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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coca-Cola bottles cool in emissions-free machines

The Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with Greenpeace, has committed to make all its new vending machines and coolers hydrofluorocarbon-free by 2015.

By using hydrofluorocarbon-free refrigeration, Coca-Cola would be able to reduce its equipment’s direct greenhouse gas emissions by 99 percent. The elimination of hydrofluorocarbons in the commercial refrigeration industry would be equivalent to the elimination of annual emissions of Germany or Japan.

Coca-Cola’s new green commitment will help influence the commercial refrigeration market to shy away from using hydrofluorocarbons. The company has already invested more than $50 million in research and development to accelerate the use of climate-friendly cooling technologies.

Next year, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners will purchase a minimum of 150,000 units of hydrofluorocarbon-free equipment, doubling the current rate of purchase to meet its goal to buy 50 percent of all new coolers and vending machines without hydrofluorocarbons by 2012.

The company has approximately 10 million coolers and vending machines worldwide, making up the largest element of Coca-Cola’s total climate impact.

Hydrofluorocarbon-free equipment
As a result of the company’s commitment to use hydrofluorocarbon-free equipment, carbon emission reductions will exceed 52.5 million metric tons over the lifetime of the equipment – the equivalent of removing 11 million cars from the road for one year.

Because of Coca-Cola’s supply chain engagement, a major supplier already intends to build a dedicated carbon dioxide compressor production facility to help meet the increasing demand for hydrofluorocarbon-free cooling options across the industry.

“At Coca-Cola, we are deploying our scale and working with suppliers to deliver cost effective alternatives to HFC, for us and for others,” said Rick Frazier, vice president of supply chain for the Coca-Cola Company.

The new green initiative is a direct result of the collaboration with Greenpeace that began in 2000. Greenpeace has urged Coca-Cola to use hydrofluorocarbon-free equipment for the Olympics. By the Torino Games in 2006 and the Beijing Games in 2008, the company was using all hydrofluorocarbon-free technology at Olympic venues.

“Large enterprises have both an opportunity and responsibility to change the game and Coca-Cola’s action leaves no excuse for other companies not to follow,” remarked Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International.

In addition to its refrigeration gas commitment, Coca-Cola also developed a proprietary energy management system that provides energy savings of up to 35 percent.

The beverage bottler is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


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