Coca-Cola, PepsiCo tout water conservation efforts

by Monica Watrous
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Coca-Cola and PepsiCo conserving water
Water conservation has become an important initiative for the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, Inc.

KANSAS CITY — Water conservation has become an important initiative for the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, Inc. Both companies on Aug. 29 released reports of progress in their efforts to date.

Coca-Cola, Atlanta, along with its global bottling partners, announced it has met its goal to replenish the water used in its global sales volume back to nature and communities. Additionally, the Coca-Cola system said it has improved water use efficiency by 2.5% from 2014 to 2015, which adds to a cumulative 27% improvement since 2004. The Coca-Cola system returned an estimated 191.9 billion liters of water to nature and communities last year through community water projects, the total of which equals 115% of the water used in Coca-Cola’s beverages in 2015.

Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola
Muhtar Kent, chairman and c.e.o. of the Coca-Cola Co.

“This achievement marks a moment of pride for Coca-Cola and our partners,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola Co. “A goal that started as aspiration in 2007 is today a reality and a global milestone we plan to maintain as our business grows. Now, every time a consumer drinks a Coca-Cola product, they can have confidence that our company and bottling partners are committed to responsible water use today and tomorrow. We are keenly aware that our water stewardship work is unfinished and remain focused on exploring next steps to advance our water programs and performance.”

Coca-Cola said it returned approximately 145.8 billion liters of water used in its manufacturing processes back to local watersheds near its bottling plants through treated wastewater last year.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., said it reduced operational water use per unit of production by 26% since 2006, exceeding its previously stated goal to reduce operational water use by 20% by the end of 2015. The efforts saved the company more than $80 million between 2011 and 2015 and serves as part of PepsiCo’s broader environmental sustainability agenda, which has generated more than $600 million in cost savings over the past five years through water, energy, packaging and waste reduction initiatives. Since 2006, PepsiCo has reduced absolute water usage in operations by approximately 3.2 billion liters last year, while continuing to grow beverage and snacks manufacturing volume.

In addition, PepsiCo has provided access to safe water for 9 million people in water-stressed communities since 2006, exceeding its goal of 6 million by the end of 2015.

Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo
Mehmood Khan, vice-chairman and chief scientific officer of global research and development at PepsiCo

“Access to safe water is an essential building block for improved social, economic and health conditions in communities around the world,” said Mehmood Khan, vice-chairman and chief scientific officer of global research and development at PepsiCo. “Companies have an important role to play in solving global water challenges, and we must continuously seek new ways to apply our unique capabilities and expertise to conserve this most precious resource.

“All across PepsiCo, we continue to find innovative new ways to grow our business while using fewer natural resources — water among them. By driving down our operational water use and replenishing water within the local watershed, promoting innovative agricultural practices that yield more crop per drop, and enabling access to safe water and sanitation for millions of people, we have achieved important progress and are committed to doing much more in the years ahead.” 
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