The Coca-Cola Company, on account of its strategy ‘Reduce, Recycle and Replenish’, announced that it has exceeded its 2020 water replenish goal. Demonstrating significant improvements in its Water Use Ratio (WUR), the company announced a 32.4 percent reduction in WUR in INSWA. From 2.56 liters of water used to produce a liter of beverage in 2010, it used 1.73 liters in 2020. Additionally, in India and Southwest Asia, through water conservation initiatives undertaken by bottling operations and Coca-Cola India Foundation (Anandana), the Company has created a combined water replenishment potential of 26 billion litres.
|Coca-Cola’s water stewardship journey in INSWA
Water stewardship has long been a business imperative for Coca-Cola. In 2021, the Company announced a new holistic strategy globally to achieve water security for its business, communities and nature everywhere it operates, sources agricultural ingredients for its beverages and touches people’s lives by 2030. This strategy focuses on three core priorities: reducing shared water challenges around the world; enhancing community water resilience with a focus on women and girls; and improving the health of priority watersheds.
Commenting on this milestone, Ms. Devyani Rajya Laxmi Rana, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, INSWA said, “Water is essential for life, our communities and the entire ecosystem. World Water Day 2022 presents an opportunity to highlight the importance of groundwater, the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, which can be held in aquifers and extracted by wells or naturally through springs or discharged into lakes or streams. We are humbly proud of our associations and partnerships with NGO’s and our bottling partners which have enabled us to replenish over 160% of the water used in our operations in India and South West Asia. It has also furthered our vision of water stewardship by expanding access to clean water and preserve waterways. This achievement is another step in our steadfast approach and commitment towards creating a better shared future.”
More than a decade ago, the Company set a pioneering goal to replenish the water used in its beverages and their production, consume water more efficiently, and treat the wastewater from production processes. Through the three ‘R’s strategy of ‘Reduce, Recycle and Replenish’, not only did it exceed its 2020 replenish goal, but also set a leading example in shared water management inside and outside its operations with INSWA contributing significantly to the Company’s water stewardship goals globally. For details refer to the infographic.
Through meaningful collaborations with its bottling partners, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organization (CSOs), and community members, Anandana – The Coca-Cola India Foundation (CCIF) has been able to make humble contributions through key water replenishment projects for the holistic development of communities in distressed regions across India. While these projects focus on addressing the challenges owing to water scarcity, they have also paid special attention to community participation with a focus on women empowerment, who often reach supervisory roles in village “PaniSamitis” (water committees) to ensure maintenance and sustainability of community water projects.
Globally, The Coca-Cola Company is working with four key partners who have provided strategic development and implementation support on groundwater-focused projects around the world:
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Coca-Cola and TNC are jointly pursuing Nature-Based Solutions not only to protect watersheds, but to unlock meaningful benefits for people and the planet. This commitment includes projects focused on maintaining the health of groundwater systems, like the Greater Cape Town Water Fund in South Africa, where water-hogging invasive plant species threaten local municipal water supplies including the Atlantis Aquifer. Coca-Cola and other partners supported a TNC-led project to remove invasive species, clearing the way for the reestablishment of native vegetation and releasing water back to the supply system.
TNC also led the development of the watersheds portion of Coca-Cola’s 2030 Water Strategy, outlining a goal to make measurable, positive contributions to watershed health and resilience in 100% of the company’s priority watersheds. The strategy marks a shift from water replenishment as a standalone goal to improving overall watershed health. The partners are now establishing watershed health plans in priority areas around the world.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Since 2012, the Coca-Cola Company and WWF have replenished more than 1.4 billion liters of water back into the environment, improving water security in some of the most water-stressed areas of the world. The partners’ water stewardship work began in 11 freshwater basins before expanding the program in 50 countries.
In addition to expanding clean water access through climate-resilient solutions in countries such as Bangladesh, Eswatini, Tanzania and Nigeria, WaterAid and Coca-Cola helped reverse groundwater depletion in Nepal by installing 51 recharge wells and filter chambers. These climate change adaptive measures leverage available rainwater for urban communities during droughts and dry seasons, resulting in groundwater recharge of up to 13 million gallons annually.
Global Water Challenge (GWC)
Since 2017, GWC, in collaboration with The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) and Ipsos, has examined the transformative impact of water access on women’s empowerment. The coalition-sponsored Ripple Effect Study provided evidence that clean water uniquely empowers women and transforms communities. Using these insights, GWC established the “women for water” platform to mobilize collective action for clean water access for women and communities in 21 countries across Africa, North and South America, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Learn more about Coca-Cola’s water stewardship strategy and programs