Using water wisely
A sustainable water policy to protect Coca‑Cola's main ingredient
The main ingredient in every Coca-Cola drink is water. And we don't just use it in our beverages - it's also vital to our production process, where it's used for rinsing, heating, cooling and washing.
We take water conservation seriously. Not just for the future of our drinks, but for the future of our planet, too. We believe there's enough water to meet everyone's needs, but only if everyone improves on how we use what we have. We know we have an important role to play.
Did you know? According to the UN, up to two-thirds of the world's population could be suffering moderate to severe water shortages by 2025
Reduce, recycle, replenish
Water is key to our sustainability. It is an essential ingredient in all of our beverages and is needed to produce many of the agricultural ingredients on which we rely (e.g. sugar, citrus). Water also is critical to the health and economic prosperity of the communities we serve. If the communities we serve are not sustainable, we don't have a sustainable business.
Our goal is to return to communities and nature an amount of water equivalent to what we use in our beverages and their production by 2020. Ultimately, we are working to establish a truly water-sustainable business on a global scale.
We are focusing our efforts in three areas:
- Reducing our water use ratio. Now in Ireland, we're using less than 1.85 litres for every litre. That's one of the lowest levels in the whole of the Coca-Cola System
- Recycling water used in our manufacturing processes and returning it to the environment. Our bottling plant in Northern Ireland has an on-site wastewater treatment plant which treats our process effluent
- Replenishing water in communities and nature through the support of healthy watersheds and community water programmes to balance the water used in our finished beverages
Improving our water efficiency
In our bottling plants, we closely monitor our water sources, minimising the amount of water we withdraw. By incorporating water savings technologies on our production lines, we have managed to improve the efficiency with which we use water. In our production process in Northern Ireland we have reduced our usage by 23% since 2008 and have plans in place to reduce our water usage ratio by at least 2% year on year.
Each bottling plant regularly conducts risk assessments. We study the quantity and quality of local water supplies, as well as environmental, regulatory and other concerns. Based on these assessments, we develop action plans to mitigate risks.
Although we have significantly improved our efficiency, we cannot reduce the amount of water in our beverages. As we produce greater volume of beverages, we will use more water. It is therefore increasingly important to further improve water efficiency. We therefore invest in emerging technologies.