As development practitioners, government representatives and business leaders converged on Stockholm, Sweden, to discuss how water-related issues can be addressed effectively and efficiently in the post-2015 development agenda,Coca-Cola made a proclamation of its own.
On World Water Week, the beverage giant announced that it was close to hitting its goal of replenishing “all” of the water it has consumed in the production of its products.
It was in 2007 when Coca-Cola made the decision to “return” the same amount of water it uses based on sales volume. For example, if it used 293.2 billion liters of water to produce 135 billion liters of Coca-Cola products — as is the case in 2011 — then it promises to return as much back.
This initiative is part of the company’s water stewardship policy, a move some experts claim was prompted by the backlash it received in countries like India, where activists highlighted the negative impact of the beverage maker’s operations on communities such as in Kerala or Andhra Pradesh, where Coca-Cola’s use of groundwater allegedly dried up farm lands and water wells.
Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.
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