The Byznys pro společnost (BpS) independent platform for responsible business has handed out awards to the most responsible companies in the Czech Republic. Coca‑Cola HBC Česko a Slovensko obtained the prestigious award Top Environmentally-Responsible Company in 2018 for the Minimum Water Footprint of Drinks project. Every year, the BpS awards map the environment in sustainable and responsible business in the country. A total of 75 companies got involved this year.

“Environmental responsibility is a key topic for us as a part of sustainability and we have made big progress in it in recent years. At our production plant in Prague we have fundamentally reduced consumption not only of water, but also of electricity and CO2. We are therefore genuinely proud that we have won such a prestigious award for our results,” said Maria Anargyrou-Nikolić, Chief Executive Officer of Coca‑Cola HBC Česko a Slovensko, of the victory. She added, “We will continue our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint. This year alone in the Czech Republic we have invested over CZK 300 m in modern technology.

For the non-alcoholic drink producer Coca‑Cola HBC Česko a Slovensko water consumption is a key value for which the company is constantly looking for new, innovative solutions. In the period from 2008 to the end of 2017 at the production plant in Prague - Kyje it managed to reduce water consumption per litre of drink produced almost by half, to the current 1.72 litre. In addition to technological innovations, over the long-term the company is trying to involve its employees and their great ideas in improvements in production processes.

An example of the water savings is the new technology for washing bottles, which has enabled a reduction in average bottle washer steam consumption by 55% and water consumption by 65%. A fundamental improvement was made by the company in the other monitored criteria for environmental protection. The share of recycled waste at the Prague production plant in the last decade has doubled to 95%. CO2 production has fallen from 103 g CO2/litre of drink produced in 2010 to 30 g in 2017. Electricity consumption per litre of drink last year was 0.56 MJ, whereas in 2008 it was at a level of 0.83 MJ/l. All the electricity we consume is from renewable sources. Since 2016 we have been supplying new coolers to the market and they consume 40% less. The company is also one of the founders of the EKO-KOM system for collecting and recycling waste and uses 30% recycled materials for the production of PET bottles.

In addition, the company is making massive investments in the Czech Republic. This year investments have gone, in particular, in two new production lines. This year one of them, a unique aseptic line, for example, was the first at a Coca‑Cola HBC plant in Europe to start to produce drinks of vegetable origin (sometimes incorrectly called vegetable milks by laymen), the production of which is very demanding.

“All our new investments are directed, inter alia, to a reduction in the environmental footprint of the drinks produced. We will continue with our marked investments in the Czech Republic next year. Our ambition is to be one of the most sustainable and responsible companies in the Czech Republic,” said Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director Petr Jonák.

In the Czech Republic the Top Responsible Company is a unique, independent rating system that values companies in key areas of responsible and sustainable business. Large and small companies can enter the competition if, over the long term, they pay attention to the strategy for the company’s development and come up with innovative solutions for a reduction in companies’ impact on the environment. The decisive factors in the competition are therefore not the size of the companies or the amount of financial support, but, in particular, their strategy and innovativeness.

The TOP Responsible Company competition is held under the auspices of the Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Milan Štěch, the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Office of the European Commission in the Czech Republic. The independence of the results is guaranteed by a jury comprising more than 40 experts. This year, projects from 75 companies with more than a hundred varied strategies were assessed.