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Coke Sustainability Report: Beats Water Goal a Year Early

Coke increased its water efficiency by 4.5 percent year-on-year from 2.26 to 2.16 liters of water per liter of product produced in 2011, according to the company’s 2011/2012 sustainability report.

The company set a goal in 2008 to improve water efficiency systemwide by 20 percent by 2012, compared with a 2004 baseline. Coke has achieved that goal, making a 20 percent reduction, and is now developing a new water efficiency goal for 2020.

The company’s absolute water use dropped slightly from 294 billion liters to 293 billion liters year-on-year, the report says.

Progress has been slower on water recycling rates. By the end of 2010, Coke had hoped to return to the environment — at a level that supports aquatic life — all of the water used in its system operations. The company describes its movement on this goal as “in progress.” As of the end of 2011, Coke had achieved 96 percent alignment with its wastewater standards, the report says. The Coke system has invested more than $1 billion since 2001 to align with its wastewater standards. In 2011, Coke released 159 billion liters of treated wastewater across its system.

By 2020 the company has a goal of returning to communities and nature an amount of water equal to what it uses in its finished beverages and their production. As of 2011 Coke says it has balanced 35 percent of the water used in its finished beverages. This is an increase from 33 percent in 2010 and 22 percent in 2009.

The report covers the period from January 2011 through July 2012. The company’s previous report, the 2010/2011 Sustainability Review, was published in December 2011. Despite the switch from calendar year to financial year reporting, Coke will still report figures in calendar years, the report says.

The company’s normalized energy use dropped 2.3 percent year-on-year from 0.45 Mj to 0.44 Mj of energy used per liter of product produced in 2011, the report shows.

The absolute amount of energy Coke used jumped from 58.9 billion Mj in 2010 to 59.7 billion in 2011. The total amount of electricity purchased by the Coca-Cola system increased from 6,596,462 MWh in 2010 to 6,760,037 MWh in 2011.

Coke is aiming to grow its business but not its systemwide carbon emissions from manufacturing operations through 2015, compared with a 2004 baseline. The company describes movement toward this goal as “in progress.” Emissions in 2011 related to Coke’s global manufacturing operations were 3 percent higher than in 2010 and 11 percent higher than the company’s 2004 baseline.

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