At Swire Coca-Cola, USA, we have a vested business interest in protecting the water resources in the communities and ecosystems in which we operate; where we produce refreshing Coca-Cola products is where we also distribute and sell them. In order to maintain the most important ingredient in our products —water—we are committed to working hard in order to conserve it.
We have improved our water efficiency and limited our water footprint in local watersheds by setting water usage goals, collaborating with managers on achieving those goals, and investing in water-efficient technologies in our bottling plants. From 2006 to 2016, our production centers in Utah and Idaho avoided the use of over one billion liters of water. We accomplished this by implementing water efficiency and reuse projects and monitoring the daily water usage rate in each of our manufacturing plants.
Swire aims to both reduce the water we use and enhance the natural environment’s ability to retain water. To understand the watersheds in which we operate, we have completed Source Water Vulnerability Assessments for each of our manufacturing facilities, utilizing the expert knowledge of third-party hydrogeologists. These assessments are used to study any risks associated with water supplies, from environmental to social risks. Following these vulnerability assessments, we have also developed Source Water Protection Plans, which work to protect the watersheds in our operating areas.
One of our major initiatives toward protecting the water resources in the communities and ecosystems in which we operate is called the Replenish program. In collaboration with our partner, The Coca-Cola Company, we work to implement conservation projects that restore the water supplies of natural water bodies like rivers, wetlands, and aquifers. We have partnered with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) on two restoration projects in Utah and Idaho, and on a new project in Colorado.
In 2016, we returned approximately 272 million liters of water to nature and communities; in 2017, with the addition of the Colorado project, that number will increase to 588 million liters. In 2016, Swire and CCNA funded Replenish projects across Swire’s operating areas that returned to nature 208% of the water consumed in six Swire and CCNA bottling plants. The water replenishment projects that we support improve water for communities, which enhances wildlife habitat and recreational activities.