NAMIBIA – Coca-Cola Namibia Bottling Company (CCNBC), subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has installed 1740 solar panels and nine solar inverters in its facility as part of its ambitions to explore green energy sourcing.

The new solar power system investments, worth over N$5.7 million (US$0.38 million), will supply 9% of the total energy requirement of the manufacturing plant and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 832 tonnes within a year.

“In a year, the new system will reduce carbon emissions by 832 tonnes which is equivalent to planting 80,117 trees,” Enid Johr, CCBA Namibia, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, adds.

According to a CCBA Chief Executive, Jacques Vermeulen, Coca-Cola is currently conducting a feasibility study on using solar power as a clean, sustainable, distributed energy resource across nine of the 12 African countries in which it currently operates.

“The project makes a compelling case for implementing solar powered systems at a number of sites across Coca-Cola’s operations in at least three other countries,” he explains.

The company reaffirmed that the newly-commissioned solar powered system marks it efforts towards promoting environmental conservation through water conservation, waste management initiatives in addition to community works.

As part of its sustainability initiatives, the beverage giant is seeking to promote reliable access to good and safe water especially in water-stressed countries as well as in all the communities it operates in.

In this context, the Coca-Cola system is targeting to use 1.7 litres of water to produce 1 litres of product across all operations by 2020.

At Namibia Bottling Company water consumption has been reduced from 2.57 litres of water to produce 1 litre of product in 2015 to 1.59 litres in 2018.

CCNBC has also partnered with the government and other private companies such as Rent-a-Drum, a waste collection company, in creating awareness of the importance of recycling, particularly through their Schools Recycling Programme.

Both CCNBC and Rent-a-Drum are part of the Recycling Namibia Forum (RNF), an industry partnership which they helped to form to coordinate recycling efforts.

A 2017 study published in the Journal, Science Advances, found that by 2015, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic had been produced globally since 1950.

Of this, 6.4 billion metric tons had become waste with only 9 percent recycled, 12 percent incinerated and 79 percent accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.

The Coca-Cola Company, with its bottling partners, has committed to collect and recycle 100% of its packaging by 2030 as part of a vision called World Without Waste.

“This is why we are investing in innovative design, collection and recycling models and partnerships, to turn our bottles into valuable resources that can drive a circular economy. Tackling the challenge of post-consumer packaging begins with the packaging itself.

At CCBA, we’re using more recycled content, reducing the amount of plastic in our bottles and using plant-based resins,” the company said in a statement.