Coca Cola receiving their award Photo: Supplied
DURBAN - Coca Cola has received top honours at the Massmart Supplier Environmental Awards for their work in ensuring environmentally sustainable practices. 

The awards honour local Massmart suppliers for their commitment and exceptional performance in the implementation of business practices that are environmentally sustainable.

The top performing suppliers for Massmart were acknowledged for their commitment to sustainable supply chain management. This was followed the announcement of the 2017 overall winner. 

Coca-Cola Beverages Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) have worked with Mpact to create Africa's first Coca-Cola approved food grade rPet ( recycled  polyethylene terephthalate) recycling plant.

The plant has the capacity to recycle 21000 tonnes of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in a year.  CCBSA has also implemented  the  Coca-Cola Beverages school plastics programme. The programme has  grown from 68 tonnes per annum in 2011 to more than 1150 tonnes in 2017. This goes towards supplying the new rPET recycling plant. 

CCBSA has also had a 30% reduction in water consumption and a 60% reduction in energy use per litre of product produced over the past seven years. 

Massmart Group Sustainability Manager Alex Haw said that as retailers, their aim is for customers to be able to walk into our stores and trust that due consideration has gone into ensuring that the products on the shelves are produced sustainably and a sourced responsibly. 

For the first time Woodlands Dairy and Samsung also received special recognition at the awards. The dairy was honoured for being in the dairy industry to implement an integrated wastewater treatment plant and biogas boiler. This allowed them to decrease reliance on municipal water by 45% and has aided in a 78% drop in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Electronics company Samsung was recognised for their contribution to e-waste recycling through their support of the South Africa's post-consumer e-waste takeback programme.  Haw said that the suppliers have been recognised are at the awards for have been outstanding in their efforts to incorporate sustainable practices in the way that they run their businesses. 

The finalists of the awards were chosen based on an environmental self-assessment survey, stakeholder input from environmental NGO's and and visits to the site to verify their survey feedback. 

View the full list of finalists below: 
1. Belgotex Floors
2. DGB
3. Distell
4. Nestlé
5. Villiera Wines
6. Woodlands Dairy
7. Sea Harvest
8. Sappi
9. Mondi