Beverage Industry

Coca-Cola, World Wildlife Fund expand partnership

Companies set new environmental goals

July 9, 2013

The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Washington, D.C., announced new global environmental goals and an expanded global partnership to advance The Coca-Cola Co.’s sustainability stewardship. The new 2020 environmental sustainability goals for the Coca-Cola system, which includes the company and its nearly 300 bottling partners in more than 200 countries, include the following:

  • Improve water efficiency by 25 percent. The Coca-Cola Co. will improve its water use efficiency per liter of product produced through operational advancements throughout the Coca-Cola system. This target complements the 21.4 percent improvement in water use efficiency achieved from 2004 through 2012.
  • Help ensure healthy, resilient freshwater systems. The Coca-Cola Co. and WWF will expand their joint conservation efforts to 11 key regions across five continents, including the basins of the Amazon, Koshi, Mekong, Rio Grande/Bravo, Yangtze and Zambezi rivers; the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef and Mesoamerican Reef; and key regions in the Amur-Heilong, Atlantic Forests and Northern Great Plains.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions embedded in “the drink in your hand” by 25 percent. The Coca-Cola Co. will work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions across its entire value chain, making comprehensive carbon footprint reductions across its manufacturing processes, packaging formats, delivery fleet, refrigeration equipment and ingredient sourcing.  
  • Responsibly source material for PlantBottle packaging. The Coca-Cola Co. will work with WWF to assess the environmental and social performance of plant-based materials for potential use in its PlantBottle packaging. This will enable the company to meet its goal to use up to 30 percent plant-based material for all its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles by 2020.
  • Sustainably source key agricultural ingredients. The Coca-Cola Co. will work to sustainably source its key ingredients, including sugarcane, sugar beet, corn, tea, coffee, palm oil, soy, pulp and paper fiber, and orange. The Coca-Cola Co. also has established Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles and will work with WWF to implement the guidelines throughout the Coca-Cola system for these commodities. In addition, The Coca-Cola Co. is working to sustainably source lemon, grape, apple and mango.  

In addition to the goals jointly developed and announced with WWF, The Coca-Cola Co. has reaffirmed its water replenishment goal and evolved its package recovery goal through 2020 to include the following goals:

  • Replenish 100 percent of water used. The Coca-Cola Co. will return treated water from its manufacturing processes back to the environment at a level that supports aquatic life and replenish the water used in its finished beverage products through continuing its community water projects with partners in more than 100 countries. To date, The Coca-Cola Co.'s replenishment work has balanced an estimated 52 percent of product volume through 468 projects.
  • Reach a 75 percent recovery rate of bottles and cans in developed markets. The Coca-Cola Co. will work with the beverage industry and local organizations to establish baseline information and work to increase recovery and recycling in developing markets. It also will continue to reduce the amount of material and energy used in its packaging and will continue to use both recycled and renewable content.

"At Coca-Cola, we are deeply committed to working with partners to address our collective environmental challenges and responsibly manage the planet's resources," said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co., in a statement. "As we face a resource-stressed world with growing global demands on food and water, we must seek solutions that drive mutual benefit for business, communities and nature. Working with WWF will continue to challenge our company to advance our sustainability programs, and WWF's expertise will be instrumental in reaching our environmental performance goals, some of which they help us set."

Carter Roberts, president and chief executive officer of WWF, added: "We are witnessing unprecedented demands on natural resources around the world. Continuing with business as usual puts everything at risk, including the viability of business. These problems can only be solved by working together, and our work with Coca-Cola has proven that collaboration can amplify and accelerate the impact we need."