Coca-Cola European Partners welcome James Brokenshire MP to celebrate latest investment at Sidcup factory
Leendert Den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners GB, discusses the business’ commitment to invest in its operations and people across the country.
At Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), we are committed to continually improving our processes, operations and training – ensuring manufacturing excellence across our GB sites. As part of this, we have invested £650 million into our GB operations over the past nine years, including a record level of £55 million at our local Sidcup site. Key to this local investment is a brand-new £16 million production line dedicated to making our latest light-weight cans ranging from 330ml to 500ml.
To celebrate these investments, we welcomed James Brokenshire MP to our Sidcup factory on 20th September, to officially open the new production lines and meet the local team. The local team and I were able to take MP James Brokenshire on a tour of our operations, where he could see the production of some of the nation’s favourite drinks in action. He could also hear about how these investments at a local level are in fact supporting some of our key business objectives at a national and European level.
In particular, the investment forms an important part of our sustainable action plan – This is Forward – which focuses on six keys areas including drinks, packaging, society, water, climate and supply chain. Our new light-weighting capabilities at the Sidcup site will form a huge part of ensuring our operations are as sustainable as possible, and both of the new production lines will support our ambition to ensure 100% of our packaging can be collected, reused or recycled. Further to this, the new Capri-Sun line will support the business’ ‘Total Beverage’ vision – offering consumers a wide range of choice that will suit a variety of occasions and tastes.
In addition to these new production lines, the investment supports a brand new £39 million automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) warehouse in Sidcup, saving over ten thousand road miles by HGV trucks and almost four tonnes of CO2 per year. As well as underpinning our commitment to manufacturing excellence, this system will therefore hugely support the sustainability of our operations on site – helping us to ensure high quality manufacturing that is also as green as possible.
The investment in this automated warehouse has also provided a fantastic opportunity for us to further the training and development of our employees – upskilling our teams to meet the capabilities of the new technology. As part of this, we have a dedicated ASRS team on site, including four adult apprentices who underwent training to be upskilled to become fully qualified technical operators. This was a pivotal part of the entire investment process for us as a business. No matter how innovative and efficient the new technologies are that we incorporate into our operations, our people are the driving force behind our commitment to manufacturing excellence. Therefore, it’s vital that we support their training and development effectively.
At CCEP, we are proud to be a truly local business, which at the same time is committed to driving manufacturing excellence across the entire country. I look forward to seeing how the local Sidcup site continues to develop in light of our latest investment, supporting the local team and community, as well as the broader business and manufacturing industry as a whole.
To see footage from the Sidcup site, please click on this link.