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Coca-Cola to focus on energy efficiency in developing countries

By Guy Montague-Jones , 08-Feb-2011

Coca-Cola Company plans to concentrate on improving energy efficiency at its manufacturing plants in developing countries this year as the company works towards its 2012 sustainability goals.

In its sustainability report for 2009/2010, Coca-Cola gave an overview of its progress across seven areas of sustainability stretching from community to energy efficiency.

A company spokesperson told this publication that Coca-Cola is more or less on target to meet its various aims. Lisa Manley said: “We are largely on track with our goals, but certainly have plenty of work to do maintain our progress.”

Improving energy efficiency

One of its key sustainability pledges is to improve its energy efficiency so the company can grow its business to 2015 against a 2004 baseline without increasing emissions.

Between 2004 and 2009 Coca-Cola said it has reduced its emissions in developed countries by 8 per cent. However total emissions have grown 12 per cent as total unit case volume has increased 23 per cent.

That leaves significant work to be done in faster growing, emerging markets to improve efficiency and cut emissions.

Manley said: “One area of targeted focus in 2011 will be energy efficiency in our manufacturing operations in developing countries.”

Water use goals

Alongside its work on energy efficiency, Coca-Cola aims to improve its water efficiency with the long-term goal of replenishing an amount of water equivalent to what is used in all finished beverages by 2020.

In the meantime, the company is working towards a 2012 goal of improving its water use ratio by 20 per cent from a 2004 base line to 2.16 litres of water per litre of product produced by 2012.

Coca-Cola is a little behind on this target but remains confident that it can accelerate progress over the next two years to meet it. Since 2004 it has achieved an average annual increase in water effeciency of 2.7 per cent; to meet the 2012 target that improvement rate must rise to 2.85 per cent.

Other highlights from the latest sustainability report include:

  • $100m in savings in 2009 from reducing the amount of packaging used by 85,000 metric tons
  • Supported the direct recovery of 36 percent of the Coca-Cola bottles and cans placed into the market. The goal is to increase that figure to 50 per cent by 2015.
  • PlantBottle – a recyclable plant-based bottle launched in 2009. The plan is to use the technology in all bottles by 2020.
  • Launched more than 180 low- and no-calorie drinks in 2009