In 2022, the company will save almost 5 billion liters of water in Spain by installing technology that reduces its use
About 90% of any soft drink is water, so it’s a staple for all companies that make soft drinks. Coca-Cola knows this, which is why it has designed a plan to protect water resources in the areas where it operates in Spain. Its goal is to guarantee self-supply, reduce consumption in production processes and return to nature the equivalent of 100% of the water captured through eight environmental projects spread across different autonomous communities.
In 2022, 4,916 million liters were saved thanks to initiatives such as the ‘Possible Mission, Guadalquivir Challenge’, which promotes irrigation efficiency, sustainable agriculture and the revitalization of the swamps at the gates of Doñana. The program started in 2018 in cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature and has allowed the 14 participating farms to save more than 700 million liters of water annually thanks to the installation of sensors that allow farmers to know the weather and harvest conditions. The perfect program for irrigating fields. Rafael Jimenez, owner of one of the participating farms, confirms that in this way he obtained 20% water savings, which translates into a reduction in production costs. “We refine every drop, take good care of it and give it back to nature to conserve this resource that is so limited in the region”, he concludes. As part of this programme, six hectares of the Adventus swamp, in Trebojina, Cádiz, were also restored, where around 150 species live, some of them endangered.
To balance the bottlers’ environmental impact, Coca-Cola is also developing plans to reduce water consumption at its plants. The goal is that the consumption of this resource in 2025 will be 20% lower than in 2010; Until last year, in Spain, a drop of 19.8% was achieved. The Sevillian factory is leading this initiative, with the start of the Water and Energy Management project, which includes the installation of 224 water and energy meters that, together with a consumption management platform, analyze data in real time and allow the optimization of production processes . The company estimates savings of around 12,800 cubic meters of water and 617,872 kWh per year.
Among the measures implemented within its factories is improving the washing of spent bottles in bars and restaurants. The nozzles on the washers that run through these receptacles – which are used 25 times more – have been modified to use less water. The system for washing clean plastic bottles with ionized air, which is a method of removing dust particles, was also improved.
As a third area of action, Coca-Cola works to achieve, by 2030, the renewal of 100% of the water used in plants located in areas of water stress. The water used in production processes undergoes special treatment before being discarded as wastewater, allowing it to be reused for activities that do not involve human consumption, such as irrigation in agriculture or recreational use. In Spain, this policy is implemented in Seville and at the Tenerife plant, where wastewater is discharged to the Valle de Guerra treatment plant, where it undergoes an electrodialysis process to reduce the amount of salts dissolved in it. It is used to irrigate the plantations in the region.
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