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world environment day 2014

Coke gives back 108.5bn liters of water

By Jenni Spinner+

05-Jun-2014
Last updated on 05-Jun-2014 at 17:42 GMT

Coca-Cola is looking to replenish 100% of the water it draws from global communities by 2020.
Coca-Cola is looking to replenish 100% of the water it draws from global communities by 2020.

Coca-Cola is boosting its sustainability profile by returning as much as 68% of the water it uses to the communities it was sipped from.

As part of its 2020 sustainability goals, Coca-Cola is working to replenish the water it draws from community supplies around the world. To date, the beverage giant reports it has returned nearly 109bn L of water, via more than 500 community water projects in more than 100 countries.

Global initiative

Beatriz Perez, chief sustainability officer for Coca-Cola, told FoodProductionDaily water stewardship is an important part of the company’s overall sustainability efforts.

By setting and working to meet our ambitious goals, we are effectively and responsibly managing the valuable resource on which our business relies," she said. ”We have seen a pervasive uptake across the entire Coca-Cola system with 80% percent of our business units on track or ahead of pace to meet their 2020 water replenishment goals.”

Coca-Cola endeavors to achieve 100% water replenishment by the 2020 deadline. Other sustainability goals include increasing market presence of its bio-based PlantBottle packaging and boosting sustainable sourcing of ingredients.

Water projects

Each of the more than 500 water replenishment projects works toward its own particular objectives. These include improving access to safe water and sanitation, safeguarding watersheds, promoting water conservation, and promoting awareness of vital water issues.

In India, for example, Coca-Cola established a goal to replenish more than 100% of the water it uses in its manufacturing operations across the country. The firm reports it has surpassed the goal, potentially replenishing more than 130% of the water drawn there through a range of initiatives.

Efficiency upgrades

Aside from the community water replenishment projects, Coca-Cola works to restore the balance by treating its wastewater to standards that meet or exceed local regulations, and to a level that supports aquatic life. Efficiency improvements also are part of the equation; the company reportedly boosted its performance by 21.4% from 2004 to 2012; its investment in efficiency boosting technology in the past decade stand at more than $1bn.

Last March, Coca-Cola opened the doors to a bottling plant in Trujillo, Peru. The LEED-certified plant reportedly supports the producer’s goal to be water-neutral (meaning, replenishing 100% of the water used) by 2015.