Coca‑Cola announces the carbon footprint of some of its best loved brands
Coca-Cola today released details of the carbon footprint of some of its most popular drinks: ‘Coca-Cola', ‘diet Coke' and ‘Coke Zero'. It is the first time that the carbon footprint of any brand of sparkling drinks has been certified by the Carbon Trust.
The carbon footprint research highlights the determination of the Coca-Cola System (1) to continue reducing the impact of its products and operations on the environment. The project builds on previous work to calculate the carbon footprint of the System's business operations here in Great Britain.
The project saw Coca-Cola Great Britain (CCGB) and Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) working together with the Carbon Trust to measure greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) across the full lifecycle of the selected drinks (2) in a variety of packaging formats. This included looking at the ingredients used to make the drink, the manufacture of the drink and its packaging, the impact of distribution and retailing, use of the product by individual consumers and subsequent disposal of the empty bottle or can.
The results reveal that a 330ml can of ‘Coca-Cola' sold in Great Britain has a carbon footprint of 170 grams and the same sized can of ‘diet Coke' or ‘Coke Zero' has a footprint of 150 grams. A 330ml glass bottle of ‘Coca-Cola' has a footprint of 360 grams.
The research also revealed how packaging accounts for the largest portion of the drink's carbon footprint, between 30 - 70%, depending on the type of container used. However, the research went on to highlight the importance of both using recycled content and of encouraging recycling post use. A combination of these two factors can decrease the overall carbon footprint of a product by up to 60%.
Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, commented: "Coca-Cola was one of the first companies to sign up for carbon footprinting with the Carbon Trust as part of its ongoing commitment to reducing its carbon impact and it has made an important contribution to our work to create the product carbon footprinting standard. Coca-Cola's help in streamlining the process and sharing international insights was critical. Today's announcement is important as it will help bring home to consumers that carbon is everywhere - in all we consume. When we launched the idea around the carbon footprinting of products it was always our aim to have major brands, like Coca-Cola, using the process as a means to further reduce the carbon in their supply chains. We are delighted they are committed to doing just that."
Much progress has already been made in maximising recycled content in Coca-Cola Enterprises' packaging. In Great Britain, the Coca-Cola System's aluminium cans contain around 50% recycled content and its glass bottles contain an average of 40% recycled glass. CCE has also set a target for all its plastic (PET) bottles across Great Britain and Europe to contain an average of 25% recycled PET by the end of 2010.
Similarly, in partnership with WRAP, the Coca-Cola System is currently rolling out a nationwide series of branded Recycle Zones to encourage consumers to recycle when out and about. Six Recycle Zones have already been successfully launched including at Thorpe Park, Festival Place in Basingstoke and the University of Warwick.
The carbon footprint research will also inform other important initiatives designed to improve the environmental impact of individual Coca-Cola products in Great Britain. These include work to improve the efficiency of refrigeration equipment and to improve the efficiency of transport and delivery operations for example.
Sanjay Guha, President of Coca-Cola, Great Britain and Ireland, said: "We are absolutely committed as a business, to reducing the environmental impact of our products. This is what our consumers expect and we believe is our responsibility as market leaders.
Over the last few years, we have significantly cut our water and energy use in the UK. But we are determined to do more. A clear measurement of the carbon emissions of individual products is a vital step on our journey to reduce them and to achieve our goal of operating in a responsible and sustainable way. As we move forward, we will look to integrate the carbon footprint information with other key environmental impacts, for example water, and explore how best to share the total environmental impact of our products with consumers."
Simon Baldry, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Enterprises GB, said: "Delivering against the sustainability agenda is key to our business and to all our decision making. We are determined to deliver the transparency and progress that our customers need in this area. We have worked closely with The Carbon Trust to really understand the footprint of our products. It is the first time this analysis has been undertaken for soft drinks in GB. We will continue to lead the search for better understanding and the results will help us continue to improve the impact of our business on the environment."
(1) The Coca-Cola System in GB consists of Coca-Cola Great Britain (CCGB) and its bottling partner, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE).
(2) In total, 14 Coca-Cola products were tested, including cans, plastic (PET) and glass bottles.
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For media enquiries:
Coca-Cola GB press office. Tel: + 44 (0)20 8237 3782. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carbon Trust press office. Tel: + 44 (0)20 7544 3100. Email: email@example.com
Full results on the carbon footprints of all the 14 products tested, including cans, plastic (PET) and glass bottles, can be found at www.cokecorporateresponsibility.co.uk.
Notes to Editors:
Coca-Cola GB piloted the Carbon Trust PAS 2050 methodology to calculate the product-level carbon footprints.
Additional information on the carbon footprint research includes:
- Currently the 'Coke' can has a carbon footprint of 170g. If a consumer were to recycle this can, this would reduce its carbon footprint by 70g, bringing its carbon footprint down to 100g.
- If a consumer were to recycle a can of 'diet Coke' or 'Coke Zero' which currently have carbon footprints of 150g respectively, this would reduce the carbon footprint for both products down to 85g.
- The research covered the following aspects of a product's life-cycle:
- Ingredients: Includes CO2e emissions produced during the agricultural production & transportation of all raw materials, including sugar & water.
- Packaging: Includes CO2e emissions produced during the creation of all packaging (e.g. bottles, cans and pallets for transportation).
- Manufacturing: Includes CO2e emissions resulting from the electricity and fuel used at all factories, manufacture of plastic bottles on site & the filling of bottles & cans with our drinks.
- Distribution: Includes CO2e emissions produced when transporting our products and the electricity & fuel used to do this.
- Storage & refrigeration: Includes CO2e emissions resulting from the electricity & fuel used by the retailer and shop, plus the electricity used to run the vending machines and fridges used to keep drinks chilled.
- Consumer use & disposal: Includes CO2e resulting from consumers cooling the drink at home & subsequent disposal of the empty packaging.
Coca-Cola GB is already working in partnership with its bottler CCE to reduce the environmental impact of their business, by working both within their own operations and in partnership with suppliers. For example:
In 2007 we measured the direct and indirect carbon emissions of our operations in Great Britain, in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This revealed that our carbon emissions totalled 510,000 tonnes CO2, equivalent to the average annual emissions of 85,000 households.
- 28,000 tonnes of CO2 have been saved by installing energy saving devices into Coca-Cola GB's cold drinks equipment to date, equivalent to the average annual carbon emissions of 4,667 households.
- We have been working to reduce emissions from both our own transport fleet and that of industry partners. In 2007 these green distribution initiatives saved over 680,000 road miles, or 1,023 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to the carbon emissions of 171 households.
- Coca-Cola GB was recently awarded ISO14001 accreditation for its head office in Hammersmith, London.
- We're also committed to meet our global commitment to grow the business, not the carbon and achieve a 5% absolute reduction in carbon emissions in our manufacturing operations across developed countries, such as GB by 2015, compared to 2004.
- The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 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 Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are 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 nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our 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 our Company, please visit our Web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
- ‘Coca-Cola', ‘Coke', ‘diet Coke', ‘diet Coca-Cola', ‘Coke Zero', ‘Coca-Cola Zero', ‘Fanta', ‘Sprite', ‘Powerade' and ‘Minute Maid' are registered trade marks of The Coca-Cola Company.
- ‘Glaceau vitaminwater' and the ‘Glaceau vitaminwater' get up are trade marks of energy brands, inc aka Glaceau.
About Coca-Cola Enterprises
- Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc, the world's largest marketer, producer and distributor of the products of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd manufactures and distributes TCCC products, as well as products for other brand-owners, throughout England, Scotland and Wales, and employs around 4,600 people.
- Coca-Cola Enterprises is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its products and operations. It is particularly focused on sustainable packaging, water stewardship, and energy and climate protection, and has made good progress in these areas, although there is still more to be done. For example in Great Britain, packaging has been reduced - the iconic glass Coke bottle is now 20% lighter and the amount of water used per litre of product has been cut by 21% since 2001.
The Carbon Trust & carbon footprinting
- The Carbon Trust is an independent company set up in 2001 by Government in response to the threat of climate change, to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.
- We cut carbon emissions now by providing business and the public sector with expert advice, finance and accreditation to help them reduce their carbon footprint and to stimulate demand for low carbon products and services. Through our work, we've already helped save over 17 million tonnes of carbon, delivering costs savings of over £1billion.
- We cut future carbon emissions by developing new low carbon technologies. We do this through project funding and management, investment and collaboration and by identifying market barriers and practical ways to overcome them. Our work on commercialising new technologies will save over 20 million tonnes of carbon a year by 2050.
- The carbon footprint of a product or service is the total carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted during its life, from production to final disposal. The Carbon Trust works to help organisations measure, certify, reduce and communicate the carbon footprint of their products and services and is a co-developer of an international, authoritative standard for product carbon footprinting.
- For more information on the Carbon Trust, please visit www.carbontrust.co.uk or call 0800 085 2005.