Coca-Cola reveals carbon footprints of Coke brands

LONDON - Coca-Cola Great Britain has announced details of the carbon footprints for its Coca-Cola, diet Coke and Coke Zero brands, as certified by the Carbon Trust.

 

The company says the research is part of an ongoing programme to reduce the impact of its products and operations on the environment.

The Carbon Trust is working with Coca-Cola Great Britain and bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises to measure greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) across the full lifecycle of the selected drinks and a variety of packaging formats.

This included looking at the ingredients used to make the drink, the manufacture of the drink and its packaging, the impact of distribution and retailing, use of the product by individual consumers and subsequent disposal of the empty bottle or can.

According to the study, a 330ml can of Coca-Cola sold in Great Britain has a carbon footprint of 170 grams and the same sized can of ‘diet Coke' or ‘Coke Zero' has a footprint of 150 grams. A 330ml glass bottle of ‘Coca-Cola' has a footprint of 360 grams.

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: "Today's announcement is important as it will help bring home to consumers that carbon is everywhere - in all we consume. When we launched the idea around the carbon footprinting of products it was always our aim to have major brands, like Coca-Cola, using the process as a means to further reduce the carbon in their supply chains.  We are delighted they are committed to doing just that."

The research also revealed how packaging accounts for the largest portion of the drink's carbon footprint, between 30 - 70%, depending on the type of container used. However, the research found that using recycled materials and later recycling containers can decrease the overall carbon footprint of a product by up to 60%. 

The company is already involved in recycling. In Great Britain, the Coca-Cola System's aluminium cans contain around 50% recycled content and its glass bottles contain an average of 40% recycled glass.

And in partnership with WRAP, the Coca-Cola System is currently rolling out a nationwide series of branded Recycle Zones to encourage consumers to recycle when out and about. Six Recycle Zones have already been successfully launched including at Thorpe Park, Festival Place in Basingstoke and the University of Warwick.

The carbon footprint research will also inform other important initiatives designed to improve the environmental impact of individual Coca-Cola products in Great Britain.  These include work to improve the efficiency of refrigeration equipment and to improve the efficiency of transport and delivery operations for example.

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