The results for this year’s Sustainability Report are in, as Coca-Cola assesses just how effectively the company is lightening its footprint. Concentrating on not only its ecological practices, the report charts its progress in developing sustainable business and community practices.
Documenting both its achievements and areas in need of improvement, the Sustainability Report tracks the business’ progress toward its 2020 goals. With around 1.9 billion products sold in 200 countries every single day, sustainability improvements in the Coca-Cola supply chain can make a significant impact.
Thus far, there have been some notable successes. Coca-Cola is well on its way to developing a plastic bottle that’s manufactured using 30 percent renewable plant-based material. By 2020, Coke is on track to using its PlantBottle technology in every single beverage it sells.
In terms of encouraging sustainable lifestyles, Coke has introduced no- or low-calorie beverage options in 193 of its 200 markets, and spent $23 million to promote physical activity in 125 countries.
Likewise, the Coca-Cola Foundation has continued to address the problem of gender inequality, investing heavily in small-scale economic projects that empower women. Around 550,000 benefited from Coca-Cola programs, particularly in areas of sustainable development like high-density high-yield farming and solar energy.
Areas of Improvement
On the other hand, the Sustainability Report outlined areas where Coca-Cola could improve. By 2015, the goal was for 25 percent of its packaging to be manufactured recycled material. Unfortunately, the percentage currently sits at around six.
Coca-Cola is realistic about the shortcoming, however, and is working on improving regulatory restrictions around the use of recycled material in packaging, and finding a lower-cost recycled plastic.
While the report documents the company’s progress to today, it also outlines the future direction of Coke.
The company’s 2020 goals around aim for 100 percent of its water to be replenished at its original source.
In packaging, Coke aims to recover 75 percent of cans and bottles, while using its proprietary PlantBottle packaging for all products.
Carbon emission reduction is also part of the company’s plan, with Coke planning to reduce the carbon footprint of producing a drink by 25 percent in just five years.