BY: ONOME AMUGE
The Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (NBC) has commenced an expanded investment plan and transition towards renewable energy sources as a way of accelerating the delivery of its net zero commitment targeted at minimising the environmental effects of energy emissions in host communities.
The company, part of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Group (CCHBC), has also initiated a set of sustainability commitments ahead of 2025 that address six major areas including the reduction of emissions, improvement in water use and stewardship, working towards a world without waste, better ingredients sourcing, improved nutrition, and sustainable relationship with people and communities.
Matthew Segun, managing director, NBC Limited, disclosed this during a guided tour of the company’s plant in Lagos, and noted that the existing renewable energy installations now translate to an annual carbon footprint reduction of over 3,600 tonnes, with the capacity for expansion in the future.
Highlighting NBC’s environmental commitments, Segun explained that one of the major challenges facing sustainable manufacturing are carbon emissions from non-renewable energy sources, noting that the company has mainstreamed sustainability into every aspect of its operations to address the challenges.
“We have taken this challenge of climate change heads-on and over the years, have been investing in solutions which have enabled us to make significant advancements in our focus areas of energy use reduction, water use reduction, emissions reduction, and waste generation reduction,” he said.
The company commenced the process of evolving all of its manufacturing plants to be powered in part by renewable solar energy since 2020, and currently 50 percent of its manufacturing plants are now powered in part by solar energy with the photovoltaic cells delivering up to 3,640-Kilowatt peak power output (KWp) to the facilities, the NBC CEO disclosed.
He noted that the hybrid power set-up in the NBC plants enables the company to substitute the national power grid and generator backups to the extent of available solar generated power, thereby reducing the consumption of power from less environmentally friendly sources.
“The four manufacturing plants which have since gone live with this technology are located in Maiduguri, Abuja, Asejire in Oyo State and Challawa, Kano,” he stated.
Segun also disclosed that further installations will continue through 2022, across the eight manufacturing plants spread across the country, including Ikeja plant which he described as the biggest Coca-Cola manufacturing facility in Africa, to ensure even more sustainable growth across the NBC ecosystem.
“By the end of 2022, when the solar power installations would have been implemented in our four remaining manufacturing plants in Ikeja, Benin, Owerri and Port Harcourt, we will, overall, be powering our manufacturing operations with up to 15,947 KWp from solar energy, which is equivalent to the power required to power over 2,170 standard three-bedroom homes,” he added.
Speaking further on the positive outcome of the project, he said it has resulted in a direct impact on reduced emissions, adding that over 167,000 trees have been saved, 300 jobs created, with an additional 480 jobs forecasted to be created in support of the system in 2022.