Back in 2009, The Coca-Cola Foundation joined Project Catalyst to help fight the effect of the agricultural industry on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Now, almost 10 years on, the partnership has already gone a long way toward protecting the delicate ecosystem.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system on Earth. With a place on the World Heritage list, it’s also one of Australia’s most popular sites for tourists and locals alike, but its current state of health is a point of global concern.

Climate change and water pollution have greatly affected the reef in recent years. While the reef system remains in trouble, numerous environmental efforts are currently being made to counteract these threats to the area and its wildlife.

What is Project Catalyst?

In 2009, Project Catalyst was founded to help fight farm pollution, one of the biggest threats to the wellbeing of the reef. The joint collaboration between The Coca-Cola Foundation, sugarcane farmers, WWF Australia, natural resource management bodies and the Federal Government aims to significantly reduce the agricultural run-off, which is putting the marine habitat at risk.

Together, the involved organisations help local farmers to identify and trial cutting-edge practices that can help them to reduce their environmental footprint, while increasing their crop production and boosting farm viability.

“The Coca-Cola foundation is incredibly proud of our long running association with Project Catalyst. It’s something we want to ensure has a long term future.” 
 Sarah Prestwood, Senior External Affairs Manager, South East Asia

The project began with just 19 farmers who were determined to make a difference in preserving the area. Now, 139 farmers across Australia are dedicated to delivering sustainable farming solutions into the future.

While there is still a long way to go, the efforts made by Project Catalyst are starting to have an impact. The innovative techniques adopted by the farmers have improved the quality of 150 billion litres of water flowing into the reef, and reduced run-off by 180 tonnes per year.

Find out more about how Coca-Cola Great Britain is helping clean up our country’s waterways.