Partnership bid to save water

PE’s Coca-Cola joins national awareness drive

Port Elizabeth-headquartered Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), which has slashed the volume of water used to make its products, plans to reduce consumption even further.

It has announced a partnership with the government and consumer goods firm Unilever to roll out a national water consumption awareness campaign.

The latest supply dam levels report on Monday showed that Nelson Mandela Bay had 25.95% remaining of its total capacity.

Coca-Cola spokesman Craig Dodds said the company had invested in its operations to effect significant water savings.

“From 2010, it reduced the volume of water used to produce each litre of soft drink from 2.13 litres in 2010 to 1.65 litres in 2017.

“This represents a total saving of 726 million litres, or 290 Olympicsized swimming pools,” he said.

This was enough water to provide 250 litres of water a day for 8 000 households for a year, he said.

“For this year, CCBSA has set itself a target of 1.56 litres of water per litre of soft drink produced.

“The company has also set goals to be the most efficient industrial water user, to help enable access to clean drinking water in under-served communities, and to work with others to mobilise local and national communities,” he said.

Other initiatives include steps to assess source water vulnerability and the establishment of agreements on source-water protection plans, and the company is in the process of implementing these.

“It is surveying water-related plant practices to discover opportunities for innovation and is increasing reuse of water by improved technology and further training.

“Risk mitigation for water is included in CCBSA’s capital expenditure. In everything the company does, it aims to reduce, reuse, recycle and replenish water,” he said.

Coca-Cola’s investments in advanced technology had also already helped it to save substantial quantities of water in the manufacture of its products and it would continue to explore new ways to drive down water use.

The company is also backing government efforts to reduce consumption by joining forces with the Department of Water and Sanitation and Unilever for a national roadshow, backed by a television campaign, to drive the watersaving message home.

Starting in Johannesburg tomorrow, the roadshow will proceed to Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town to encourage water saving.

As part of the initiative, Unilever aims to deliver almost half a million litres of relief water to Cape Town in time for an event to mark Water Week on March 22, of which Coca-Cola will contribute half.

The water will be handed over to the authorities managing distribution of relief water to communities in need.

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