Coca-Cola addresses water risks beyond the production line
April 18, 2016 – Water is the key ingredient in the beverages produced by The Coca-Cola Company, as well as in the farms that supply the agricultural ingredients needed throughout its production line. Several initiatives and safeguards have been put in place by the Company to ensure that their production and bottling plants use water in the most efficient manner.
In the 2nd Asian Irrigation Forum of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at its Manila headquarters, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines President Cecile Alcantara stressed that more than the role of water in the operations of the Company, it is also important to ensure that water is efficiently used by their partners, especially farmers who will be first affected should a water crisis ensue.
“If the communities we serve are not sustainable, we cannot have a sustainable business,” said Alcantara as she presented the global initiatives of The Coca-Cola Company to address water risks beyond the production line.
Citing two business models, the Guangxi Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative in China and the Project Unnati in India, The Coca-Cola Company has been spearheading various sustainable agricultural practices that conserve water resources.
“In China, we have a partnership with the United Nations Development Program, the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges, the Ministry of Water Resources, and Coca-Cola sugarcane suppliers,” said Alcantara. “The project aims to improve water efficiency by optimizing irrigation facilities and methods, and reuse the treated nutrient-rich wastewater from sugar mills for sugarcane irrigation – thereby helping farmers increase sugarcane yield while conserving water.”
Launched in five sugarcane growing areas in Guangxi, the project replenishes at least 2.74 billion liters of water every year for local communities, benefiting more than 6,000 sugarcane farmers directly and 150,000 people in the local communities indirectly.
In India, The Coca-Cola Company has partnered with Jain Irrigation, which aims to harness the higher productivity potential of mango farms by practicing proper irrigation methods, and a specialized pruning process. “The program promotes the conservation of water by creating ultra-high density mango plantations irrigated using the drip method – at a very small parcel of land, the combination of all these methods increases the yield,” she added.
“The thrust of The Coca-Cola Company on conserving water and increasing efficiency in its use does not start and stop at our bottling and production facilities. From the farms of the various ingredients and materials we use, we require them to practice the same,” said Alcantara.
The Coca-Cola Company, with various partners around the world, is ensuring that water is efficiently and sustainably used to maintain and promote the health and economic progress of the communities, its supply chain, and the future generation.
Aside from advocating efficient water use and conservation, the Company has also been implementing relevant projects in far-flung and needy communities in the Philippines, such as the Agos Ram Pump Project which has brought water to 118 water-poor upland villages since 2011.
“At the end of 2014, The Coca-Cola Company has replenished or balanced about 94% of the water in our sales volume to communities and nature through locally relevant projects that address water issues where the need is greatest. That’s nearly all the water used in Coca-Cola products manufactured globally,” said Alcantara. #
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands and more than 3,800 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, 18 of which are available in reduced-, low- or no-calorie options. Our billion-dollar brands include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, we are the No. 1 provider of both sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion servings of our beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.