Inaugural report accesses drinks sector’s sustainability efforts

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A newly launched report exploring the uptake of sustainable strategies and practices by the drinks industry found the sector wanting.

The inaugural ‘Drinks Industry Sustainability Index – Trends Report 2020’ was published by drinks company C&C Group in collaboration with sustainable research company, Footprint Intelligence.

It analyses the extent to which the drinks industry is adopting sustainable strategies and practices for packaging, waste, water, emissions, energy, social impact and raw materials.

The study found that the Industry currently scores an average of just 4.8 out of 10 for the categories outlined, lagging considerably behind other sectors.

Acknowledging that every company can do more to protect the environment for the future, the Sustainability Index helps identify sustainable operating practices which reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

Only 50% of glass containers are currently recycled, with bars restaurants and pubs accounting for 200,000 tonnes of glass going to landfill each year.

Consumers continue to be more environmentally conscious, with 80% of Britons saying they would be happy to use a bottle return scheme and 82% saying they are actively trying to reduce the amount of plastic they discard.

The 2020 Sustainability Index provides key action points for the industry to follow, with a particular focus on understanding and mitigating the environmental impact in supply and value chains; openly engaging with consumer concerns about plastic and packaging, and understanding how a proactive approach to managing waste can enhance brand stories.

It also focussed on encouraging policy makers to support the establishment of greater recycling infrastructure; considering water usage in a global context; sing science when setting CO2 targets, and understanding how the plant-based explosion and low alcohol trends are impacting the drinks industry.

“When we embarked on this project our objectives were clear: to build an accurate picture of sustainability in the sector and to offer insights that would enable businesses up and down the supply and value chains to make more informed decisions,” said C&C Group’s Operations Director, Pat Morrissey.

“I believe this inaugural report represents a solid start towards achieving our ambitious environmental targets, by offering a comprehensive and concise analysis of our current position and setting out a practical roadmap to help guide our industry in tackling the environmental challenges we face.”