Coca-Cola saving water, energy through corporate sustainability strategies
WOWW Research Assistant José Boyed (far left) and Emily Cikanek (far right) prepare to get a tour of Coca-Cola's Niles bottling plant, to see firsthand how the company is saving water and energy through a comprehensive corporate sustainability plan. Photo Credit: Emily Cikanek
For more than 125 years, Coca-Cola has been “refreshing the world” with its products, some 3,500 beverages, including its namesake soda as well as more unique offerings such as Andina Juice distributed in Chile and Burn energy drink in Africa. Because water is a major ingredient in nearly every one of the brand’s soft drinks, conserving this natural resource while maintaining exceptional product quality poses a serious challenge. By creating and tracking progress toward a comprehensive set of sustainability goals, which play a critical role in the company’s mission and day-to-day operations, Coca-Cola is rising to the challenge.
Considering the scope of the brand and its worldwide influence – together with its bottling partners, Coca-Cola ranks among the world’s top 10 employers with more than 700,000 employees worldwide, 2,300 of them in Illinois – it’s no easy feat. On a tour of the Niles, Ill., bottling center, What Our Water’s Worth got a first-hand look at the green (and blue) side of this global company.
The WOWW Factor
Gallons of water Coca-Cola has saved in the U.S. since 2005 through water efficiency improvements at their facilities.
The number of liters of water that has been replenished to communities and nature through locally relevant Community Water Partnership projects, representing 35 percent of water used in the company’s finished beverages.
Number of U.S. executives who say their organization has a formal sustainability strategy in place, according to a 2011 KPMG International study, Corporate Sustainability: A progress report. Another 12 percent say they are working on a strategy and an additional 19 percent expect to eventually develop a formal plan.
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