Coca-Cola has announced a new set of environmental goals, including returning 100 percent of the water from its manufacturing facilities back to the environment at a level that supports aquatic life by 2020.
Coca-Cola says it is extending its nearly decade-long partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to achieve these new conservation and performance targets, promoting the integration of nature’s value into decision-making processes and convening influential partners to help solve shared global environmental challenges.
Under the renewed and expanded partnership, Coca-Cola and WWF jointly developed new sustainability goals for the Coca-Cola system — the Company and its nearly 300 bottling partners in more than 200 countries.
These goals include:
1. Improve water efficiency by 25%. Coca-Cola will improve its water use efficiency per liter of product produced through operational advancements throughout the Coca-Cola system. This target complements the 21.4 percent improvement in water use efficiency achieved from 2004 through 2012.
2. Help ensure healthy, resilient freshwater systems. Coca-Cola and WWF will expand their joint conservation efforts to 11 key regions across five continents, including river basins of the Amazon, Koshi, Mekong, Rio Grande/Bravo, Yangtze and Zambezi; the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef and Mesoamerican Reef; and key regions in the Amur-Heilong, Atlantic Forests and Northern Great Plains.
3. Reduce CO2 emissions embedded in ‘the drink in your hand’ by 25%. Coca-Cola will work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions across its entire value chain, making comprehensive carbon footprint reductions across its manufacturing processes, packaging formats, delivery fleet, refrigeration equipment and ingredient sourcing.
4. Responsibly source material for PlantBottle packaging. Coca-Cola will work with WWF to assess the environmental and social performance of plant-based materials for potential use in its PlantBottle packaging. This will enable the Company to meet its goal to use up to 30 percent plant-based material for all its PET plastic bottles by 2020.
5. Sustainably source key agricultural ingredients. Coca-Cola will work to sustainably source its key ingredients, including sugarcane, sugar beet, corn, tea, coffee, palm oil, soy, pulp and paper fiber, and orange. Coca-Cola also has established Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles and will work with WWF to implement the guidelines throughout the Coca-Cola system for these commodities. In addition, Coca-Cola is also working to sustainably source lemon, grape, apple and mango.
“We are witnessing unprecedented demands on natural resources around the world. Continuing with business as usual puts everything at risk, including the viability of business,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund. “These problems can only be solved by working together, and our work with Coca-Cola has proven that collaboration can amplify and accelerate the impact we need.”
Since 2007, The Coca-Cola Company and WWF have worked together to conserve and protect freshwater resources around the world while helping to improve the efficiency of Coca-Cola’s global operations. To date, the partnership has led to major conservation gains, including helping to improve the ecological health of seven of the world’s most important freshwater basins across five continents, helping improve the Coca-Cola system’s water efficiency by 20 percent, working to prevent 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions across Coca-Cola’s global manufacturing operations, and promoting more sustainable agricultural practices in the Company’s supply chain.
Coca-Cola and Britvic, along with half of the UK’s foremost soft drink producers and suppliers, recently joined the Soft Drink Sustainability Roadmap, a supply chain study designed to reduce the environmental footprint of soft drink products
Earlier this year, Coca-Cola was one of the first companies to achieve the Carbon Trust Water Standard, which is awarded to organizations that measure water input from mains supply, surface and groundwater abstraction and rainwater collection; measure water output as a trade effluent; attain a minimum score of 60 percent on a qualitative water governance, measurement and management assessment; and show long-term reductions in water inputs and wastewater.