A shared passion for water stewardship has produced some trailblazing work on a global scale from the Coca-Cola Company partnership with WWF. To celebrate World Environment Day, see what we’re doing to provide a thriving future for England’s rivers.
Water is the most important ingredient in all our drinks. That’s why we play our part to protect and conserve the water we use worldwide as a crucial part of our sustainability commitments. One of our main goals for 2020 is to replenish 100% of the water we use back to nature and communities. That means we carefully recycle any waste water from our factories and also support water conservation programmes in communities all around the world to return a volume of water to nature equal to that we use in our drinks. We reached this 2020 target 5 years ahead of schedule, replenishing 115% by the end of 2015.
We’re also focusing on protecting the water sources we use, reducing the amount of water used in our manufacturing by increasing water efficiency by 25%, and ensuring our factories have state of the art technology installed to help them reduce water use.
Coca-Cola and WWF
The Coca-Cola Company formed a global partnership with WWF in 2007, to help conserve and protect nine of the world’s most iconic rivers including the Danube, Yangtze, Amazon, Rio Grande and Mekong.
Since 2012, Coca-Cola Great Britain has been working with the World Wildlife Fund UK to restore and protect some of England’s unique chalk stream rivers. The partnership aims to provide a thriving future for England’s rivers and has already seen successes in East Anglia and Kent.
Working with WWF, The Rivers Trust, the Norfolk Rivers Trust, local volunteers and our own employees, we’ve transformed stretches of the River Nar and restored sections of flood plain by rebuilding the habitats, shifting sands and gravels, and laying plants.
On the partnership, Leendert den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: “Our business is determined to use water in a responsible, sustainable way. And our work with WWF supports that mission.”
River replenishment in Norfolk
The River Nar flows through an area that supplies 80% of the British sugar beet we use in our drinks. It’s home to a thriving eco-system of wildlife, such as otters, great crested newts, water voles and trout. Following the success of our work on the River Nar, we’ve now expanded our partnership to encompass two much larger river catchment areas: The Cam & Ely Ouse and Broadland Rivers catchments, which are both areas rich in biodiversity and many more chalk stream rivers.
Growing sugar beet is much less water intensive than farming sugar cane, although if careful measures are not taken, fertiliser and soil run-offs from the fields after rain can pollute local rivers. We’ve been working with local farmers to help promote more soil-sensitive farming practices. These farmers have been implementing new initiatives that will help reduce pollution, such as installing silt traps to reduce sediment running off fields into rivers. We’re also promoting our work with other farmers throughout East Anglia to help spread the word and scale up the programme.
Learn more about our work with local farmers, WWF and The Rivers Trust.
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