Atlanta, July 10, 2014 -- Coca-Cola and WWF are partnering with local governments and others to launch projects in water conservation, sustainable tea production and community engagement along the Yangtze River.
Freshwater Conservation, Environmental Performance, Valuing Nature and Convening Partners Progress Featured
ATLANTA, JULY 10, 2014 – The Coca-Cola Company and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today announced the release of their global partnership’s
Annual Review. Celebrating a one-year partnership renewal anniversary and reporting on collaborative efforts throughout 2013, the review features progress across freshwater conservation, environmental performance, valuing nature and the convening of additional partners. Work in these areas supports the partnership’s renewal focus to help address the natural resource challenges impacting fresh water. “Our partnership’s Annual Review is more than a tool to share our progress with the world, but also a record of our work together, one that we can revisit to determine how we can do more, and do better,” said Greg Koch, Global Water Stewardship Director, The Coca-Cola Company. “When work is underway we recognize progress occurring, however it isn’t until a collaborative report is created that we truly realize its extent. The report reinforces our strong belief in the power of partnership to deliver results that benefit our planet.”
The Coca-Cola Company and WWF first announced a global partnership in 2007 to conserve and protect freshwater resources around the world. In 2013, The Coca-Cola Company and WWF
renewed their partnership through 2020, and expanded it to more deeply engage across the Company’s value chain; involve additional partners to achieve greater scale and impact; and spark commitments from businesses, governments, and consumers to take action to value, conserve, and protect the planet’s natural resources, with a focus on fresh water.
Over the last three years, the partnership has worked collaboratively across borders to improve river flow and restore native species to the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo.
“In this new phase of partnership, our two organizations are working hand-in-hand to address some of the world’s biggest and most pressing challenges, from global agricultural issues and natural resource scarcity to
climate change and freshwater conservation,” said Suzanne Apple, Senior Vice President of Private Sector Engagement, World Wildlife Fund. “But, we know we can’t solve these challenges alone, so we are collaborating across borders and sectors with partners from government, multilateral institutions, academia, industry and civil society. This year’s Annual Review highlights real-world examples of these local collaborations around the globe.” While partners spent much of the year planning basin improvement projects and structuring the work streams, critical components of positioning the partnership for success and progress toward meeting the partnership’s 2020 goals were realized in 2013, including:
Helping ensure healthy, resilient freshwater basins in 11 key regions. Projects have been initiated across the select 11 geographies, spanning Asia, Africa and the Americas. Some early successes include collaborating with local farmers in the Mesoamerican Reef on more sustainable growing techniques that also improve productivity. This work has led to reductions in pesticide toxicity, and water and fertilizer use. In the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, cross-sector partners are being united across country borders to reduce negative impacts from invasive species, such as salt cedar and giant cane, which narrow the river, leading to increased flooding and greater damage.
Improving the environmental performance across the Company’s value chain. WWF and Coca-Cola set ambitious goals for the Company to improve agricultural, climate, packaging and water efficiency performance. In 2013, some of that work comprised the identification of key agricultural ingredients for the Company to sustainably source by 2020. In addition, Coca-Cola improved its water-use efficiency for the 11th consecutive year, with a nearly 8 percent improvement over a 2010 baseline, placing the Company on track toward the 2020 partnership goal of a 25 percent improvement over 2010.
Integrating the value of nature into public and private decision-making processes. The partnership team began work on a collaborative research project to examine the potential environmental benefits from the global adoption of sustainable production standards. This project will help inform how the public and private sectors set policies and make better sourcing decisions, as well as update consumers on the benefits to society from the sustainable production of commodities.
Convening influential partners to solve global environmental challenges. In 2013, WWF and The Coca-Cola Company began engaging organizations with shared goals to deepen, sustain and amplify their work globally and in partnership basins. The partnership also took steps to become active participants in the global water dialogue. At World Water Week in Stockholm, WWF and Coca-Cola convened influential stakeholders to learn about the partnership and explore opportunities for engagement toward common goals.
Koch says, “With growing global demands on food and water, we must seek solutions that drive mutual benefit for business, communities and nature. Only by working together, across sectors, will sustainable solutions be reached.”
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