Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has launched a new industry research partnership with Cranfield University entitled Sustainable Manufacturing for the Future. The study will take place over the next six months with researchers set to deliver their findings in autumn 2015.

The project was announced at the same time as CCE unveiled its plans to invest £66m into its operations this year, surpassing the £1m a week it injected in 2014 and bringing total investment by the business to nearly £300m over the last five years.

CCE’s partnership with Cranfield University, chosen for its strong credentials and dedicated sustainable manufacturing team, is part of CCE’s commitment to advance its business and the broader food and drink industry in all areas of operational efficiency. The study will investigate the current sustainability landscape across the supply chain, investigating topics such as resource security, the circular economy, sustainable technologies and waste management. It will also look to the future, forming a vision of what a sustainable factory will look like in 2050.

A roundtable event was held at CCE’s Milton Keynes factory yesterday, hosted by representatives from both CCE and Cranfield University. A number of leading academics and industry experts attended the launch to debate the key topics impacting the sustainability landscape today, and those we anticipated in the years to come.

Steve Adams, Group Director of Supply Chain Operations, at Coca-Cola Enterprises GB, said: “We are excited to be embarking on this journey with Cranfield, as we look to the future of sustainable manufacturing in our industry. At CCE we take our responsibilities in this area very seriously and we are constantly looking for new ways to progress and improve, which is why we have again pledged to invest significantly across our operations this year.

“We view the research project as a collaborative effort, and will look to involve our industry peers as we assess the findings from Cranfield, starting with the knowledge-sharing session held at our Milton Keynes facility today.”

CCE’s latest investment will go towards a range of efficiency and operational upgrades across all of the company’s GB sites this year, in areas such as automation and water treatment. Individual plans and projects will be revealed in due course.

Mark Jolly, Professor of Sustainable Manufacturing at Cranfield University, added: “This is an exciting opportunity for Cranfield researchers to share their expertise in sustainable manufacturing processes, systems and business models in order to help CCE in their mission to achieve best-in-world manufacturing for the future. We hope that Cranfield’s cross-sector vision and experience as well as its extensive network of contacts will be invaluable for CCE in its vision for lower energy, reduced materials usage and lowest CO2 footprint in its manufacturing plants. During this project CCE will support a number of masters’ research projects. Working with large companies such as CCE also gives our students an enhanced experience with real opportunities for development of their skills thus making them highly employable.”

Professor Mark Jolly with Coca-Cola representatives
Professor Mark Jolly with Coca-Cola representatives

Notes for editors

Any companies or individuals looking to participate in the Sustainable Manufacturing for the Future study are invited to join the discussion with CCE and Cranfield. 

For an opportunity to contribute to the research please contact or tweet @CokeCCE using the hashtag #futurefactorycce.  

About Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd

Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE) is the world's third-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. CCE is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

In Great Britain, Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd employs some 4,000 people across England, Scotland and Wales at manufacturing sites and depots.

CCE is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its products and operations, with a particular focus on sustainable packaging and recycling, water stewardship, and energy and climate protection.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Management Doctoral Training Centre

This higher research degree is associated with our Management Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). The Management DTC encompasses 13 management themes representing core areas of expertise relevant to practising managers.

A tailored programme of seminars and events alongside the generic core skills training programme, provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities with Cranfield’s wider research community.