BEIJING - Neville Isdell, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., in remarks made at the Greenpeace China Business Lecture Series, announced that Coca-Cola and its bottlers will purchase and deploy 100,000 CO2 coolers by the end of 2010. According to the company, this will be the largest deployment of CO2 technology by any firm.
Isdell said, “This new commitment will multiply by a factor of 10 the number of CO2 units that we currently have on the market. Is it enough? No. Because our intention is to move all of our purchases of cold drink equipment towards being HFC-free.”
He called HFCs “a potent greenhouse gas” and said that Coca-Cola was one of the first companies to decide that its future would be HFC-free. Isdell said that his company spent nearly $40 million to identify and test the best alternative refrigerants, and it determined that the best alternative is CO2.
Isdell admitted that CO2 refrigeration is significantly more expensive at this time than HFC refrigeration, primarily because it does not have the production scale that HFCs have. However, the company is willing to invest in CO2 coolers at a premium price to help trigger the market and create “a supply base with the scale necessary to make CO2 refrigeration more affordable in the long run.”
In addition, Isdell issued a “call to action to our peers in the commercial refrigeration sector to join us in investing in CO2 systems.” He said that other companies have already stated their intention to move to HFC-free refrigeration and they’ve joined Coca-Cola in an initiative called “Refrigerants, Naturally!”
In conclusion, Isdell said that if all of the industry would work toward CO2 solutions, it would “start a virtuous cycle in which our demand builds capacity, capacity reduces price, and lower price spurs wider adoption that benefits our planet.”