Demand on the amount of fresh water around us is increasing and climate change is impacting traditional rainfall patterns. As the world’s population grows, the demands being placed on fresh water are rising, rapidly. Our ability to grow is directly related to the availability and quality of local water resources. As a result, we place a major focus on our water stewardship efforts, and an integrated approach to this critical resource:
• Improving our water efficiency: we work hard to reduce the amount of water needed to produce our beverages
• Working in partnerships: to protect local watersheds and promote sustainable water management, we work in a growing number of partnerships
Improving our water efficiency
In our bottling plants, we closely monitor our water sources, minimising the amount of water we withdraw. By incorporating water savings technologies on our production lines, we have managed to improve the efficiency with which we use water. For example the Supply Chain team at the Knockmore Hill plant sets water usage targets each year to reduce the amount of water used for each litre of product produced. To date we have achieved our targets through improved line efficiencies and reduced pumping rates.
Each bottling plant regularly conducts risk assessments. We study the quantity and quality of local water supplies, as well as environmental, regulatory and other concerns. Based on these assessments, we develop action plans to mitigate risks.
Although we have significantly improved our efficiency, we cannot reduce the amount of water in our beverages. As we produce greater volume of beverages, we will use more water. It is therefore increasingly important to further improve water efficiency. We therefore invest in emerging technologies.
We ensure that all water returned to the natural environment is treated to a level that supports fish life. Our bottling plant in Northern Ireland has an on-site wastewater treatment plant. Treated water released into the environment is suitable for use in agriculture as well as supporting plant and aquatic life
Working in partnership
To address water-related issues, we work in a growing number of partnerships.
For example we are working with An Taisce and Tidy Northern Ireland to conserve rural beaches around the island of Ireland. In 2009, 44 rural beaches were awarded Coca-Cola Green Coast Awards for cleanliness and water quality. Our activities include:
• Sponsorship of the Green Coast Awards each year, including a special group merit award
• Provision of product for groups around the country undertaking clean ups at their local beach
• Employee volunteer clean up days at beaches close to our sites
International Water Stewardship Activities
The Green Danube is one of our longest partnerships. Together with the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, we conduct conservation and awareness-raising activities in ten countries lying in the river basin. These include annual Danube Day celebrations, which see the participation of hundreds of thousands of people.
At an international level, Coca-Cola Hellenic Group is a founding signatory of the CEO Water Mandate of the UN Global Compact. This initiative aims to address water sustainability issues in operations, supply chains and communities; and to work with government and NGOs to shape public policy. To better understand water use in our supply chain, Coca-Cola Hellenic Group is also working with the Water Footprint Network.
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