The Coca‑Cola Company today announced three goals accelerating its action on water during the UN 2023 Water Conference.
Chairman and CEO James Quincey participated in events during the week to share how the company is prioritizing water investments where they are needed most. The company’s holistic 2030 water strategy aims to achieve water security in the company’s operations, local watersheds and communities—where it operates, sources agricultural ingredients for beverages and touches people’s lives.
“We recognize that water is essential to our business and to the communities where we operate, and are committed to being responsible stewards of this vital resource,” Quincey said. “We want to do this by improving water availability, quality, access and governance – and taking a more granular watershed-based approach. In short, we’re focusing on doing what matters most, where it matters most.”
The company announced three goals related to the strategy’s key focus areas:
- Achieve 100% circular water use – or regenerative water use – across 175 facilities identified as “leadership locations” by 2030.
- Work with partners to help improve the health of 60 watersheds identified as most critical for the company's operations and agricultural supply chains by 2030.
- Aim to return a cumulative total of 2 trillion liters of water to nature and communities globally, between 2021-2030.
During the conference, Bea Perez, SVP and Chief Communications, Sustainability & Strategic Partnerships Officer, announced that the company is joining the Business Leaders’ Open Call to Accelerate Action on Water – an initiative of the UN Global Compact, the CEO Water Mandate and others. Furthering collective action, the company is joined in this effort by three of its bottling partners – Coca‑Cola FEMSA, ARCA Continental and Coca‑Cola Europacific Partners.
This initiative means the company will partner to build water resilience across operations and supply chains, and will work with partners to achieve collective positive water impact in at least 100 vulnerable water basins by 2030.
Additionally, The Coca‑Cola Foundation recently awarded a $1.25 million grant to global nonprofit Imagine H20 to scale entrepreneurial solutions for water-stressed and climate- impacted communities.
Water is a priority for The Coca‑Cola Company because it is vital to its business and critical to public health, food security, biodiversity and the climate crisis. The company has operations nearly everywhere in the world – in more than 200 countries and territories – which comes with a responsibility to address water stress, protect local water resources and help build community climate resilience. That’s why the company’s 2030 water strategy is focused on accelerating the actions needed to increase water security where the company operates, sources ingredients and touch people’s lives.
The company is focused on good water stewardship, starting within its own four walls, and extending outside. It invests in initiatives to reduce the amount of water used in making beverages, and to treat and reuse water where possible. The company also works to preserve nature, biodiversity and promote advanced water management practices.
Outside its own operations, one key aspect of the strategy is replenishing the water used in its products. This means for the amount of water used in finished beverages, that same amount is returned back to nature and communities.
Here are some key actions the company is taking to achieve its goals:
- Working to achieve regenerative water use – reducing, reusing, recycling and replenishing the water used to produce its beverages.
- Improving community access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene while supporting people – especially women and girls – to prepare and rapidly recover from water-related crises.
- In priority watersheds, establishing and implementing watershed stewardship plans to improve shared challenges (quantity, quality, ecosystems, infrastructure, governance).
- Sourcing “water-sustainable” ingredients and supporting nature-based solutions.
- Working with suppliers so they use less water to grow ingredients.
- Partnering with governments, NGOs, communities and other companies to share resources and take collective action that creates scale and advances innovation and science.
- Advocating for good water governance and smart water policies while engaging all stakeholders on responsible water use – including customers and consumers.
The company will continue to work with partners including the World Bank’s Water Resources Group, CEO Water Mandate, Global Water Challenge, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and many others in pursuit of these goals.
“As we seek to achieve large-scale impact globally, collective action is critical. We cannot do this alone, and to achieve long-term change, we must work together,” said Madhu Rajesh, Coca‑Cola’s global lead for water & sustainable agriculture. “We partner with governments, NGOs, communities and other companies to share resources, to increase all our efforts and to generate a bigger impact. We encourage others to join us in these efforts.”