Swire Coca-Cola HK quenches thirst with sustainable solutions

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Armed with a comprehensive sustainable development strategy, Hong Kong’s leading non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer is well-equipped to meet the challenges for a greener future.

Serving Hong Kong for more than 55 years, Swire Coca-Cola HK has been the authorized bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company since 1965. It delivers an expansive selection of beverages to every corner of Hong Kong every day from its bottling plant at Siu Lek Yuen, Shatin, which produced, in 2021, 58.7 million unit cases.

Its sustainable development strategy “Our Choice. Our Future!” covers seven key areas of Climate, Water, Packaging and Waste, Product Choice, Sourcing, Our People, and Community. These focal areas are integrated into its governance structure and performance indicators, with each area setting their own 2025 and 2030 targets.

Returnable glass bottles make a comeback

While the government is set to implement the Producer Responsibility Scheme for plastic (PPRS) and glass (GPRS) beverage containers in the near future, Swire Coca-Cola HK has already put into action to reduce, reuse or recycle single-use plastic and glass beverage containers.

The company is broadening its product portfolio to include more sustainable packaging options. It has also re-launched Returnable Glass Bottles (RGB) and is switching from single-use beverage containers to reusable ones.

Its new RGB, which can be reused for 20 times, are composed of 60 percent recycled materials, in addition to reducing the weight by one-third, and offering both environmental and economic benefits.

To achieve higher collection and recovery rate, the company provides convenient return channels and displaying eye-catching “Return To Reuse” message on RGB.

Stay hydrated with reduced carbon footprint.

Refill, not landfill. A great way to reduce single-use beverage bottles is for consumers to develop a habit of “bring-your-own-bottle”. Bonaqua Water Stations have been installed in numerous locations across Hong Kong, from hiking trails to major shopping malls and transportation hubs, for people to refill their drinking bottles.

The company also supports the “Drink Without Waste” neighborhood collection scheme to encourage the community to return used plastic beverage bottles through a cost-effective and efficient collection programme.

Beyond Bonaqua’s new look

Consumers may have noticed that Bonaqua bottles have undergone a facelift. This is one of the efforts of Swire Coca-Cola HK that go in line with The Coca-Cola Company’s “World Without Waste” goals to redesign its beverage packaging.

A closer look reveals that Bonaqua’s new design has its packaging minimized to become the world’s first individually-sold label-less bottled water. Laser incising technology is used directly on the bottle to eliminate the use of labels while improving recyclability.

What’s more, locally produced still Bonaqua bottles have switched to 100 percent recycled PET (rPET) materials. The bottle sleeves feature clear recycle information such as plastic resin codes and prominent “Recycle Me” messages.

In a further step to reduce single-used water bottles in hotels, the company has collaborated with EAST Hong Kong and the Upper House to install in-room water filtration systems.

A caring culture that extends to the community

As successful strategy implementation hinges on the people and the corporate culture, the company has launched a “Refresh & Excite Programme” to support diversity and inclusion, health and safety, volunteering and community care.

Programme highlights include a Diversity and Inclusion week with workshops and seminars to promote equal opportunities among genders. It has also set a gender equality goal of getting at least 50 percent women in leadership roles by 2030.

A target was also set for each employee to do eight hours of volunteer work per year by 2025. To encourage volunteering culture, a one-day Volunteer Leave is available for all staff. Its Volunteering Team meanwhile arranges volunteer activities to encourage colleagues to serve the community.

On a broader scale, to support the development and sustainability of the communities where it operates, Swire Coca-Cola HK pledges to invest 0.6 percent of its annual profits to the CSR Fund in 2022, rising to a target of 1 percent through gradual incrementation.

Advanced technology drives sustainable operations

To pinpoint operation limitations and invest in enhancement projects, a five-year Business Transformation Programme kicked off in 2018. More than 200 projects have been launched to date.

With the aim of building a future proof and flexible value chain through infrastructure upgrade and digital transformation, the Programme covers the five pillars of Infrastructure, Digital, People, Commercial and Sustainability.

By upgrading production facilities, a wider and premium portfolio of products can be accomplished with sustainable packaging options to minimize environmental impact. This increases product choices for consumers and help build a greener future.

Meanwhile, creating an engaging workplace and developing talents are important as happy staff not only make happy customers, but also support sustainable value creation.

Swire Coca-Cola HK’s sustainable development strategy “Our Choice. Our Future!” inspires constant improvement and innovation, ultimately builds a better and more sustainable future for both the business and the community.