Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will support the expansion a solar farm to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at Europe’s largest soft drinks plant in Wakefield.
The expansion will increase the farm’s output from 5 to 8.1 megawatts, delivering almost 20% of the site’s total electricity and saving nearly 1,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
This is one of CCEP’s first major sustainability projects since the announcement last year of its €250m (£217m) investment programme to support its aim to be net zero by 2040. It has been developed in collaboration with local landowner Stephen Butterfield and solar panelling specialists Innova Energy.
It also follows CCEP’s investment of £27m into the site in 2020, to support a new state-of-the-art canning line, which now produces 2,000 330ml cans per minute.
The supplier says that expanding the solar farm will also help with the long-term restoration of low-quality agricultural land on the site of a former open cast mine, which will include wildlife corridors to safety and encourage site biodiversity.
Vanessa Smith, director for supply chain operations at CCEP, said: “These investments are the latest milestone in our sustainability journey at our site in Wakefield and will significantly contribute towards achieving our target of reaching net zero by 2040. We know it’s important to implement initiatives like this at every level of the supply chain and increasing the local generation of renewable electricity will take us further towards our longer term decarbonisation goals.”