What is Coca‑Cola doing to reduce energy use, waste and packaging?
Sustainability is at the heart of the way Coca‑Cola does business. We have ambitious goals and recognise there is a lot more we can do. But on key issues such as energy use, waste reduction and packaging we believe we are moving in the right direction.
We believe climate change is a profound challenge that will require government, business and civil society to work together – and we have a role to play. Globally, we aim to be the beverage industry leader in energy conservation and climate protection by improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions across our facilities, our refrigeration equipment and our transportation fleet.
Specifically, our goal is to reduce the carbon emissions of the drink in your hand by 25% through our entire value chain.
Clean, accessible water is essential to the health of communities, and we are committed to being a good steward of this precious resource. Our goal is to be water neutral, which means returning to nature 100% of the water we use in our beverages and their production. We are working to reach 100% by 2020.
In the Southern African Business Unit, we have improved water use efficiency by 22% from 2010 to 2014, and 446 million litres of the water used in our finished beverages was replenished in 2014.
All of our facilities have completed source water protection plans to ensure there is enough safe, quality water in the surrounding areas.
We produce bottled water to meet people’s needs for taste, convenience and portability. With bottled water and all our beverages, we are committed to using resources responsibly and reducing our environmental footprint. The majority of our bottles and cans are 100% recyclable, and we support local recycling programs.
In South Africa, returnable glass and returnable PET bottles are reused over and over until damaged, and then they get recycled. In 2016, 57% of non-returnable PET bottles were collected and recycled in South Africa.
We are also investing in packaging innovations that use less total material such as the light weighting of our packaging and increasing renewable materials such as Bio-plastics. Valpre is available in PlantBottle packaging, which is made with up to 30% plant-based materials. Our ultimate goal is to commercialize PET plastic that is 100% plant-based and produced from local bio-waste.
We want everyone to recycle more and waste less. However, some recycling programs – such as forced deposit programs – remove certain materials from the collection streams and end up inconveniencing people who prefer “one stop” recycling for all materials. That is why we support programs that cover many forms of packaging – like the curbside collection program –which are a more sustainable solution for solid waste recovery.