Coca-Cola is a non-alcoholic carbonated beverage manufactured by «The Coca-Cola Company». There are many achievements of this transnational corporation that make it one of the most expensive brands such as originality, representation worldwide, and powerful advertising campaigns. The drink is sold in more than 200 countries around the world. The company owns one of the most recognizable brands in the history, and almost every nation on the planet has heard of the “Coca-Cola.” However, the company was accused of extensive use of drinking water, so the sustainability became the crucial factor in Coca-Cola’s modern business operations. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the company’s water consumption issue and propose measures to solve it and further recommendations.
The water issue is common for beverage companies. However, no corporation has ever taken that problem as seriously as Coca-Cola has. The causes of the problem are the nature of beverages manufacturing: their basis is high-quality water. Unfortunately, the resources of water are shrinking, and some world regions do not have them at all. Additionally to the production needs, the water is used for other factory’s purposes. Seeking the ways to solve the water issue in 2004, Coca-Cola required 2.7 liters of water to produce one liter of product, and out of that amount; 1.7 liters were necessary to ensure the adequate work of the equipment (Coca-Cola: Drinking the World Dry, 1). The current rate is 2.03l liters of water per one liter of Coca-Cola while the goal is to make the rate 1,7:1 (Improving Our Water Efficiency, 1). Overall, the company made 162.6 billion liters of Coca-Cola beverages from around 305 billion liters of water in 2014 (Moodie, 1).
The goal of Coca-Cola Company is to fulfill its global commitments that are to restore the same amount of water in nature used in the production of beverages up to 2020 (Improving Our Water Efficiency). Coca-Cola and its global partners announced this commitment in 2015. Based on the global projects of Coca-Cola system to refill water in the environment, today, the company estimates this figure to 94% of the volume of water used in the volume of drinks sold in 2014 (Improving Our Water Efficiency). Since 2004, Coca-Cola returned around 153.6 billion liters of water to local communities and nature through the implementation of 209 projects on water in 61 countries (Moodie, 2). Coca-Cola system has compensated about 126.7 million liters of water to nature and local communities used in its production processes in 2014 through the purification of wastewater (Moodie, 1). For the last 12 years, Coca-Cola Company is struggling to find sustainable solutions.
Fortunately, the understanding of the importance of moderate water consumption and restoring became obvious to the Coca-Cola managers in 2004 (Coca-Cola. In Hot Water. The World’s Biggest Drinks Firm Tries to Fend off Its Green Critics, 1). Since then, there were many projects and strategies implemented. The company has already created a strategy concerning water resources with several objectives. The first objective was to enhance the efficiency of water use, constantly reducing the amount of water needed for the production of beverages, as well as to monitor that the water returning from the enterprises into the natural environment is suitable for the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. One more goal is to assess the availability of water in the future and reduce the environmental and social risks associated with water use. Additionally, sustainable water management includes work with suppliers, drawing their attention to the need for efficient water use in the processing of agricultural raw materials, in particular, sugar production. Coca-Cola Company was striving to support national and international social projects aimed at preserving water bodies and promoting the rational use of water and to carry out emergency supplies of drinking water to those affected by the disaster. Lastly, together with the shareholders, to make a common contribution to the development of national and international standards, as well as improving water conservation policy. Coca-Cola Company works with organizations and projects aimed at promoting water protection initiatives, such as the Water Mandate (Water Mandate) that is a voluntary UN initiative, spelled out in the Global Agreement (Improving Our Water Efficiency, 2).
Options and Recommendations
There are several opportunities and recommendations for Coca-Cola, namely its managers. The first possible way is to support more the countries that have a greater lack of water than others do. The most suitable regions are Africa and Central Asia. In Central Asia, Coca-Cola annually refills nature and the local communities up to 4,357,840 cubic meters of water that is 300% of the beverages sold in its region (Moodie, 1). Thanks to these joint efforts, Coca-Cola could be the first world-famous manufacturer of soft drinks, which will reimburse nature and local communities the entire volume of water that it uses in the production. The recommendation is to pay more attention to the African countries and collaborate with the UN to increase the scale of cooperation.
The next option is the technical improvement. Significant support was provided to villages where the company carried out the reconstruction of the water supply system. There is intensive work to conserve water resources. Thus, the global leader in beverage production allocated its funds for the reconstruction of the agricultural channel irrigation systems. Coca-Cola Company has installed sensor taps, water filters, and solar collectors (Improving Our Water Efficiency, 1). The manufacturer supported the construction of energy-efficient greenhouses with drip irrigation (Improving Our Water Efficiency, 2). The recommendation is to make water use sustainable by improving the agricultural methods and equipment used in developing countries.
The third recommendation is to control not only the amount of water used but also the water returned to the environment. The company should pay particular attention to the quality of wastewater discharged. Before the water enters the watercourse or sewage system, it would pass several stages of modern purification. There should be measuring equipment, controlling quality, and dynamic parameters of the flow of water to be used at each stage of purification.
One more recommendation is connected to the sphere of media. Coca-Cola can increase the awareness of water issue importance and educate the communities on how every person can save the water in daily life. Moreover, the company should provide more information about its water saving measures in different countries and their outcomes. Among all these recommendations there is no superior one, all they are worth taking into account and implementing.
Coca-Cola Company respects human and environmental water needs. As the manufacturer of beverages, it recognizes the essential role of water in improving the health of ecosystems, communities, businesses, agriculture, and commerce. The Coca-Cola Company products consist of water on more than 90%. Drinking water quality is considered to be the most urgent issue for the health of the population, so the managers of the corporation will put in every effort further to the houses in developing countries to provide clean water, which has beneficial qualities. Therefore, such a resource as water is crucial for Coca-Cola Inc. In addition to the execution of social programs, the company has made a commitment to become water-neutral before 2020; it means planning to return nature every drop taken by the beverage industry. The major recommendations are to improve technical aspects, support developing countries in saving water, increase social awareness of water issue, and work with other organizations in arid regions.
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