Coca Cola – The greenest food company

Coca Cola – The greenest food company

Newsweek’s 2012 survey listed Coca-Cola Enterprises as the greenest and Coca-Cola Co. as the second greenest food company in USA. Coke has incorporated some innovative changes in its supply chain to help conserve resources despite seeing a 12% increase production. It has established a sustainable supply chain that not only conserves natural resources and energy in production, but also incorporates green values in packaging and manufacturing.

Some strategies they have used to improve their carbon foot print are:

Investing in green energy

In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Coke as one of the third largest green energy users in the U.S. It recently installed a landfill-gas-to-energy system in Atlanta, GA. The energy generated by this plant every year is equal to almost 48 million kilowatt-hours, which is equivalent to eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from almost 6,000 passenger vehicles. This system satisfies all the energy needs of the plant, including electricity, water and even steam. In addition to this, the entire facility has also been LEED Gold certified for using recycled raw materials, conserving energy, reducing water usage and for building a plant keeping green design in mind.

Using hydrogen fueling system

Coca-Cola Enterprises also instituted a new method for transporting products within their warehouses. Coke joined hands with a major alternative fuel technology company called Linde and switched to hydrogen powered fork-lifts for their warehouses. This helps the company achieve two key objectives; it helps Coke improve its environmental impact and also bring efficiency in their supply chain process. When compared to propane fuelled fork-lifts, which take 10-15 minutes to get refueled, hydrogen fueled ones only take 2-3 minutes.

Managing water systems efficiently

Coke has put a unique spin on the 4Rs and integrated it with their water management system. They have REDUCED their water-use ratio from 20% in 2011 to 16.3% in 2012. They also RECYCLE almost 100% of the water used in their plants and return it back to the environment. They are working to REPLENISH a significant portion of water used in their production facilities. Lastly, there is a strong focus on RISK MANAGEMENT and ensuring that Coke’s water usage does not encroach on or limit other users’ access to water.

Producing recyclable beverage containers

Few years ago, Coke introduced the “PlantBottle”– it replaced its original plastic beverage containers with recyclable bottles that are partially made from sugarcane and molasses. Although these bottles feel like regular PET plastic bottles, they are biodegradable. Coke also opened the world’s largest bottle recycling plant which cost them $80 million. The plant recycles almost 40 million kilograms of bottles every year and reduces carbon footprint by 25%.