Coca-Cola gets real about its business

By Ma Zhenhuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-13 14:02
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SHANGHAI - Coca-Cola, the world's biggest beverage company, says it is integrating sustainability and green production into every aspect of its business operations to realize sustainable development in China.

Coca-Cola gets real about its business

At a time when the world is focusing on low-carbon lifestyles and environmental protection, China's experts and academics of sustainable development recently gathered at the company's Green Building located inside its headquarters in Shanghai to discuss the environmental impact of China's rapid economic development and the role of business in sustainable development.

Experts pointed out that sustainable development will be a central theme throughout China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), and that the concept of sustainable developments extends to business and throughout every aspect of society.

"Transnational corporations are strengthening their overall corporate responsibilities globally. In the course of their operations, enterprises should give special attention to resource conservation, reduce emissions, and achieve circular economy," commented Wang Zhile, director of the Research Center on Transnational Corporation under the Ministry of Commerce, at the forum.

So far, Coca-Cola China's cumulative charitable commitments have totaled more than 200 million yuan ($29.5 million) covering environmental and community projects.

For example, compared with the 2004 baseline, in 2009 there was a 35 percent improvement in water efficiency across Coca-Cola's bottling plants. The company has also made a commitment this year that 100 percent of the wastewater discharged in China meets standards for supporting aquatic life.

So far the company has invested more than 30 million yuan in China to install water recycling and purification equipment, improve water recycling and reuse, and reduce water usage.

"Coca-Cola is making a commitment to redesign the way we work and live, integrating sustainability into every aspect of our business operations in order to promote economic and environmental sustainability," said Brenda Lee, vice-president of Coca-Cola China.

In the packaging sector, it has also vowed to improve packaging material efficiency per liter of products sold by 7 percent from its 2008 baseline by 2015. To make the commitment a reality, it recently launched an environmentally friendly lightweight bottle that would reduce carbon emissions by 16,400 tons if using a baseline figure of 1 billion bottles per year.

China Daily