In 2016, The Coca-Cola Company announced that, along with its bottling partners, it had met its water replenishment target five years ahead of schedule. It had managed to replenish an equivalent amount of water in the global sales volume back to the nature and communities.
When it made the announcement, The Coca-Cola Company became the first Fortune 500 firm to make a public claim for its achievement.
Based on a global water use assessment, validated by LimnoTech and Deloitte and conducted in association with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Coca-Cola system returned an estimated 191.9 billion liters of water to nature and communities in 2015. This water was replenished through community water projects, which was 115 per cent of the water used in Coca-Cola’s beverages during 2014.
The review of the water stewardship efforts of Coca-Cola by Deloitte and LimnotTech can be seen here while the methodology employed by the two can be seen here
The Coca-Cola Company had then said that at each of its 863 plants across the world the operations team had to determine the sustainability of the water supply they share with others on parameters of quality, quantity, and other issues such as infrastructure to treat and distribute water.
The company’s requirements also mandated that each of its plants develop and implement their own Source Water Protection Plan. The plan, among other things, engages others to mutually seek solutions to promote the sustainability of the local water source.
When the target was reached, The Coca-Cola Company said in this report that 248 community water partnership projects across 71 countries had focused on safe water access, watershed protection and water for productive use.
Some replenish projects directly return water to the source we use while others are outside the watershed our plant uses but are important to help meet needs of local governments, communities and partners where there is a pressing need.
In India, the Coca-Cola system attained water neutrality in 2012 and the operations are aligned to the sustainable development goals (SDG).
In 2014, Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola India and TERI University joined hands to set up the Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water studies. The curriculum is looking to develop water management professionals to carry out the research on contemporary issues related to water.