Coca-Cola unveils 2030 water security strategy
The Coca-Cola Company has announced a holistic strategy to achieve water security for its business, communities and nature everywhere the company operates, sources agricultural ingredients for its beverages and touches people’s lives by 2030.
The strategic framework – which was developed following detailed water risk assessments and shaped by feedback from bottling partners, NGOs, governments and peer companies – focuses on three 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. Localized, context-based targets, to be announced later this year, will support the global framework.
Water stewardship has long been a business imperative for Coca-Cola, which in 2015 became the first Fortune 500 company to replenish all water used in its global beverage production – five years ahead of plan – and has done so every year since. Additionally, as of 2019, we have improved the efficiency of our water use by 18% since 2010.
James Quincey, chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company: “These are strong results, but we must do more. While we remain committed to provide leadership on water through ambitious water stewardship and 100% replenishment, we are shifting our focus toward making a greater impact on people and ecosystems.”
The science-based strategy acknowledges the growing urgency of shared water risks and need for systemic action across the value chain. About one-third of the Coca-Cola system’s bottling plants operate in water-stressed areas, and more than 73% of its global water footprint is used to grow agricultural ingredients like cane sugar, oranges and apples.
Building on results and learnings over the last decade, the strategy maintains leading standards for water risk management, continuous water use efficiency improvement and wastewater treatment. New priorities include:
Achieving 100% regenerative water use in bottling operations in water-stressed areas by reducing, reusing, recycling and locally replenishing the water they use;
Using a five-element watershed health scorecard to address systemic issues around scarcity, quality, ecosystems, infrastructure and governance, with a priority on nature-based solutions;
Refocusing and broadening replenishment efforts to create systemic impact in priority watersheds;
Continuing to support access to safe drinking water and sanitation for vulnerable communities and helping communities adapt to the water-related impacts of climate change; and
Deepening engagement with agricultural suppliers in priority sourcing watersheds to ensure water-sustainable ingredients and landscapes.
Ulrike Sapiro, Senior Director, Global Water Stewardship and Sustainable Agriculture, The Coca-Cola Company: “We are prioritizing our efforts based on deep-dive analyses of water risks at our facilities and where we source our ingredients,” said. These analyses identify ‘leadership locations’ and ‘priority watersheds’ to guide our efforts to the areas where it matters most.”