Since 2013, Coca-Cola, one of the largest beverage manufacturers in the world, has been working with the World Wildlife Fund UK to restore and protect rivers across England.
Water is the main ingredient in all of Coca-Cola’s products, and it’s also an important part of their production process. That’s why they want to make sure its used in a way that’s responsible and sustainable, as well as show other businesses how they can reduce their impact on freshwater environments. As part of their global commitment to sustainability, they plan to safely return to nature the same amount of water they use in the production and creation of Coca-Cola products by 2020.
Coca-Cola and WWF have been working together on water-sensitive farming in the UK since 2012. The next phase of their partnership will allow work to continue in the East Anglia region, focusing on improving river health and developing sustainable farming practices. To date, Coca-Cola and WWF have replenished over 1.2 billion litres of water back to the environment and have directly supported 135 farmers to introduce more soil-sensitive practices, resulting in over 4,000 acres of land being farmed more sustainably.
The River Nar
The River Nar is directly linked to the Coca-Cola system because it flows through an area where they get 80 per cent of the British sugar beet they use in their drinks. It’s also a site of scientific interest because some areas are homes for otters, water voles, trout and kingfishers. But one of the problems the Nar faces is that wet weather causes fertilisers and pesticides from local farms to seep in. So, Coca-Cola has been working with farmers to reduce this kind of pollution. Another problem is that in some places the river has been artificially changed to flow in straight trenches. So, Coca-Cola has been trying to restore it to its natural, meandering state, so that it works harmoniously in times of flood and wildlife will find it more appealing.
This story shows how Coca-Cola supports Goal 15: Life on Land, specifically Target 15.1: “By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.”
Founded in 1892, Coca-Cola Company is a manufacturer, retailer, and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. They have over 60,000 employees and their products are available in more than 150 markets around the world.
Learn more about how Coca-Cola supports the goals.