C&C Group plc, a leading vertically integrated premium drinks company which manufactures, markets and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across the UK and Ireland, is pleased to announce its collaboration with sustainable research company, Footprint Intelligence (‘Footprint’), to create the first ever Drinks Industry Sustainability Index – Trends Report 2020.

The report 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. Footprint’s analysis and evaluation highlights that the Drinks Industry score lags considerably behind other sectors in which they also publish the Trends Report – Sustainability Indices.

Consistent with our key values, environmental responsibility and sustainable operating practices have increasingly shaped the way C&C operates. All key raw materials for our beer and cider brands are sourced locally. The Group is committed to an ambitious target of being 100% carbon-neutral by 2025 – a full 25 years ahead of the UK’s carbon neutral target. C&C is also on course to remove all single-use plastics from its consumer packaging by 2021. 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
  • Understanding how a proactive approach to managing waste can enhance brand stories
  • Encouraging policy makers to support the establishment of greater recycling infrastructure
  • Consider our water usage in a global context
  • Using science when setting CO2 targets
  • Understand how the plant-based explosion and low alcohol trends are impacting the drinks industry

Pat Morrissey, C&C Group plc Operations Director, commented: “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. 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.

Download the report (pdf)