Coke Employees And Thames21 Team Up To Clean Up The Thames

23 Sep 2008

On September 22nd, Coke employees with a passion for the environment, downed tools in their Hammersmith HQ and headed to the banks of the river Thames to help rid the shore of rubbish and debris.

The tidy up, the latest in a series of initiatives arranged by the Coke ‘Green Team', was overseen by Thames21, an environmental charity that works with thousands of volunteers every year to clean up London's waterside grot-spots, to remove graffiti and create new habitats for wildlife in the capital.

Employees spent an afternoon getting their hands dirty along a stretch of Hammersmith's riverside making sure that this beautiful local area was free of the litter and waste that regularly blights the shores of the Thames.

"Volunteers from companies such as Coca‑Cola Great Britain play a crucial role in helping us to keep London's waterways clean. We work with over 4,000 volunteers each year to remove more than 3 million litres of litter from London's waterways. This is the equivalent of over 27,000 wheelie bins full of litter" said Chris Coode, River Programmes Manager, Thames21.

This latest London riverside clean up was timed to coincide with the company's commitment to the UK's Big Tidy Up drive and is part of a longstanding global partnership with the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup, which has seen Coke employees getting involved with initiatives to improve the health of oceans and waterways across the world. 

Mark Wallace from the Coca‑Cola Green Team said: "This cleanup was an opportunity to demonstrate the positive change we can create when we engage our employees, both here in the UK and around the world to support a common cause. Together, we can make a powerful statement about our commitment to the world's waterways and to sustainability in general."

The Coke Green Team' is not only working to clean up Hammersmith's waterside for the benefit of the whole community, but is also committed  to making Coca‑Cola Great Britain's HQ as environmentally responsible as possible.

The team of environmentally-aware employees has gained senior management support for a series of changes designed to transform their Hammersmith offices. Plastic cutlery and takeaway packaging in the staff restaurant has been replaced with biodegradable alternatives, all fridges are as energy efficient as possible and 97% of all waste generated at the offices is now recycled.

Other initiatives have focused on changing employee behaviour. For example, every Coca‑Cola GB employee has been given a bike to encourage both healthy lifestyles and ‘greener' travel to and from work, and all employees have had the opportunity to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint with a personalized plan.

To find out more about the Coca‑Cola Company's environmental actions, visit: http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/environment.html

For more information about Thames21, visit: www.thames21.org.uk

 Ends

Notes to Editors

About the Green Team

Since its inception in 2007, the Green Team has helped Coca‑Cola GB's Hammersmith office and employees to achieve the following:-

Employees

  • Provided every employee with the opportunity to calculate and reduce their personal carbon footprint
  • Screened an Inconvenient Truth for all employees
  • Supplied energy saving light bulbs for all employees
  • Encouraged telephone and video conferencing and travel via Eurostar versus plane
  • Encouraged consumers to use the stairs versus lifts
  • Provided employees with a recycled PET bag for use when shopping

Office

  • Changed the office fridges to special energy saving device (EMS 55)  that makes them more energy efficient
  • Replaced Coke restaurant's take away packaging and cutlery from plastic to biodegradable
  • Ensured that 97% of all waste created in the office is recycled
  • Responsible for creating a monthly green tip for distribution amongst staff and ongoing green library of tips and ideas

About the Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy promotes healthy and diverse ocean ecosystems and opposes practices that threaten ocean life and human life. Through research, education, and science-based advocacy, Ocean Conservancy informs, inspires, and empowers people to speak and act on behalf of the oceans. In all its work, Ocean Conservancy strives to be the world's foremost advocate for the oceans. For more information on our programmes, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

The Coca‑Cola Company partners with the Ocean Conservancy throughout the many countries where it operates, and the company's employees will be joining other volunteers to participate in the world's largest volunteer event of its kind. Each year, nearly a half a million volunteers around the world spend time removing rubbish and debris from beaches, lakes, rivers and other waterways and record what they find. The data they collect is then analyzed by Ocean Conservancy staff and used to help find solutions for reducing marine debris.  Last year, more than 378,000 volunteers worldwide removed more than 6 million pounds of debris in 76 countries around the world. 

About The Coca‑Cola Company

The Coca‑Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands.  Along with ‘Coca‑Cola', recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including ‘Diet Coke', ‘Fanta', ‘Sprite', ‘Coca‑Cola Zero', ‘glaceau vitaminwater', ‘Powerade', ‘Minute Maid' and ‘Schweppes'.  Globally, it is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees.  Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, the Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.  For more information about the Company, please visit the website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

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