Atlanta, October 30, 2008 – The Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), today announced ambitious new targets to improve water efficiency and reduce carbon emissions within its system-wide operations, while promoting sustainable agricultural practices and helping to conserve the world’s most important freshwater basins.
“Our sustainability as a business demands a relentless focus on efficiency in our use of natural resources. These performance targets are one way we are engaging to improve our management of water and energy,” said Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
“In this resource constrained world, successful businesses will find ways to achieve growth while using fewer resources,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF-US. “The Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to conservation responds to the imperative to solve the global water and climate crisis.”
The partnership, announced by WWF and The Coca-Cola Company in 2007 with $20 million in funding, has now been extended an additional two years (through 2012) with the Company providing $3.75 million in new funding.
The Coca-Cola Company also joined WWF’s Climate Savers program in which leading corporations from around the world work with WWF to dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. By 2010, Climate Savers companies will collectively cut carbon emissions by 14 million tons annually – the equivalent to taking more than 3 million cars off the road each year.
Water Efficiency -- Saving 50 billion liters in 2012
The Coca-Cola system will improve its water efficiency 20 percent by 2012, compared to a baseline year 2004. While water use is expected to increase as the business grows, this water efficiency target will eliminate approximately 50 billion liters of that increase in 2012.
To support this efficiency target, The Coca-Cola Company and WWF have developed a Water Efficiency Toolkit to help reduce water consumption within bottling plants. This software-based instruction manual has been distributed to managers and operators throughout the Coca-Cola system, providing strategies to shrink the water footprint of their operations.
Climate Protection -- Preventing 2 million tons of CO2emissions
The Company has set two emissions reduction targets: 1) grow the business, not the carbon system-wide and 2) a 5 percent absolute reduction in Annex 1 (developed) countries. The emissions targets apply to manufacturing operations in the year 2015 compared to a baseline year of 2004.
The Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers anticipate substantial volume growth globally during this period, thus growing the business without growing the carbon is a significant commitment. Without intervention, emissions would grow proportional to volume and reach 7.3 million metric tons in 2015. Thus, the global commitment will prevent the release of more than 2 million metric tons of CO2 in 2015 – the equivalent of planting 600,000 acres of trees.
Supply Chain Sustainability
The Coca-Cola Company also will work with WWF to promote more sustainable agricultural practices in an effort to reduce the impact of its supply chain on water resources. This work will initially focus on sugarcane production. The Coca-Cola Company and WWF are working with the Better Sugarcane Initiative to establish standards, evaluate suppliers and set goals for the purchase of sugar. The Coca-Cola Company will identify two additional commodities on which to work in 2009.
The Coca-Cola system and WWF are working together to conserve some of the world’s most important freshwater resources, including the Yangtze, Mekong, Danube, Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, Lakes Niassa and Chiuta, the Mesoamerican Reef catchments, and the rivers and streams in the southeastern region of the United States. More than a dozen production plants and /or bottlers in the areas surrounding these rivers are developing and implementing water stewardship plans to serve as models throughout the Coca-Cola system.
“Water and energy conservation are areas where we can truly make a difference. Last year, we set a goal to return to communities and to nature an amount of water equal to what we use in our beverages and their production. These targets support our work to achieve that goal,” said Kent. “The expansion of our partnership with WWF demonstrates our shared dedication to achieving large-scale results, and a grounded understanding that collaboration is key if we are to help address the world’s water challenges.”