How Coca Cola Engages Suppliers for Science Based Targets
The Science Based Targets (SBTs) initiative helps companies set climate targets that are consistent with the latest climate science. A particular focus of SBTs is on supplier engagement, as 90% or more of companies’ emissions occur in their supply chains. Corporations have to work closely with their suppliers to set and achieve their SBTs. How does a major global company still on the path of climate transformation, like Coca Cola, deal with this challenge?
That’s what we learned at the CHOICE Event #53 from Cornelia Folz, Vice President Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability (PACS) at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Germany. Here you will find the most important insights from her presentation.
What are the Science Based Targets?
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) was founded in 2015 in the year of the Paris Climate Agreement by four NGOs – CDP, WWF, UN Global Compact and World Resources Institute. The initiative is considered a leader in both guiding science-based climate target setting and validating it. It defines and promotes best practice in emissions reduction and net-zero targets in line with climate science. Teams of experts provide companies with independent assessment and validation of targets.
The change has already begun and action is gaining pace. Over 2,000 organizations worldwide are leading the transition to a net-zero economy by setting reduction targets grounded in climate science.
Coca Cola’s commitment to Science Based Targets
Together with the Science Based Targets initiative, Coca Cola Europacific Partners has set an ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. Over the last decade, the company has already reduced GHG emissions across its entire value chain by 30.5%. Coca Cola now concentrates on reducing its value chain emissions even further, with a focus on scope 3 emissions where the biggest impacts occur. In all of this, Coca Cola is committed to an approach that prioritizes reducing greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible.
Key focus: mobilizing suppliers on climate change
In order to reach this target, Coca Cola puts a key focus on mobilizing its suppliers on climate change. Over 90% of the organizations GHG emissions are scope 3 emissions. Those scope 3 emissions include raw ingredients (25%), packaging (43%), operations and commercial sites (7%), transport (9%) as well as cold drinks equipment (16%).
So to really achieve the net zero ambition, Coca Cola has to work closer with its suppliers and support them in their decarbonization journey. To do so, the company has decided to start very easy with three clear and direct questions they are asking their suppliers:
- Can you set your own SBTi-validated GHG emissions reduction targets by 2023?
- Can you commit to using 100% renewable electricity across your operations by 2023?
- Please share your carbon footprint data with us.
Supplier Carbon Reduction Program
These three questions form the basis for activation and close cooperation with suppliers. Once the ambitions, plans as well as the existing know-how regarding the setting of science-based targets, the transition to 100% renewable energy and the sharing of carbon data from suppliers are clear and known, the real work can begin. From this, Coca Cola has launched a program to motivate and support suppliers with knowledge and resources.
Together with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Science Based Targets initiative, Coca Cola has created specific training programs for their suppliers. Suppliers that are just starting their climate transformation can join these programs, receive guidance, and learn how and with what best practices to set science-based targets. They also learn about different emission factors and approaches to identify carbon hotspots, start reduction measures and track real progress.
Practical example: The Transport Tender
So how does this all impact the day to day work? Let’s have a look at the example of the transport tender that Coca Cola is sending to out logistics companies. It includes a clear message to suppliers that sustainability is one of the 3 key objectives of the tender. Via a bidsheet, suppliers can then offer prices for green solutions (rail, waterways, gas, biofuels, electric). This allows Coca Cola to transparently learn about and compare the extra costs of decarbonization measures with actual GHG savings.
On this basis, Coca Cola can discuss together with the suppliers on possible short and mid-term solutions. The decision making process is supported by formal calculations to weight tCO2e reduction vs oncost. Here, different alternative scenarios are created, which include the highest tCO2e reduction scenario, the cheapest scenario, and so on.
Conclusion: From easy to complex
The Transport Tender example shows how a simple question at the beginning evolves into more specific details and an ever finer process of collaboration and shared decision making as it progresses. This is exactly how every company should approach the process of decarbonizing its own supply chain. Because one thing is clear: the task is big and complex and can seem overwhelming at first. However, we are all still at the beginning of climate transformation and need to learn together step by step.
Start with the AI Supplier Screening
Through the use of AI, you can now quickly access data from public sources about your suppliers on a large scale, allowing you to better collaborate on decarbonization efforts. On top of that, you gain essential strategic insights about the climate maturity of your business partners and competitors.
Embark on your Scope 3 climate journey today! Together, we’ll pave the way for informed climate choices and a sustainable transformation that makes a real difference.