As part of our new 2020 environmental goals announced today, this is blog 2 of our series on Coca-Cola Unbottled where our experts are sharing even more details on the goals.

How many ingredients do you think it takes to make a Coca-Cola? More than you may expect. From cane sugar, beet sugar to corn and coffee beans, agricultural crops are at the root of every Coke product. Ingredients are the foundation for great tasting, high quality and safe beverages. They are part of what give our products their unique flavor that consumers have come to expect and love.

Our commitment to sustainable agriculture impacts how we reach consumers and the way we do business. Coca-Cola’s approach to sustainable agriculture is founded on principles that protect the environment, uphold workplace rights and help build more sustainable communities.

Our new goal: By 2020, we will sustainably source key agricultural ingredients.

This new goal will mean better outcomes for the environment and an improvement in the livelihoods and the well-being of the farmers that harvest the crops and the communities in which they live. We have more than 40 sustainable agriculture projects underway around the world, on nearly every continent– and our program is growing.  We have established four fundamental priorities that drive our work in sustainable agriculture:

  • Improve crop yields while protecting natural resources
  • Accelerate farm-level innovation to drive systemic change
  • Empower local communities and farmers, particularly women
  • Build industry-wide collaboration

Most of these projects begin as pilot programs but are designed to be brought to scale in other markets to achieve even greater results.

Having a secure, sustainable supply of the agricultural ingredients that define our brands is imperative to meeting the expectations of our consumers, customers and other stakeholders and to enabling the continued growth of our Company. So, we have developed a set of Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles, which sets expectations of our agricultural ingredient suppliers to address sustainability challenges specific to agriculture. 

To meet our goal, we intend to work collaboratively with our suppliers, encouraging them to work continuously toward more sustainable practices including soil management, crop protection, water management and energy management and climate protection.

We know that sustainable sourcing poses new challenges – and that’s why we consider it a journey.  We look forward to working with our industry partners, NGOs and other third parties to meet our 2020 goal.

Denise Knight

Denise Knight

Denise Knight is Global Director of the Sustainable Agriculture Program at The Coca-Cola Company.