Coke Solutions

Coke Customer Sustainability Summit Leads to Collaboration

Idea Sharing, partnerships key to environmental stewardship challenges

The Coca-Cola Company presented the CCNA Enviromatters Webinar on the Customer Sustainability Summit featuring Nicole Smith, sustainability manager, Coca-Cola North America. Smith shared learnings from the summit recently held in Chicago that covered topics such as water, stewardship, and manufacturing.

Amid the buzzing of insects and chirping of birds, attendees at the Coca-Cola Customer Sustainability Summit planted native grasses at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to kick off the event with participants from the Coca-Cola bottling system, as well as customers and partners. Smith said the summit discussions included the reduction of carbon emissions, plans for climate change and support for sustainable agriculture.

Coke Sustainability Efforts
The Coca-Cola Company shared details of its sustainability program, including how it has reduced carbon emissions, reached 100% of its 2020 water replenishment goal this year, and helped support EKOCENTER units across the globe. Coca-Cola also highlighted its innovative PlantBottle, made from 30% plant material that is 100% recyclable.

According to attendee Krista Hicks, Aramark’s sustainability manager, the top takeaway from the summit was learning about bottling. “I appreciated learning about the plant bottle, which takes into account the packaging for the convenience to the customer, as well as ease of recyclability to keep bottles in a closed loop system,” Hicks says. “Being in foodservice at a university that has environmental goals to minimize waste, it’s important that all of our suppliers and vendors are looking at the end game when they are creating products.”

Customer and Partner Reports
Many customers of The Coca-Cola Company are committed to environmental stewardship. The summit included the following presentations:

• The Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport has become the first carbon neutral airport in North America, generating 102,000 metric tons of renewable energy through Texas wind power.
• Fair Oaks drives innovation for sustainable agriculture with an emphasis on carbon reduction. “Fair Oaks has shared their best practices among many farmers,” Smith says. “They view their sustainability efforts as a value add to their products, as well as to consumers who are purchasing their goods.”
• Among its many sustainability efforts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts has developed a plan for how to accommodate guests as a result of natural disasters, and has committed to sourcing sustainable seafood for its restaurants.
• Cargill drives a field to market initiative with online tools to help growers get accurate, up-to-date information on the impact to the environment and local water shed.

For summit attendee Timothy Howland, associate director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Virginia Tech, it’s important to have the opportunity to explore where resources are lost – and can potentially be recovered – throughout the supply chain. “Everyone [at the summit] really understands that customers are demanding environmental responsibility, and we’ve got to be able to do it,” Howland says. “It was good to hear that sustainability can’t just be special projects, but rather you have to promote an ecosystem that lends itself to sustainability.”

To find out more about sustainability and making a positive impact on the environment, while driving sales through increased consumer engagement, talk to your local Coke representative today.

To learn more about consumer sentiment and other topics, sign up to for the monthly Refreshing Insights webinars.

Read Related Stories:
How Plant Bottle Packaging Can Help Increase Sales
How Sustainable Practices Can Positively Impact the Bottom Line
Create Greater Customer Connection with Project Ripple

Published: January 09, 2017