Environmental regulations and sustainable developments are forcing industries to assess, optimize and improve their processes to minimize costs and increase the efficiency of industrial sustainability dimension. This effect is more evident in the food industries due to the high impact that this sector has on environmental and economical sustainability, considering the primary role of packaging systems, the huge water consumption both for the production and the cleaning processes or the energy utilization related to the treatment plant or to the raw material production. Thus, the aim of this study was to review the current state of soft drink supply chains with respect to industrial sustainability issues.
For this reason, a comprehensive literature review was performed to understand what sustainable best practices and key performance indicators are largely applied to soft drink supply chains and then a comparison with two soft drink case studies was proposed to identify if there is a positive correlation between the literature and practical activities. The proposed case studies were thoroughly analyzed highlighting how the production process impacts on sustainability and pointing out potential best practices and key performance indicators. The key conclusion of this study is, on the one hand, to depict the current set of sustainable best practices and key performance indicators which companies performed according to the literature review and, therefore, revise the actual body of the literature, and, on the other hand, to figure out which of these best (or proper) practices and key performance indicators are also implemented in the real world, helping companies to make decisions.