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Wed, 30 September 2020

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Collaboration at every level is key to a sustainable and green recovery

Collaboration at every level is key to a sustainable and green recovery

The hospitality sector has been the hardest hit during this period, and we are doing all we can to support businesses get back up and running – both safely and successfully, says Leendert den Hollander | Credit: Coca-Cola European Partners

Leendert den Hollander Vice President & General Manager | Coca-Cola European Partners

4 min read Partner content

As the country moves into a sustainable recovery, being open and working together like never before has never been more important.

At a time like this, collaboration and working together is our most powerful tool. At the start of the pandemic, we joined more than 200 businesses in signing the Covid-19 Business Pledge, where we committed to harness the power of business as a force for good and ensure that as the country starts to recover, we balance economic concerns without losing sight of our broader societal responsibilities.

Throughout the pandemic the food and drink industry led the way and demonstrated how quickly and efficiently this industry can pull together to achieve incredible things.

Watching how our retail partners, in particular, have responded to the challenges they faced during the pandemic has been inspirational.

But there will be more challenges to come, and we need to continue this approach to make sure they are overcome.

The opportunity to build back better will require everyone across the value chain and Government to work together more closely than ever, whether it’s driving sustainability or tackling health and obesity challenges.

For our part, we recognised at the start of the crisis that we would need to play a positive role in helping our communities and our customers recover from the impact of lockdown.

We are proud to have supported Fareshare to provide two million meals to those in need, for instance, as part of a $120m global investment by The Coca-Cola Company to support local relief efforts.

The opportunity to build back better will require everyone across the value chain and Government to work together more closely than ever, whether it’s driving sustainability or tackling health and obesity challenges.

Now, as many more businesses are reopening, we’ve launched ‘Open Like Never Before’ – a Coca-Cola campaign founded on the belief that we don’t just have to go back to normal following this huge change in everyone’s lives.

Instead, it’s our ambition to move forward and make our communities not just different, but better places.

The hospitality sector has been the hardest hit during this period, and we are doing all we can to support businesses get back up and running – both safely and successfully.

These businesses are vital to local communities and the economy, and it is our responsibility to support them in the best way we can through a package of support totaling almost £20m.

This includes using Coca-Cola’s biggest asset in Great Britain – its reach – to support our customers.

We’re directly handing over some of our advertising space to our partners across GB including pubs, local hotels, cafes and restaurants; producing billboard and out of home advertisements for over 100 businesses, and giving them the tools, including an online Ad Generator, to easily create their own advertisements free of charge and communicate that they are once again open for business in their local area.

We are also committed to working with others to make other positive changes for the long-term through a sustainable, green recovery.

Our pledge to move all of our plastic bottles to 50% recycled content by the end of 2020 has not waivered, for instance, and we’re working with all stakeholders to help establish a beverage container deposit return scheme across Great Britain.

We will continue to invest more than £1 million per week in this country and purchase goods and services worth nearly £1.4 billion from UK businesses in 2020.

We’re also standing alongside other major players in the sector through our industry federations and continue to have a constant dialogue with Government on a number of topics – this extends to addressing health challenges too.

We are firmly committed to playing our part in helping to address the challenge of obesity – we have reduced the sugar in our products by 29% since 2010, and two thirds of the drinks we now sell are low or no-sugar varieties.

However, across the industry we recognise there is more to be done and that can only be achieved by working in collaboration with Government and industry bodies alike.

As the country moves into a sustainable recovery, being open and working together like never before has never been more important.

 

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