As fresh water comes in ever smaller and smaller supply, Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) has hit a milestone. It replaces all the water its uses.
What began as an aspirational goal nine years ago is now a global industry milestone. Coca-Cola today announced that it is the first Fortune 500 company to replenish the equivalent amount of water used in its global sales volume and production back to nature and communities.
In 2007, Coca-Cola committed to replenishing every liter of water used in its global sales volume and production by the end of 2020. Today’s announcement, made at the start of World Water Week, means the company and its bottling partners have achieved this aggressive target five years ahead of schedule.
According to a global water use assessment validated by LimnoTech and Deloitte, and conducted in association with The Nature Conservancy, the Coca-Cola system returned an estimated 191.9 billion liters of water to nature and communities in 2015 – the equivalent of 115 percent of the water used in Coca-Cola’s finished beverages last year – through community water projects in 71 countries.
According to a recent article in the Guardian:
Water is the driving force of all nature, Leonardo da Vinci claimed. Unfortunately for our planet, supplies are now running dry – at an alarming rate. The world’s population continues to soar but that rise in numbers has not been matched by an accompanying increase in supplies of fresh water.
The consequences are proving to be profound. Across the globe, reports reveal huge areas in crisis today as reservoirs and aquifers dry up. More than a billion individuals – one in seven people on the planet – now lack access to safe drinking water.
Maybe da Vinci and Coke dreamed up the water replacement plan together.