The Coca-Cola Company announced Monday that it achieved an environmental milestone five years ahead of schedule, saying that it returned 191.9 billion liters of water to the communities in which its bottling plants are located -- which is 115 percent of the water used in its beverages last year.
The company first initiated replenishment projects with 248 community water partners in 71 countries in 2007, and was not expected to balance its inflow-and-outflow until 2020. However, through a variety of replenishment projects, it has balanced the amount of direct water use by Coca-Cola with the amount provided back to local communities.
Though each plant doesn't necessarily return potable water to the local source, the company said those plants that do not are seeking other solutions to promoting the sustainability of the local water supply. In such cases, Coca-Cola requires the implementation of a source water protection plan.
“This achievement marks a moment of pride for Coca-Cola and our partners. A goal that started as aspiration in 2007 is today a reality and a global milestone we plan to maintain as our business grows,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company.
“Now, every time a consumer drinks a Coca-Cola product, they can have confidence that our company and bottling partners are committed to responsible water use today and tomorrow. We are keenly aware that our water stewardship work is unfinished and remain focused on exploring next steps to advance our water programs and performance.”