Coke Extends Commitment to Reduce Carbon Footprint


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

4 thoughts on “Coke Extends Commitment to Reduce Carbon Footprint”

  1. Good to hear that corporate giants are finally taking some action, regardless of it been a publicity stunt or not.

    We need to see more participation from the corporate sector in this regard.

  2. Dear Sirs, Yesterday October 23 2009,the house passed h.r.3619 and seems to show that once again that previous legislation on ballast water passed by the house may have been just as Rep Oberstar has reportedly expressed “bullshit”. The following is from the House of Representatives discussion about again addressing ballast water with the latest Coast Guard Authorization Act.H.R.3619 on oct22. “Lastly, I am concerned with our inability to include language that would establish uniform national standards for vessel discharges, including ballast water. ”

    “I would like to talk briefly about a provision that was not included in this year’s bill, ballast water management”
    “Although I would have liked this bill to once again include a provision on ballast water management, I am cognizant that this provision may be one of the reasons this bill has been held up in the Senate.” It is sad they still do not mention the human pathogens associated with ballast dumping. Perhaps this is why the Senate can still consider this a states rights issue. As politicians wish to be treated with respect and decorum, history has proven that Senators can be for sale, and it only takes one Senator from a state that oil transportation and shipping of foreign goods plays an important part of their economy to hold ballast water regulations up on a states right issue.
    Sincerely, Don Mitchel

  3. Dear Sirs, It is important to remember that when addressing the Coast Guard about ballast water , that although sadly the military has found it necessary to intervene to protect America’s water from invasive species, human bacterial pathogens and virus being dumped in our water by domestic and international private enterprise, our country is a democracy. The largest elected legislative voice of the people has already spoken with overwhelming resolve. It was because one Senator, Senator Boxer believes that control of pathogens in water distributed by ballast dumping, capable of spreading to all Americans was a states rights issue. She did not want Federal policy to over ride her states rights. To understand her position you have to look at the time line for new standards that were passed with H.R.2830 vs. her states laws. As no action was taken by the Senate in 2008 and it is now close to 2010 her objections should have less relevance. To believe that because the Coast Guard is asking for public opinion through their forum that their decisions will reflect the wish’s of the American people is to not understand what our democracy is or should be.
    Don Mitchel

  4. I am happy to hear they are improving their environmental impact but there is still a lot more they can do.

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