The pioneering work WWF-UK does to protect precious UK river habitats will continue to be supported by a grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Coca-Cola GB and WWF have been working together on water-sensitive farming in the UK since 2012. The next phase of this partnership will allow work to continue in the East Anglia region and, together with partners at Norfolk Rivers Trust and The Rivers Trust, will focus on improving river health and encourage sustainable soil-sensitive farming practices.

So why is continuing to support this work important to us at Coca-Cola? Rivers, lakes and wetlands are the lifeblood of the environment. They help supply drinking water, can provide the water we need to grow crops, create energy and manufacture products – including our drinks. Wetlands and lakes can also help keep us safe by offering flood protection for towns and cities. That's why keeping rivers and waterways healthy matters to us.

“At Coca-Cola GB we’re committed to replenishing 100% of the water we use in areas of water stress.”
— Liz Lowe, Sustainability Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain

1.2 billion litres of water replenished

We want to continue to build on the work we've already successfully done. To date, with the conservation work we have supported on the ground, Coca-Cola GB and WWF-UK have replenished more than 1.2 billion litres of clean water back to the environment.

A further 1 billion litres promised

As we look ahead to 2021, we’re aiming to replenish a further 1 billion litres of water in one of the most water-stressed and densely agricultural areas of Great Britain: the Cam and Ely Ouse and the Broadlands Rivers.

Our aim is to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to what is used in production of our drinks – particularly in areas of water stress. Think of it like this: ‘For every drop of water we use, we give one back’

Supporting farmers

“Coca-Cola GB has helped us introduce more sustainable farming practices that have led to measurable improvements in soil and water quality.”
— Lucy Lee, Head of Food and Landscapes at WWF-UK

And to encourage real long-term improvements we have so far directly supported 135 farmers to introduce more soil-sensitive practices, resulting in more than 4,000 acres of land now being farmed more sustainably. The project will continue to help more farmers through practical on-the-ground work and expert advice, to reduce the impacts of their crop production on the freshwater environment. Expertise on offer can help farmers in all kinds of hands-on ways including:

  • reducing field run-off from tractor wheels
  • choosing crops that help to avoid run-off and nutrient leaching from bare winter soil

The funding for the project will enable the team at WWF-UK engage hundreds more farmers and pilot innovative programmes to protect and restore nature, improving local biodiversity and safeguarding the landscape.

It is crucial to be tackling this now as the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, with more than half of species declining since 1970. In England 86% of rivers are failing to meet good ecological status. Making sure the people working the land are protecting and managing it for the benefit of the environment is essential to halting and reversing the decline.

‘Water is at the heart of our business’

Liz Lowe, Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain, says she delighted that the partnership has been extended. “Water stewardship is at the heart of our business, with water being the most important ingredient in all our drinks,” says Liz.

“It is vital for us to protect the sustainability of our water for future generations. Our WWF partnership over the past six years has achieved some remarkable results, and we want to continue to show other businesses the positive impacts of water stewardship and nature-sensitive farming.”

‘UK economy depends on healthy systems’

Lucy Lee, Head of Food and Landscapes at WWF-UK, says it’s crucial that we all work together. “The UK’s economy, particularly our agriculture, depends on healthy natural systems,” says Lucy. “That’s why it’s vital that farmers and other businesses come together to support the sustainable management of our landscapes.

“Coca-Cola GB has helped us introduce more sustainable farming practices that have led to measurable improvements in soil and water quality.”