Coca-Cola Enterprises and Sustainability

November 25, 2010

Thanks to everyone for the great responses to last week’s post! I received some helpful feedback, and quite a few “that sure made me want to go out on a hike” comments. Me, too. I went for a hike at Percy Warner Park later that day. (Did you know that Percy Warner Park in Nashville is the largest municipal park in the state?)

Now, on to this week’s topic: sustainability at Coca-Cola Enterprises. This past Friday the Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management (Owen) hosted John Brock, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, for a luncheon at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville.

Mr. Brock presented on Coca-Cola Enterprises' corporate responsibility and sustainability program, entitled “Commitment 2020.” The program has five “pillars” or areas of focus. These include Energy Conservation and Climate Change, Sustainable Packaging and Recycling, Water Stewardship, Product Portfolio and Well Being, and Diverse and Inclusive Culture.

Mr. Brock outlined several goals for each of the five pillars, the most notable focusing on water usage per product. Currently, 1.73 liters of water are needed per liter of product created by Coca-Cola Enterprises. The goal is to reduce this to 1.3 liters by 2020. Zero point forty-three liters less does not sound extremely grand, but it represents a 24.9% efficiency improvement! Multiply 0.43L by the nearly 17 billion liters of Coke products sold per year...and, you can do the math. It’s big. It’s a lot of water saved.

Through off-site water conservation and replacement projects (think “carbon offsets”, but for water), the company will be able to account for an additional 0.3 liters of water per liter of product; combined with the 0.43 liter water reduction goal, Coca-Cola Enterprises aims to use only “one liter of water per one liter of product” by 2020. That’s beyond big. That’s earth changing. Might make you want to hold hands and sing from a mountain top? http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/presscenter/av_advertising.html?vid=7

What if every company acted similarly for the primary natural resource it consumed? What can your company do?

Jeff
email: jeff@jgowdyconsulting.com

 

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