In 2002 the Coca-Cola Company used 3.12 liters of water to produce every liter of poduct. The company, which has captured the taste buds of drinkers worldwide used .57 megajoules of energy and averaged 12.54 grams of waste per liter of product. It’s no wonder that the Coke Kingdom has been less than popular among environmental groups.
With concern for the environment rising among pop culture, however, Coke’s pop has begun to lose its fizz with more than just special interest groups.
Since 2002 the Coke Kingdom has made some changes in order to become more sustainable. In India, the company has worked to offset their water usage by establishing local rainwater harvesting facilities. Over the last two years, Coke has installed 320 rainwater harvesting structures across 17 states in India.
Coke is not relying solely on trying to offset water usage though. The company has also taken steps to reduce the amount of water used in manufacturing their products. While 2002 found Coke using 3.12 liters of water per liter of product, 2008 punched in 2.47 liters of water to produce the same liter of fizzy fun. Coke is also working on returning all groundwater used in production back to the earth by this year.
But some areas of the global Coke kingdom are progressing faster than others. Coca-Cola Enterprise (CCE) is the world’s largest marketer, producer and distributor of Coca-Cola products. Operating in 46 U.S. states and Canada, they are also the exclusive Coca-Cola bottler for all of Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco and the Netherlands. CCE’s sales represent 16 percent of The Coca-Cola Company’s worldwide volume.
And it is this branch of the Coke Kingdom that is making the biggest splash. While Coke as a whole averaged 2.6 liters of water per liter of product in 2005, CCE was using 1.82 liters. Since that time, they have reduced the water use ration to 1.73 liters per liter of product, saving 301 million liters of water in the last three years.
While these small steps have been taken, they are just the beginning. CCE has recently made a commitment to reduce environmental impacts, calling it “Commitment 2020,” a plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 15 percent by 2020 as compared with the 2007 baseline. Water neutrality along with a commitment to maximize the use of renewable, reusable, and recyclable resources, while recovering the equivalent of 100 percent of their packaging also made it into the new “Commitment 2020” as well.
“Even during difficult economic times, our commitment to [Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS)] has never been stronger, and our quantifiable Commitment 2020 goals demonstrate the progress we are making on our journey,” said John F. Brock, chairman and chief executive officer.
But while progress is being made on the journey, there is so much more to be done. This commitment is no destination.
To view CCE’s CRS report, click here.
Photo Credit: sachman75 via flickr under Creative Commons License