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Coke, Pepsi Listed Among Beijing’s Dirty Dozen Water Polluters

water-pollution2While Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have done much to publicize their environmental initiatives worldwide, the two soda bottlers and a host of other water users could not escape the headlines when a Beijing-area group listed the top-12 polluters of water in the city.

The Beijing Development and Reform Commission, the capital’s economic planning agency, issued the report, as well as a list of the top 15 energy users, which included the Benz-DaimlerChrysler plant, reports AgenceFrancePress.

The Capital Iron and Steel Corporation and chemical company Praxair also made the energy list.

The commission said that the named companies will be asked to submit plans to reduce energy use and pollution emissions.

Local companies making the water pollution list include Tsingtao brewery, juice maker Huiyuan and several dairy producers.

The list, dubbed the “Notice of Clean Production And Energy Saving Evaluation” has been published in Chinese only at the commission’s Web site, reports Forbes.

The new list stems from the publication earlier of the “Catalog of Products of High Water Consuming Technology Restricted and Prohibited in Industry in Beijing” by the Beijing Development and Reform Commission. The Chinese government is trying to reduce energy consumption 4 percent, per unit of GDP, and by 20 percent in the five years ending in 2010, as outlined in the country’s five-year plan for 2006-2010.

In 2007, more than 90 multinational companies were targeted by Chinese environmental authorities for pollution committed as far back as 2004. General Motors, Samsung, Unilever, Pepsi and Yum Brands chains Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut were just a few of the companies on the list.

The fact that Pepsi and Coca-Cola were singled out runs counter to much positive press the two have received lately.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, for their environmental and sustainable initiatives among other food and beverage companies, in a recent survey by the the Roberts Environmental Center at Calaremont McKenna College.

Coca-Cola Enterprises has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 15 percent by 2020 as part of its “Commitment 2020.” This move is expected to lower the beverage company’s net emissions to 5.2 million metric tons The company also set goals for its five strategic corporate responsibility and sustainability (CRS) focus areas.

Among Fortune 500 companies that purchase renewable energy, PepsiCo is outdone only by Intel.

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4 thoughts on “Coke, Pepsi Listed Among Beijing’s Dirty Dozen Water Polluters

  1. Hey, Ann from The Coca-Cola Company here. I think it’s important for everyone to understand that our Beijing bottler fully complies with the local government’s wastewater standards. The government has not suggested that any violations have occurred.

    We appreciate the government’s efforts to improve water quality and conserve natural resources by closely monitoring businesses that use comparatively large amounts of water.

    At Coca-Cola, we take our responsibility for water stewardship very seriously. We continually strive to improve our overall water efficiency and have set a goal of returning to communities and to nature an amount of water equal to that used in our products and their production.

    For more information on our water stewardship, please go to http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/index.html

    Ann Moore
    Communications Director
    The Coca-Cola Company

  2. While the headlines purports Pepsi and Coke are listed among Beijing’s top dozen water polluters, the article is very short on any details that substantiate the headline. The writer seems to spend more time defending Coca Cola rather than sharing the detsils of the report. What was the point of the article? Poor writing, indeed.

  3. Are Coca-Cola and Pepsi the manufacturers of the syrup or are they the bottlers as well? Additionally, why is Coca-Cola Enterprises mentioned when they do not have any bottling plants in Asia? And what are the details of the report?

  4. Hello. This Huw from PepsiCo. I’m an associate of Dan Bena, who was recently a guest columnist for Environmental Leader (I see his photo on the right side of the page there). I wanted to clarify that the inclusion of our Beijing plant on the government’s list simply reflects that the plant is a large user of water. PepsiCo’s Beijing plant strictly adheres to all national standards for wastewater treatment and emissions. Actually, our China beverage plants were recognized last year by the Beijing Water Resources Bureau and the China Beverages Industry Association for water conservation efforts. We encourage consumers to read the clarification released by the Beijing authorities and published by the Xinhua news service, which can be found here: http://english.cri.cn/6909/2009/08/21/1821s510259.htm.

    We are committed to continuing to work with the Chinese Government to further reduce our water use in China and around the world in accordance with our relentless company-wide efforts in the areas of water conservation, reuse and supply(http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Environment/Water.html).


    Huw Gilbert
    PepsiCo International

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