As a leader in the beverage industry, water stewardship is vital to our business. Water is the first ingredient in most of our drinks, central to our manufacturing process and necessary to grow the agricultural ingredients on which we rely. Safe, accessible water is also essential to the health of people, communities, ecosystems and economies.
The Coca-Cola Company is keeping our sustainability promise with our water stewardship efforts, focusing on the areas where we can have the greatest impact:
(1) Replenishing water we use in our finished beverages across communities and watersheds
(2) Improving water-use efficiency and reuse in our bottling plants
(3) Helping manage water resources in our agricultural ingredient supply chain
Since 2015, The Coca-Cola Company has replenished 100 percent of the water we use in our beverages, returning it to nature and communities.
We are giving every drop of water we use in our beverages back to communities and nature, including America’s most critical watersheds. We support more than 60 water replenishment projects in 100 communities across the United States.
We continue to replenish 100 percent of the water used in our finished beverages back to communities and nature, a goal we first met in 2015. We were the first Fortune 500 company to do so and actually met our goal five years early. We strive to do so every year.
Projects implemented by the end of 2017 are replenishing an estimated 248 billion liters per year through community and watershed projects globally, as estimated with the help of our many reputable partner organizations using peer-reviewed scientific and technical methods.
By 2020, we aim to reduce our water-use ratio while growing volume in our bottling plants, with a target to improve water efficiency by 25 percent over 2010 levels.
We’ve reduced the water used in our products by 12 percent in the United States since 2005, saving more than 30 billion liters of water in Coca-Cola system facilities.
Water in Agriculture
Agriculture uses about 70 percent of all freshwater resources. As part of our water stewardship and replenish work, we continue to increase support of projects that aim to improve the productive use of water, especially in areas at high risk of water stress or pollution.
We are working with our global partner, the World Wildlife Foundation, to advance the work on valuing nature and to make it practical to help farming communities establish which sustainable farming practices provide the highest benefit for protecting watersheds.
Within our supply chains, our suppliers play an important role in addressing water risks of their farmers. Good water management practices, such as water-use assessments and water efficiency measures at the farm level, are an essential part of our Supplier Guiding Principles.
Bruce Karas is the vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola North America.