Coca-Cola takes water replenishment to new heights

Coca-Cola remains on track to become 'water neutral' by 2020, having last year returned 68% of the water used in its finished beverages to the communities it was taken from.

An estimated 108.5 billion litres of water was replenished to communities and nature through 509 community water projects in more than 100 countries, according to the drinks giant’s latest water stewardship report.

“At Coca-Cola, water stewardship is a primary focus of our sustainability efforts across our global system,” said The Coca-Cola Company’s chief sustainability officer Beatriz Perez. “By setting and working to meet our ambitious goals, we are effectively and responsibly managing the valuable resource on which our business relies.

“In addition to the announcement of today’s milestone, we have seen a pervasive uptake across the entire Coca-Cola system with 80% of our business units on track or ahead of pace to meet their 2020 water replenishment goals.

“We are proud to report that all are making progress in replenishing this important resource we share with communities and nature.”

Last year, Coca-Cola set a target of improving water efficiency by 25% by 2020 throughout its own operations, as well as those of nearly 300 bottling partners in more than 200 countries. The company is aiming to improve on its 21.4% increase in water efficiency per litre of product produced from 2004 to 2012.

In March, the firm introduced a state-of-the-art bottling plant in Peru that has qualified for LEED-certification; advancing production efficiency and delivering more efficient water and energy use. The investment in this bottling plant is part of the Coca-Cola’s commitment to be water neutral (100% balanced) in Peru by 2015. 

And just last month ,edie reported that Coca-Cola is working to restore two river habitats in the UK which could potentially act as a template model as the company looks to scale up its water stewardship work across the business.

CSR Report

The release of Coca-Cola’s water stewardship report comes at the same time as the group’s CRS report for 2013/14. In that report, the firm says: “We want to be the leader in water efficiency, with a target of 1.2 litres of water for every litre of product we make by 2020.

“Our business must be water-sustainable and have a minimal impact throughout our value chain. This can only be achieved through innovation and collaboration.

The CSR report also highlights a 9% reduction in carbon footprint against 2012, and a 27% reduction in packaging since 2007. 

Read the full Coca-Cola Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Summary 2013/2014 below.


Luke Nicholls

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie