea Jenkyns.”

The site, which produces 11,000 bottles and cans every minute, is home to a 500-strong workforce, has received £87m in investment since 2017 and operates ten manufacturing lines.

CCEP is also recruiting for 33 roles at the Wakefield site in its warehouse and manufacturing teams.

“It’s been remarkable to see the site adapt and evolve over the past three decades, and to see its ongoing commitment to the sustainability agenda, which remains a huge focus for UK governments as we host COP26,” Ms Jenkyns said.

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