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Pepsi, Coke to Clean Up Beijing Water Image

coke-chinaDays after a scathing report by a Beijing economic council put Coca-Cola and Pepsi on notice for contributing to water pollution in the Chinese capital, the two soda bottlers are pledging to clean up their water use practices.

Coke, Pepsi and 25 other companies will be inspected monthly for environmental infractions, the Beijing Development and Reform Commission proclaimed on its Web site (Chinese only), reports Bloomberg.

“We appreciate the Beijing government’s efforts to work with industry to monitor and reduce our shared environmental impacts,” Kenth Kaerhoeg, Coca-Cola’s spokesman in Asia, said, reports Bloomberg. “We will collaborate fully with them as their review moves forward.”

Pepsi also issued a statement: “We will continue to work closely with the Chinese government to further reduce our water use in China,” according to the article.

The commission had targeted 12 heavy users of water in the city, as well as 15 heavy users of energy. A Benz-DaimlerChrysler plant, the Capital Iron and Steel Corporation and chemical company Praxair made the energy list.

The 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.

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