I attended the Opportunity Green Business Conference from Sept. 22-24 at Los Angeles Center Studios in Downtown Los Angeles. The conference was nothing you would expect. It was not flashy and it didn't really resemble what one would usually experience with most conferences.
What really impressed me was the fact that "profits" was not touted as the offspring of evil. The message was: prepare your company for a world where profits, people and the environment are truly interconnected.
I had a long discussion with Coca-Cola's Global Director of Sustainable Packaging, Scott Vitters, and Global Director of Marketing Innovations Gopal Krishnan.
I was surprised and at the same time impressed after my meeting with Scott and Gopal. Coca-Cola is not just THE soft-drink company; it puts a tremendous effort in creating recycling programs that create jobs in third world countries, re-use resources efficiently and employ new energy efficient, low pollutant bio-materials.
Here are some very interesting key facts:
- More than 2.5 billion bottles already in the market after ½ year of entry in 9 global markets
- To date in this short time it is like removing 5,600 cars from the road, eliminate 30,000+ metric tons of carbon dioxide this year alone – the equivalent of over 70,000 barrels of oil. Across full portfolio it will be significantly more impacting.
- Plans to expand each year until the entire company profile (3,000+ brands globally) utilize PlantBottle packaging
- Currently made from 30% renewable, plant-based materials working toward a firm goal of 100% plant-based, carbon neutral bottle
- The plant material currently used is from sugar cane extract – a waste byproduct (not food source) and farmed sustainably as overseen by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature)
- PlantBottle if 100% recyclable in current infrastructure (competitive technology has not been)
- PlantBottle was developed in-house in Coke’s innovation labs (which employ approximately 1,000 PhDs globally)
- Coke is the world’s largest recycler – with the world’s largest recycling plant here in the U.S. in South Carolina ($40M investment)
- Coke works with and funds partners like RecycleBank to incentivize recycling and work with municipalities, waste management, etc to ensure collection, as well as funds massive recycling education initiatives globally
- Coke currently collect 35% of all the bottles and cans it pus out, with a firm goal to collect the equivalent of 100% by 2020
- Coke believes it is the responsibility of business to solve waste and sustainability issues
- Coke, as one of the world’s largest packaging users of water in its products, has set a firm goal to give back 100% of the water it uses in every community, through rain water collection, conservations, refine and clean reuse technology, etc.
- Coke has the world’s largest fleet of hybrid trucks – 637 in North America alone replacing more monthly
Not to make this a Coke commercial but these guys really impressed me,. and I am all about true value instead of fluff. No fluff here, folks.
Disclosure: No positions