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The Coca-Cola system in Bulgaria recycles 96% of waste generated in its production process

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In 2019, the water consumption was reduced by a record 5%, and 1,500 employees invested nearly 7,000 hours in volunteering

A 0.6% share in the country’s GDP, record-breaking reduction of water consumption, and thousands of hours of volunteering are only a part of the highlights in the Sustainability and Socio-Еconomic Impact Report of the Coca-Cola System in Bulgaria in 2019.

"Coca-Cola has been in Bulgaria for 55 years, and with each passing year, our achievements and our contribution to the economy in the country become more impressive. We are proud that the Coca-Cola System supports an added value of BGN 654 million, totaling 0.6% of Bulgaria’s GDP. For each BGN spent on a Coca-Cola drink, BGN 0.70  remain in the local economy. The System supports 16,200 workplaces across the value chain, which is approx. 0.5% of the entire employment. Led by our drive for continuous growth, in 2019, we opened the largest bottling line for PET bottles among all 28 countries in the Coca-Cola Hellenic Group – in our production center in Kostinbrod. 1,500 of our colleagues donated nearly 7,000 hours of volunteering to causes they believe in, shares Juerg Burkhalter, General Manager of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Bulgaria.

Coca-Cola's connection with Bulgaria has a strong historical character. Bulgaria is the first country beyond the Iron Curtain to start producing the legendary drink 55 years ago, but also the first one to be allowed to write the brand name in Cyrillic on the label. Today, The Coca-Cola System in Bulgaria consists of five globally significant legal entities. These include local production and marketing, as well as outsourced IT, accounting and HR services. Our socio-economic impact in the country is also emphasized by our programs in support of local communities, environmental protection and transparency to our consumers. Every day we follow our mission not only to refresh the world, but also to contribute to a better shared future in a sustainable way, often even exceeding the regulatory requirements in the sector. In response to the growing desire of each of us for a healthier lifestyle and in support of the EC's efforts to raise consumer awareness, in late 2018 and early 2019 we voluntarily introduced a color code on the packaging of Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite, which understandably represents the exact percentage of sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat in the products. We believe that with our internal principles we are setting the right example for the entire industry in the name of a better shared future" says Evelyne De Leersnyder, General Manager of Coca-Cola Bulgaria.

Contribution to the local economy

The socio-economic impact of companies within the Coca-Cola System in our country is equal to a contribution of 0.6% of the country’s GDP, or in other words – each BGN 1 spent on Coca-Cola drinks leads to BGN 0.70 revenue for Bulgaria. In 2019, the two production plants in Kostinbrod and Bankya manufactured 364 million liters of beverages, and the System purchased goods and services worth  BGN 127 million from domestic suppliers.

The System pays BGN 51 million in taxes and supports BGN 250 million indirectly. The amount equals 1% of Bulgaria’s tax income or the annual educational expenses of more than 102 000 students.

Nearly 3,000 people work within the Coca-Cola System in Bulgaria, which supports 16,200 jobs across the value chain, or in other words, each job in it supports 5 jobs elsewhere.

Production and supply chain

A record-breaking reduction of water consumption was achieved in 2019 – by 5% compared to the previous year, equal to 29 million liters of water saved, or the average annual consumption of drinking water of over 800 Bulgarians. On the other hand, 43 million liters of water equal to the consumption of the households of Kostinbrod for 38 days, was re-used in the production process.

The percentage of recycled waste generated in the production process reached 96%, and every third drink consumed generates nearly no waste.

Investments in the local market are emphasized as well – Bulgarian suppliers make up 70.8% of the company’s total expenses on suppliers, and 94% of ingredient sources are from the Bulgarian or the European market.

Support for the communities

In keeping with the Coca-Cola System’s long-term priorities to support local communities, over 1,500 employees invested 6,940 hours in volunteer causes related to youth education and cleaner environment. This is equal to 767 business days or one employee’s working hours for 3 and a half years.

96 employees donated time and effort to the #YouthEmpowered program (implemented in partnership with Junior Achievement Bulgaria) and the development of young people’s potential and their preparation for a successful career path. A total of 2,915 youths aged 16 to 26 from 18 settlements received training within the program to improve their performance.

The full text of the report is available here.

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