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In order to help give back to the communities in which it operates, Swire Coca-Cola USA, Draper, Utah, partnered with several organizations to aid in the safe return of water to the areas. The bottler partnered with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Trout Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy to support three restoration projects.
The first, located in Utah’s Chalk Creek watershed, was completed in June 2013. It removed a fish migration barrier, opened up approximately 23 miles of stream habitat, and helped conserve water by upgrading an irrigation system for a local rancher. This collaborative effort will restore stream flows of up to 11 million liters to the lower quarter-mile of the South Fork of Chalk Creek, the company says.
A second project on the upper Bear River will ensure safe passage for Bonneville Cutthroat Trout and restore several miles of river and riparian habitat, providing stream flows during a critical time of the year. Funded partly by Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co., modernized irrigation diversions and fish screens will protect thousands of juvenile Bonneville Cutthroat Trout that previously would have been trapped in canals, according to Swire. This project will restore up to 3.86 billion liters of water to the river annually.
At Jesse Creek, located in the source watershed for Swire’s Fruitland, Idaho, production plant, Swire has supported a project led by The Nature Conservancy that reconnects natural stream flow to a section of the creek that has been dewatered for decades. Rejuvenated water flow should allow up to 1 billion liters to pass through the previously dewatered section of the creek. Currently under way, this project will balance the amount of water used in the Fruitland plant with an equal amount of water flowing through the newly restored Jesse Creek channel. This creates an opportunity for Swire to reconnect water flow to a dewatered ecosystem and support environmental restoration activities, it says. The project will be completed in the fall of 2014.
“We are pleased to announce the progress we have made to protect the environment and give back to nature the amount of water we use in our operations,” said Jack Pelo, president and chief executive officer of Swire Coca-Cola, in a statement. “It truly is amazing what we can accomplish when we work together.”
Todd Reeve, chief executive officer of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, added: “These remarkable projects demonstrate to landowners, water rights holders and other stakeholders that [non-governmental organizations] and irrigators can work together to produce win-win results. The projects will restore in-stream flows, help native fish populations, and improve irrigation systems to benefit ranchers and rural economies.”
Additionally, Swire’s 585,000-square-foot headquarters and distribution center in Draper, Utah, recently achieved LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, it announced.