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Coke sustainability report emphasizes plant-based packaging

By: Kerri Jansen

November 7, 2012

ATLANTA (Nov. 7, 12:45 p.m. ET) — Coca-Cola Co. issued its 2011-12 Global Sustainability Report Nov. 7, declaring progress in plant-based packaging and water stewardship programs.

The Atlanta-based beverage giant has so far distributed internationally more than 10 billion fully recyclable packages made with plant-based materials. The company reported that 5 percent of its packaging material comes from recycled or renewable materials and has set a goal to source 25 percent of its PET from recycled or renewable material by 2015.

About 37 percent of bottles and cans sold by Coca-Cola are recovered, the company estimated in the report. The company’s goal is 50 percent recovery by 2015.

Since 2004, Coca-Cola has improved its water use ratio (liters of water used per liter of product produced) by 20 percent. The report also touted progress in efforts to support healthy watersheds and sustainable community water programs.

The company reported 2011 global manufacturing carbon emissions were 3 percent higher than in 2010, but down 4 percent at manufacturing operations in developed countries.

Coca-Cola reported total greenhouse gas emissions of 5.32 million metric tons (MMt) carbon dioxide equivalent in 2011, compared to 5.19 MMt in 2010. In 2009, the company emitted 5.33 MMt, according to the report.

“We recognize that the sustainability of our business depends on the health of the communities we serve. We also know that we won’t reach our 2020 Vision of doubling the business without embedding sustainability into our business to drive efficiency and effectiveness,” Bea Perez, Coca-Cola’s chief sustainability officer, said in a company news release.