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The Coca-Cola Company Releases 2004 Environmental Review; Reports Gains in Water, Packaging and Energy Efficiency

Submitted by: Coca-Cola Company, The

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Oct 18, 2005 – 12:00 AM EST


Global Water Initiative and Risk Assessment Among Key Programs

ATLANTA - The Coca-Cola Company has released its third annual report on the environment, documenting progress in company and bottler operations that have improved water use ratios, increased energy efficiency and improved recycling efforts. These efforts are part of The Coca-Cola Company's commitment to environmental stewardship while growing its global business.

"This report shows that we are serious about our commitment to the environment," said Jeff Seabright, vice president, Environment & Water Resources. "We are changing the way we operate to use less water, less energy, and fewer raw materials, while improving our business efficiency. These changes make business sense and sense for the planet. We still have much to do, but our progress last year is documented in this report."

The 2004 Environmental Report focuses on three main areas of The Coca-Cola Company's operations and environmental impacts: Water Stewardship, Packaging Design, and Energy Efficiency and Climate Change.

Improving Water Stewardship and Water Use Efficiency:

  • Improved water use efficiency globally by more than 6%. In 2003, it took 2.90 liters of water to make one liter of beverage; last year it required just 2.72 liters of water to produce one liter of beverage.
  • Responded to the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December, providing more than $20 million in assistance, including key provisions of drinking water and transport. The Company earmarked $1 million additional for sustainable development of water infrastructure. A partnership with the United Nations Foundation, and employee contributions, doubled this amount to $2 million.
  • Announced a three-year, $2 million grant in support of the World Wildlife Fund's freshwater conservation fund, working to restore five critical freshwater systems in the United States.
  • Established rainwater harvesting programs at almost all Company plants in India, and initiated partnerships to set up rainwater harvesting projects in communities across the country.
The Coca-Cola Global Water Initiative: The Global Water Initiative is a collaborative project between The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners to establish a clear road map for the Coca-Cola system on water resources management. Key elements include:

A Global Water Risk Assessment - a detailed, first of its kind study of water issues at local, national and global levels--to help understand the water risks facing our business and communities where we operate.

A Scarcity Snapshot - A map of water availability at the sub-national level overlaid with locations of all our plants worldwide, showing the relative production volume and water use ratio for each facility.

Comprehensive surveys of each operation - Studying water sources, management, and quality; wastewater treatment; and community watershed issues.

These major water use assessments will provide a basis for developing solutions in three key areas:

Operational Excellence in efficient water use and wastewater treatment;
Technological innovation, to enhance water management in our operations and in surrounding communities;
Community and watershed partnerships, with local and international partners, to address local water issues.

"Water scarcity is a major public health concern, and one of the leading environmental issues," said Seabright "We are undertaking programs to improve water supply and quality in all the areas where we operate around the world, and to call global attention to this problem."

Packaging Design, Reuse, and Solid Waste Reduction:

  • Waste generation has fallen from 12.22 grams per unit of product in 2003 to 11.67 in 2004, a reduction of 4.5%.
  • Developed a new Ultra Glass Technology that is 14% more efficient in production, 20% lighter, and 50% stronger.
Global Packaging Strategy:
In 2004, the Company launched a new initiative to develop a common, worldwide framework for managing environmental packaging issues and maintaining global leadership in sustainable packaging. Areas of focus include examining the financial and environmental impacts of our packages throughout their entire lifecycle--from development and design, to manufacturing and distribution, to customer use and disposal or reuse.

Recent eco-design efforts have focused primarily on The Company's largest consumer packaging stream--PET plastic. The Company is working with industry and regulators to establish clearer "design-for-recycling" guidelines. The Company also continues to make recycling of its PET plastic easier by using recycling friendly caps, labels, adhesives and colors.

Energy Efficiency and Climate Change:
In June 2000, The Company committed that our equipment will be 40 to 50 percent more energy efficient by 2010 than the equipment in place in 2000. In 2004, the Company reports:

  • Reduced average energy use from 0.54 megajoules per liter of product in 2003 to 0.53 megajoules per liter of product in 2004;
  • Working with our Brazilian partners, The Company has launched a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using alternative fuels--now a fleet of 140 trucks in Sao Paulo is running on 5% biodiesel (made of castor beans and soybeans).
eKOFreshment Initiative
To fight global climate change, The Coca-Cola Company established the goal of developing HFC (hydrofluorocarbons)-free refrigerants. HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases. Coca-Cola and its partners have invested more than $30 million in this project, and thus far developed a CO2-based refrigerant that by 2010 will emit 700,000 fewer tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars of the road.

"Taken together, our water, packaging and climate change programs represent a commitment to improving the environment," said Seabright. "Environmental stewardship is central to our vision of good corporate citizenship."

The Coca-Cola Company 2004 Environment Report will be available at

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Every day, more than 1 billion servings of the Company's wide range of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages refresh people in over 200 countries around the world. The Coca-Cola Company has long been committed to using our resources and capabilities to help improve the quality of life in the communities where we operate. Through strategic partnerships with public, private and governmental organizations we strive to create value in the marketplace, enrich the workplace, preserve and protect our environment and make a positive difference and effective contribution to our shared world. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our web site

For more information, please contact:

Judith Snyder
Phone: (404) 676-2683


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