NEW YORK — The Coca-Cola Co. announced that it has installed its 1 millionth hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free cooler using natural refrigerant. Together with its bottling partners, the Coca-Cola system has established a goal that all new cold-drink equipment will be HFC-free by 2015. The company said achieving this goal will prevent the emission of more than 50 million metric tons of CO2 over 10 years, an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 10 million passenger vehicles.

“Over the past decade we have invested more than $100 million to make our coolers better for the environment,” said Jeff Seabright, vice president, Environment & Water, The Coca-Cola Co. “And we have significantly reduced our overall carbon footprint. Through investment in research, development, and commercialization efforts we’ve advanced the use of more energy-efficient, HFC-free cooling technologies and energy management systems. We’ve made sustainable refrigeration the cornerstone of our climate protection and energy management efforts.”

As part of its commitment to pursue more sustainable refrigeration, Coca-Cola selected the natural refrigerant CO2 to replace HFCs in new equipment. In 2013, Coca-Cola said it placed approximately 230,000 units of HFC-free equipment, bringing its global total to 1 million. While HFC-free placements are scaling-up worldwide, Europe and Japan have been the market leaders for Coca-Cola to date.

The company also remains an active participant in Refrigerants Naturally!, a food and beverage industry alliance. Co-founded by The Coca-Cola Co. in 2004 with support from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), this group addresses global climate change through promotion of HFC-free alternative refrigeration technologies. Currently, Antoine Azar, sustainable refrigeration manager, The Coca-Cola Co., chairs Refrigerants, Naturally!

“Our climate milestones are the result of collaboration between our company, our bottling partners, our suppliers, and our customers,” said Seabright. “The sustainability of our planet depends on more than us; it requires collective action, which is why we work with governments, organizations, and other companies to advance solutions for climate protection. Only together can we successfully attempt to tackle challenges of this magnitude.”

This work complements the most recent goal set by the company to reduce the carbon footprint of “the drink in your hand” by 25 percent by 2020. This goal includes working to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions across the entire value chain of Coca-Cola’s products by making comprehensive reductions in manufacturing processes, packaging formats, delivery fleet, refrigeration equipment, and ingredient sourcing.

The company also played an active role in setting the Consumer Goods Forum goal to begin phasing out HFC refrigerants in cooling equipment across its 400 member companies starting in 2015.

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Publication date: 2/10/2014

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