As well as measuring the carbon emissions for our operations,
we've worked with the Carbon Trust to calculate the carbon
footprint of some of our most popular drinks - including
'Coca-Cola', 'diet Coke', 'Coke Zero' and 'Oasis'.
This work marked the first time that the footprint of any brand
of sparkling drink had been certified by the Carbon Trust.
For 'Coca-Cola' 'diet Coke' and 'Coke Zero' we measured the
carbon footprint of a 330ml can, 330ml glass bottle, 500ml PET
bottle and a two-litre plastic bottle.
For 'Oasis' we measured the footprint of our 375ml glass bottle
and 500ml plastic bottle.
The table below shows the carbon footprints of these products,
as measured by the Carbon Trust in 2008
Carbon footprint (g/CO2e)
330ml aluminium can
330ml glass bottle
375ml glass bottle
500ml plastic bottle
2 litre plastic bottle
The research showed that
Packaging is the largest contributor to a product's carbon
footprint - accounting for between 30-70% of the total
Using recycled materials in packaging and recycling the empty
container after use can reduce the carbon footprint of a product by
up to 60%.
We think this is one of the single most important - and powerful
- messages we can get out to all consumers of our products.
Climate change is perhaps the biggest long-term challenge our
planet faces. We at Coca-Cola are determined to help reduce
emissions as part of our commitment to be a responsible,
The overwhelming majority of experts agree that human activity
is changing our climate. They warn that the carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases we pump into our atmosphere will have a
damaging impact on our environment and way of life. And they have
called for us all to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we want to
limit this damage.
It is not easy. These gases are produced by almost everything we
do - from the way food is grown and businesses operate, to every
time we drive our cars, cook or watch TV at home. It is estimated
that in the UK we produce 869 million tonnes of carbon dioxide
emissions every year - an average of 15 tonnes per person*.
*CenSA data for UK consumption based emissions in 2004
Personal Carbon Allowances
A White Paper in partnership with the Carbon Trust, The
Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises was launched in April
While consumer awareness of sustainability is growing and leading
to emerging interest in selecting sustainable products, a
significant knowledge gap exists. The White Paper examines how to
enhance consumer awareness and understanding of sustainability and
explores options for providing environmental information in a
simple and easy-to-understand way. In particular, the White Paper
introduces the concept of Personal Carbon Allowances, where
individuals could be given an allowance to represent the maximum
level of carbon emissions that should result from an individual's
typical daily activities (including travel, food and drink).
A carbon footprint helps us gauge the impact we are having on
our environment. It measures the amount of greenhouse gas emissions
produced by different activities. Every business and individual has
their own footprint. If we know the size of our footprint and what
this comprises, it is easier for each of us to decide how to change
the way we do things to reduce it.
We have measured our product's carbon footprint in partnership
with the Carbon Trust, an independent body set up by the Government
to help organisations in the fight against climate change.
Along with other key industry bodies, we have been working with
the Carbon Trust since 2007 to see how the method they use can be
accurately applied to soft drinks. We wanted to be sure, for
example, their calculations include the time our drinks could be
stored in a cooler and the recycled material we use in our
packaging. Our work has been focused on Great Britain, but we have
shared the information across our operations worldwide to help
shape their journey towards sustainable energy stewardship.
Each product carbon footprint was calculated by identifying the
key stages in the full lifecycle of the selected drinks - from
growing ingredients, through production, distribution and
retailing, to the disposal of the empty bottle or can.
At each stage, we measured the energy used, calculated the
associated carbon emissions and also looked at other sources of
greenhouse gas emissions. We then added the total greenhouse gas
emissions together to get the carbon footprint of the product.
It is a complicated process - taking into account a whole range
of factors. The source of electricity, for example, has a major
impact on the carbon footprint of a product. Products produced at a
manufacturing site powered by electricity generated from nuclear
power, for example, would have a much lower carbon footprint that
products produced at an identical site powered by electricity
generated from coal or gas.
You could measure your own personal carbon footprint to understand where you could make changes to make your lifestyle greener – there are various online tools available to help you, like http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/