Jon Radtke’s worked a corporate job at
Instead, you’re likely to catch him sporting well-worn hiking boots, with his sleeves rolled high as he treks across America’s watersheds.
The Best Job in the World
As far back as Radtke can remember, nature has been a central part of his life. He recalls his childhood playground as the woods behind his house in southern Illinois, where he would catch tadpoles in the nearby creek and build tree forts. As he grew older, he would backpack for weeks at a time with his brother in the backcountry, living on what they could carry on their backs and catch in surrounding streams.
“It refreshes me,” Radtke says of his time spent in nature.
So, when Radtke began his work at
He now works full time as
“It is,” he believes, “the best job in the world.”
For Radtke, the value of preserving earths’ resources is not only aesthetic, but functional.
He reflects, “Living in the city, we have a tendency to get wrapped up in our immediate environment and we think of nature as something that’s pretty to go visit every now and then. But really, we rely on nature for most aspects of our lives, including clean air, clean water and many other benefits that we take for granted.”
Radtke’s mission? Making sure that
He does this in two primary ways: by helping to ensure that the source water
A Community Conscious Role
Replenishing local watersheds has no panacea. In some communities, it means removing water-thirsty non-native invasive species, which have sucked dry the land. In others, it means building structures to prevent further erosion of streams or to increase natural groundwater storage.
This locally conscious approach, contributes to a much more extensive environmental impact.
Through their local efforts in North America, Radtke’s team has supported the company’s global goal to replenish water back to nature and communities in an amount equal to that used in its finished beverages.
Not only has the company replenished an estimated 133% of this water, working with many reputable independent partners and using accepted scientific methods, but it surpassed its intended water neutrality milestone five years earlier than expected, meaning more available water for communities to use.
“It’s not only rewarding to see the difference we are making in the watersheds,” Radtke says, “but it’s rewarding to see the difference we are making in people’s lives.”
Furthermore, Radtke believes these sustainability efforts make business sense.
Looking back at his time with
“Coke is now recognized as a leader in corporate water stewardship,” he concludes. “As a company, we’ve been around for 130 years. If we want to be around for another 130 years we need to continue what we’re doing around water stewardship and leverage our influence to have others join us.”