Coca-Cola Co. and several of its bottlers around the world are creating a new venture capital investment fund aimed at sustainability in general and decarbonization specifically.
The move comes as Coca-Cola seeks to average 50 percent recycled content in the company's bottles by 2030.
But the $137.5 million investment fund, to be managed by venture capital firm Greycroft, has its sights sets beyond just packaging.
A "major priority" for investment will be Coca-Cola's carbon footprint with a focus on packaging, heating and cooling, facility decarbonization, distribution and supply chain, the company said.
"This fund offers an opportunity to pioneer innovative solutions and help scale them quickly within the Coca-Cola system and across the industry," Coca-Cola President John Murphy said in a statement. "We expect to benefit from getting access to emerging technology and science for sustainability and carbon reduction."
Coca-Cola will invest in projects when they are ready to commercialize.
Bottlers representing about half of the Coca-Cola's volume in the world are investing. They include Arca Continental, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Coca-Cola FEMSA, Coca-Cola HBC, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling and Swire Coca-Cola. The fund's capital is primarily coming from an investment of $15 million from each company.
Coca-Cola also indicated it is accelerating efforts to use reusable packaging, including a new partnership with r.Cup, a company that provides reusable polypropylene cups for large events.
"We are working across our supply chain to reduce our environmental impact and ensure all of our packaging has value in the circular economy," said Anton van Zyl, director of sustainable packaging strategy for Coca‑Cola North America, in a statement. "We're growing reusable cup programs in partnership with our foodservice and on-premise customers. Partnering with innovators like r.Cup is one such example where through pilots we are experimenting, learning and expanding the options."
Coca-Cola seeks to have 25 percent of the company's volume served in reusable packaging by 2030.
Another project is with a company called Validfill to launch reusable cups with both microchips and QR codes for use with Coca-Cola Freestyle machines at theme parks, colleges and cruise ships that feature hundreds of different drink options.