Can a Drink Build a Better Planet?

Can a drink build a better planet and inspire others? Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) thinks so.  Last week CCE brought together internal and external stakeholders to give a taste of the company’s endeavor to “deliver for today and inspire for tomorrow. ” 

 

John Brock, Chairman and CEO of CCE opened the session entitled: Collaboration through the Value Chain – Creating a Low-Carbon Future.”  Catherine Cameron, Sr. Associate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership moderated an accomplished panel which consisted of:  Mike Berry (Head of Sustainable Business for Marks & Spencer), Tom Delay (CEO of the Carbon Trust) and two CCE suppliers of the year for 2010 and 2011- Catherine Crouch (Director, Tenens Environmental) and Arco Berkenbosh, (VP R&D Corrugated, Smurfit Kappa.) While the London session was well attended by sustainability, corporate, NGO and government leaders, the event was open for anyone to attend virtually.

 

For those thinking a conversation about supply chain sustainability would focus on the technical – think again.  The dialogue stressed having a strong business case, collaboration, culture, change, innovation, leadership and even humility. 

 

Collaboration:  Admitting that CCE doesn’t completely know how it will achieve it’s aggressive 2020 targets John Brock said “we need your help; we don’t have all the answers.”  Mike Barry (M&S) praised CCE for their efforts to work all along the value chain.

 

Business Case: Robert Swannell, Marks & Spencer’s Chairman, views sustainability not as a program, but as “absolutely fundamentally” how the company does business.  And it makes business sense – or in this case – pounds.  $70 million pounds in profit from last year was attributed to sustainability.

 

Culture:  Swanell knows that sustainability doesn’t work unless the culture really embraces it, something he believes M&S and CCE have in common.  Barry talked about driving sustainability into the commercial heartbeat of the organization. 

 

Leadership: Viewing CCE’s sustainability plan as ambitious, long term and quantifiable, Tom Delay (Carbon Trust) said leaders look fundamentally beyond reporting and efficiency to how to build low carbon products and services of the future. 

 

Humility:  What?  Humility isn’t part of your sustainability strategy?  It works for M&S.  In Mike Barry’s words “None of us has even begun to become sustainable. At most we are at 10%, but it’s a beginning” and congratulated CCE for having a “very very good plan for the future.”

 

Barry’s closing remarks resonated most with me. “This is a change program.  Engage everyone.  This is a human change plan.  Never ever turn this into a technical plan.” 

 

CCE knows this.  Two years ago sustainability was the #2 driver of engagement – right behind leadership. 

 

Lead on CCE, engage many, innovate and inspire for tomorrow. 

 

Missed the live panel?  See the re-run at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coAX0nrKouw

 

 

Home Page Teaser: 
Can a drink build a better planet and inspire others? Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) thinks so. Last week CCE brought together internal and external stakeholders to give a taste of the company’s endeavor to “deliver for today and inspire for tomorrow. ”

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