The Coca-Cola Company Releases Annual Environmental Report
The Coca-Cola Company today announced the release of its 2006 Environmental Performance report, documenting the Company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. Results were reported in three principal areas of environmental responsibility: water stewardship, sustainable packaging and energy and climate protection.
The report includes data gathered from 775 facilities around the world, representing 94 percent of the Coca-Cola system’s sales volume in 2006.
“We are pleased to show progress in our efforts to continuously improve our environmental performance,” said Jeff Seabright, vice president, Environment and Water Resources, The Coca-Cola Company. “We know what has sustained our Company for our first 12 decades will not be sufficient for the future, and we recognize our success, and the future of the communities where we operate, are impacted by the actions we take today.”
Highlights of the Company’s environmental performance during 2006 as outlined in the report include:
Global Water Stewardship
As sales volume increased 4 percent, the system achieved a 3 percent improvement in water use efficiency. Coca-Cola plants used an average of 2.52 liters of water to make one liter of beverage, as compared to 2.59 liters in 2005 and 2.72 in 2004. Since 2002, the Coca-Cola system has improved water use efficiency by more than 19 percent.
In 2006, 83 percent of Coca-Cola facilities met the Company’s wastewater standard. While water is treated currently to comply with local regulations and standards, the Company has wastewater treatment standards that are more stringent than applicable laws in many parts of the world. The Company has committed to achieve 100 percent compliance by the end of 2010.
Working in partnership with a host of non-governmental organizations and government agencies, Coca-Cola has established nearly 70 community-based water initiatives in 40 countries, such as rainwater harvesting projects in India. The Company also continues to support the Global Water Challenge, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation which supports projects that provide safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education in the developing world.
Additionally, the Company co-developed a comprehensive water efficiency tool box with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2006 which will be used throughout its global system to benchmark data to set specific water-efficiency goals.
The Company’s efforts in the area of sustainable packaging focus on using less and re-using more. At present, the majority of the Company’s primary packaging is returnable, bulk or made from commonly recycled materials like aluminum, PET, and glass. In 2006, the Coca-Cola system advanced its sustainable design efforts (known as e3) which focus on improving efficiency, lifecycle effectiveness and eco-innovation of the Company’s packaging. These efforts led to a reduction in weight and improvement of the impact resistance of the Company’s most recognizable package – the glass contour bottle. This initiative saved 89,000 metric tons of glass last year alone, the carbon dioxide equivalent of planting more than 13,000 acres of trees.
In late 2006, The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. established Coca-Cola Recycling LLC to address the growing opportunities related to recycling in the United States. The Coca-Cola system also recently began building a global online inventory of primary, secondary and transport package systems by sales and weight. This database will allow the Company to measure performance more effectively and assess progress toward longer term goals.
The Coca-Cola system also continued to invest in closed loop recycling plants. In 2006, Coca-Cola Beverages Austria finalized a €15 million investment partnership to build the country’s first bottle-to-bottle recycling plant. The plant, which will begin operations in 2007, will have capacity to provide 6,000 tons of recycled PET plastic material for use in new bottles.
Energy and Climate Protection
The Coca-Cola system’s primary energy and climate impact is due to vending machines and coolers, manufacturing and fleet/transport. In 2006, the Coca-Cola system experienced a 10 percent increase in total energy use, due in part to its expanding global operations in less developed nations and the types of beverages produced. Despite this increase and the fact that year-to-year improvements have leveled off, the Company’s energy and climate protection performance overall has improved significantly, with a 16 percent improvement in the system’s energy use efficiency since 2002.
The Coca-Cola system has made continual progress in efforts to employ commercially viable HFC-free refrigeration technologies. In 2006, the Company announced it had achieved the conversion to HFC-free insulation for more than 1,300 models of refrigeration equipment, representing over 98 percent of the new equipment the system purchases. The Company also continued to invest in carbon dioxide refrigeration. By the end of 2006, 6,000 units with carbon dioxide refrigeration had been placed in markets throughout the world.
The Company also continued to address energy consumption of refrigeration equipment. By the end of 2006, approximately 200,000 units of a proprietary Energy Management System had been placed in the system. The combined annual energy reduction associated with this technology is estimated to be more than 250 million kilowatt-hours, with a corresponding greenhouse gas reduction of more than 100,000 metric tons.
About the Annual Environmental Report
The report was independently reviewed and verified by environmental auditors BECO Group, following the ISO 19011 general principles of environmental auditing and audit procedures for international standards. The company also applied principles of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the AA1000 assurance framework.
The report, as well as more information and case studies on Coca-Cola‘s environmental efforts, are available at www.environment.coca-cola.com.
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company. Along with the Coca-Cola® trademark, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world’s top five nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands, including Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Fanta® and Sprite® beverages, and a wide range of other non-alcoholic beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate exceeding 1.4 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
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