Coca-Cola and Its Bottlers Aim for 20 Percent Water Reduction This Year
1 Aug 2012 - 10:52 by OOSKAnews Correspondent
united states, GA, ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Company is working in partnership with its independent bottling partners to achieve a 20 percent reduction of water use this year, according to the company’s director of Quality-Policy, Product & Technology, D.V. Darshane.
“Globally, our goal is to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equivalent to what we use in all of our products and their production,” Darshane told OOSKAnews via email this week.
“Using water more efficiently in our bottling plants, including the water used by our independent bottling partners, is an important part of our global water stewardship goal. At present, in partnership with our bottling partners, we are working toward a 20 percent improvement of our water use efficiency by 2012.”
Earlier this month, the company rolled out a “first of its kind” beverage process water recovery system, which has been trialed in Mexico and India and will be used system-wide technology by 2013.
This system takes already highly treated water and adds further biological treatment through membrane bioreactor, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, ozonation and lastly ultraviolet disinfection.
It makes the water purer than drinking water standards, according to the company.
“By reusing cleaned and treated water for non-product applications, the new system could potentially lessen the company’s withdrawal of water in the long-term as our unit case volume continues to grow. In the Coca-Cola system alone, that’s approximately 900 bottling locations in 206 countries,” Greg Koch, director of global water stewardship for the Coca-Cola Company, was quoted as saying by GreenBiz.
Coca-Cola estimates the new system could save the company 100 billion liters of water a year, or 35 percent of operational water needs, once adopted across its entire bottling network.
“Our new water recovery system is another example of our efforts to continuously improve our water use and stewardship. Treating and reusing the water we use in our manufacturing processes has the potential to significantly reduce our overall operational water use over the next few years,” Darshane said.
Although developing these types of technologies requires major capital investment, being able to reuse water for non-product use means not having to procure as much water, which the company finds very attractive, he added.
Beverage analysts have referred to this new system as potentially groundbreaking for the industry due to the large amount of water that could be saved.
"There may be other neat H2O treatment systems out there in beverage, but what Coke has is innovation plus size and that’s pretty profound," Robert Kuhn, president of sustainability consulting firm Kuhn Associates Management Advisors, was quoted as saying.