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Coke Showcases Sustainability in Nation’s Capitol

coke-vending2Coca-Cola has chosen Washington, D.C., to make a statement about its commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.

At each step in the manufacturing, distribution and sales processes in the Capitol, Coca-Cola has added innovations such as climate-friendly beverage coolers, hybrid electric delivery trucks and trailers, and a recycling program for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

Because Washington, D.C., has six million visitors annually, the city is an ideal place to showcase innovative green and sustainable processes, Sandy Douglas, president, Coca-Cola North America, said in a press release.

Four new climate-friendly, HFC-free, energy-efficient coolers and vending machines will be tested in the House of Representatives. This represents the first installation of the coolers, of which Coca-Cola may deploy up 1,800 around the U.S. and Canada later this year.

Most of these coolers are destined for Vancouver, where 1,400 climate-friendly coolers and vending machines are being installed for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Similarly, Coke installed green coolers at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The new coolers use carbon dioxide, a natural refrigerant gas and HFC-Free insulation, cutting out 99 percent of the direct green house gas emissions and because of an improved energy management system they cut energy use by 26 percent on average, according to the release. Despite improvements in vending machines and coolers, as of early 2008 Coke was seeing limited market penetration of the new machines.

While Coca-Cola has added hybrid delivery trucks nationwide, Washington, D.C., is getting a large quantity. Coke runs 20 hybrid delivery trucks and tractor trailers in the metropolitan area. Coke says that by later this year it will have 327 hybrid delivery vehicles throughout the United States and Canada. Of those, 150 will be hybrid electric tractor trailers, and more than 170 will be hybrid electric 12-bay delivery trucks.

To lessen the amount of trash disposed at the National Mall, Coca-Cola Recycling will create a recycling program in conjunction with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and the Trust for the National Mall. The end goal is to develop a sustainable recycling program, one that is able to address the needs of special events and includes recycling education for visitors.

Finally, Coca-Cola is giving an additional $600,000 to expand the National Parks’ Active Trails program. Last year, Coke gave $1.2 million to the program, which encourages restoration, enhancement and marketing of park trails.

In 2007, Coke laid out a goal to recycle every bottle it produces in the U.S.

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