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Lights Out: Communities Prepare to Go Dark for Earth Hour

By:  Journey Staff Mar 28, 2014
Earth Hour

On Saturday, March 29 at 8:30 p.m. families, individuals and organizations will "go dark" for 60 minutes to make a collective statement supporting climate protection.

For the seventh year, World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour invites millions of people to turn off their lights for one hour. The hope is that mobilizing people to take action for one hour will drive big and small changes to address climate challenges. 

“Earth Hour is an annual display of how our imagination can inspire and engage hundreds of millions to focus on the one thing that unites us – our planet,” said Keya Chatterjee, Director of Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach for World Wildlife Fund. “Joining together for Earth Hour with The Coca-Cola Company and other businesses, communities and cities around the world, we are setting the stage for a brighter tomorrow.”

Earth Hour, which engages more than 7,000 cities and towns across more than 150 countries and territories, has long inspired the Coca-Cola system. 

Coca-Cola has supported Earth Hour over the years by darkening some of its most iconic signs -- from Times Square in New York City, to Piccadilly Circus in London, to Kings Cross in Sydney. The company and its bottling partners also encourage employees to participate at home or through coordinated events, and by turning off the lights in office buildings and facilities. 

“As lights go off around the world for Earth Hour, we hope that many proverbial lights will go on regarding climate protection,” said Bryan Jacob, Coke's climate protection director. “We’ve been pursuing energy efficiency and climate protection measures for more than a decade. Participating in Earth Hour reminds us that our programs are part of a collective, global effort.”     

Coca-Cola is committed to using the best possible mix of energy sources; to improving the energy efficiency of its manufacturing processes; to and reducing the potential climate impact of the products it sells. Results from Coca-Cola’s energy efficiency and climate protection program include:

  • Improved the environmental efficiency of its refrigeration equipment by 40%.
  • Transitioned to HFC-free insulation foam for new refrigeration equipment, eliminating 75% of direct Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Used natural refrigerant fluids to replace HFC refrigerants and are phasing out the use of HFCs in all new cold-drink equipment by the end of 2015; currently have more than 1 million HFC-free units in operation.
  • Integrated 5.5 million intelligent energy management devices in refrigeration equipment, reducing customer electricity consumption and saving an estimated $440 million annually and delivering corresponding emissions reductions of approximately 3.1 million metric tons/year.
  • Invested more than $100 million over the past decade in research, development and commercialization efforts to advance the use of climate-friendly, HFC-free cooling technologies.
  • Improved the energy efficiency of its global manufacturing operations by 18% since 2004, saving the Coca-Cola system more than nearly $1 billion since 2004.
  • Reduced GHG emissions from its manufacturing operations in developed countries by 8% compared to 2004.
  • Implemented the largest heavy-duty hybrid electric delivery fleet in North America with more than 750 hybrid electric delivery trucks on the road, reducing fuel and emissions by approximately 30%.
  • Engaged consumers to raise awareness about climate change through Arctic Home® campaign. Launched in November 2011 with long-time conservation partner WWF, Arctic Home supports polar bear habitat conservation.
  • Announced a new set of sustainability targets in 2013 including an end-to-end value chain target to “reduce the carbon footprint of the drink in your hand” 25% by 2020 (compared to a 2010 baseline).

“While we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, there’s more work to do," Jacob says. "Earth Hour serves as a reminder that we all need to strive toward a more sustainable world, not only for one hour, once a year, but every day.”


Join the Earth Hour movement and find local celebrations.

Learn more about Coke's sustainability journey.