Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has invested N$5.7 million towards the installation of 1,740 solar panels and nine solar inverters on the roof of the Coca-Cola Namibia Bottling Company (CCNBC), where it will derive nine percent of its factory’s power requirements.
According to the beverage maker, the investment by the company, will reduce its carbon emissions by 832 tonnes, which is equivalent to planting 80,117 trees.
“People matter. Our planet matters. Profitability is important, but not at any cost. CCBA has invested just over USD 388,000 (just over NAD 5.7 million) in this project and a feasibility study is currently being concluded for using solar power as a clean, sustainable, Distributed Energy Resource (DER) across nine of the 12 African countries in which we currently operate.” CCBA CEO, Jacques Vermeulen said during the inauguration.
“The project makes a compelling case for implementing solar powered systems at a number of sites across CCBA’s operations in at least three other countries.”
Aside from its investments in sustainable energy, the bottler has also invested towards the reduction of water usage in its production process.
“CCBA’s sustainability initiatives are aligned with the needs of the communities in which it operates. In this context, reliable access to good, safe water is essential to life, nature and the health of communities, especially in water-stressed countries such as Namibia. Through water efficiency initiatives and technologies, water usage across CCBA’s operations have decreased substantially over the past several years,” he said.
“The Coca-Cola system is targeting the use of1.7L of water to produce 1L of product across all operations by 2020. At CCNBC consumption has been reduced from 2.57L of water to produce 1L of product in 2015 to 1.59L in 2018.”
The company has also been a leading participant in the recycling of bottles and cans in the country.
“Together with The Coca-Cola Company, CCBA is leading the industry with a bold, ambitious goal: to help collect and recycle one bottle or can for every one sold by 2030. In support of the Government’s waste management objectives, CCNBC partners with Rent-a-Drum, a waste collection company, not only providing financial support but also branding a number of their vehicles to build awareness of the importance of recycling. 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. RNF plays a key role in education and awareness, particularly through their Schools Recycling Programme,” Vermeulen said.
“But CCNBC’s commitment goes beyond environmental stewardship. Last year, CCNBC, the Coca-Cola Foundation and Medshare International – a US-based humanitarian aid organisation – donated a container of medical supplies worth USD 500 000 for use in state medical facilities. CCBA’s vision is to refresh Africa every day and make our continent a better place for all. The newly-commissioned solar powered system, efforts to conserve water, waste management initiatives and community work – such as donations of medical equipment to those who need it most – are all ways in which CCBA is demonstrating the company’s commitment to Making Namibia Better.”
In an effort to mitigate the impact of water restrictions introduced by the City of Windhoek in 2016 to 30 to 40 percent, the company was forced to drill boreholes to meet its water requires, which it is a key ingredient in the manufacturing process of its products and build water storage tanks.
The installation of solar panels on company rooftops has been on the increase in Namibia, as companies move to reduce their reliance on the national grid.