ATLANTA - The Coca-Cola Co. and its bottling partners have announced that 100 percent of their new vending machines and coolers will be HFC-free by 2015. Coca-Cola said it is committed to using its scale and influence in the market to help accelerate the transition to HFC-free refrigeration equipment.

The company said the transition to HFC-free refrigeration will reduce the equipment’s direct greenhouse gas emissions by 99 percent. A recent peer-reviewed report by top scientists, Coca-Cola said, shows that HFCs will be responsible for between 28 percent and 45 percent of carbon-equivalent emissions by 2050 if society reduces carbon dioxide while leaving HFCs unchecked. Eliminating HFCs in the commercial refrigeration industry would be equivalent to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions of Germany or Japan.

“Climate change is real and the time to act on solutions is now,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. The company’s announcement, he said, “demonstrates a commitment to use our influence in the marketplace to drive innovation and help shape a low-carbon future.”

Coca-Cola noted that it has invested more than $50 million in research and development to advance the use of climate-friendly cooling technologies. In 2010, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners will purchase a minimum of 150,000 units of HFC-free equipment, effectively doubling the current rate of purchase to enable alignment with an interim goal to purchase 50 percent of all new coolers and vending machines without HFCs by 2012.

The company and its bottling partners have approximately 10 million coolers and vending machines in place today around the world. As a result of the commitment to eliminate the use of HFCs in this equipment, Coca-Cola said carbon emission reductions will exceed 52.5 million metric tons over the life of the equipment - the equivalent of taking more than 11 million cars off the road for one year.

Coca-Cola currently utilizes two HFC-free solutions. Hydrocarbon refrigeration is used in smaller refrigeration equipment and carbon dioxide (CO2) is used in larger equipment.

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Publication date:12/21/2009