As a company and a worldwide system that includes our bottling partners, Coca-Cola is committed to creating value for the communities we proudly serve and the planet we all share.
Sustainability is at the heart of our business. And as a business, we know that Sustainability efforts are themselves only sustainable when they help our enterprise grow and prosper. Indeed, we believe this work must be integral to our mission of refreshing the world, inspiring moments of optimism and happiness, creating value and making a difference. Our Sustainability commitment is developed along four key themes:
- Water Stewardship - Working to protect watersheds, reduce risks to water supplies and moving towards balancing our water use.
- Climate Protection - Working to reduce our impacts and partnering to take action against climate change.
- Sustainable Packaging - Our efforts to reduce our materials use, source recycled and renewable materials and build a restorative packaging system.
- Sustainable Agriculture - Helping to ensure a sustainable supply of ingredients, while supporting farmers and agricultural communities.
Focusing on Sustainable packaging we want to underline how innovation is in our DNA. We’ve consistently been on the leading edge of bringing consumer-driven, environmentally responsible developments to the marketplace – from commissioning the first-ever environmental lifecycle assessment of packaging in 1969 to introducing the first plastic beverage bottle made with recycled material in 1991 to introducing the first recyclable beverage bottle made partially from plants in 2009. While the launch of PlantBottle™ keeps us on the forefront of plant-based packaging innovation, we continue to strive to make an even better bottle. PlantBottle™ packaging is currently made through a process that converts sugarcane into monoethylene glycol (MEG), which represents 30 percent of the total composition of PET plastic by weight. We are working with our partners to crack the code on plant-based purified terephthalic acid (PTA) – which accounts for the other 70 percent of PET. This involves breakthrough science, but we’ve got some of the smartest minds in the field focused on it today.
We are also working with several strategic R&D partners, including researchers at universities and research institutes globally, to advance technologies to extract sugar from plant-based wastes for future generations of PlantBottle™ packaging. Therefore, while we are only using sugarcane today, we expect to also be able to use natural resources like stems, fruit peels and bark in the near future. Each of these initiatives has a profound impact on our packaging supply chain, which we are literally rebuilding to accommodate the sustainable production and use of PlantBottle™ packaging.
We want our packaging never to be seen as waste, but rather as a valuable resource for future use. This entails introducing packaging that fuses design, form and function, and uses the most environmentally responsible materials available. Our ultimate goal is a carbon neutral, 100% renewable, responsibly sourced bottle that is fully recyclable – a bottle we can all feel good about.