Coca-Cola on track to become ‘water neutral’ by 2020

Drinks giant Coca-Cola has unveiled how it will continue to hit "stringent" targets to reduce water usage in its first digital Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

As part of the ‘Reasons to Believe’ sustainability report, which follows GRI sustainability reporting guidelines, ‘water stewardship’ is one of four key areas focused on by Coca-Cola.

According to Coca-Cola, the GRI has been published in a digital format in a bid to increase transparency and sustainability of its operations and follows the key performance indicators set by the GRI.

Coca-Cola chief sustainability officer Beatriz Perez, said: “After receiving feedback from a variety of stakeholders, we decided to make some significant changes to our sustainability reporting efforts.

“In addition to increasing transparency within the content, we have taken a digital approach to make the report more user-friendly and accessible on a variety of mobile devices. As we continue to strengthen our sustainability efforts, we also will innovate the means by which we share our progress.”

The report states “solid progress” has been made towards meeting water efficiency targets, with figures showing it has improved its water ratio by 16%, compared to a 2004 baseline. As well as improving water efficiency for the eighth consecutive year, figures show Coca-Cola replenished, or offset, 23% of the water used in production in 2010.

As a result, Coca-Cola has also projected a 20% improvement in water efficiency by the end of 2012, which it says supports a long-term goal of becoming ‘water neutral’ by 2020.

In addition, Coca-Cola is looking to improve water quality through wastewater recycling, with figures showing that in 2010 93% of plants complied with wastewater treatment and discharge standards, with a target in place to achieve 100% compliance by the end of 2012.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Carys Matthews

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