The Coca-Cola Co. and its bottling partners have committed to using hydrofluorocarbon-free (HFC-free) technology for new vending machines and coolers by 2015, according to a press release. The change comes after years of persuading by Greenpeace.
Coke says that the scale of its announcement will help accelerate an industry wide transition to HFC-free refrigeration equipment. HFCs have been shown to affect the ozone layer.
In 2010, Coke and its bottling partners will purchase at least 150,000 HFC-free units. By 2012, at least half of all new coolers and vending machines purchased by Coke will be HFC-free, before reaching the 100 percent threshold in 2015.
Coke and its bottling partners have about 10 million coolers and vending machines in place globally. HFC-free refrigeration equipment emits 99 percent fewer greenhouse gases.
Over the life of the new equipment, the carbon emissions reduction will total more than 52 million metric tons.
Coke said that as a result of its new commitment, a major cooler supplier plans to build a dedicated CO2 compressor production facility. CO2 as a refrigerant is 1,420 times less damaging to the climate than typical HFCs, Coke said.
Before the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Greenpeace challenged Coke to go HFC-free in all equipment used in conjunction with the games. By the 2006 Olympics, Coke had met that goal.
Recently, Coca-Cola began the global rollout of its PlantBottle.
Coke also plans to build 15 energy efficient bottling plants in Europe.