Coca-Cola Philippines brought together a diverse group of stakeholders on November 16, 2023, to discuss locally relevant water issues and explore collaborative solutions for addressing these water-related challenges.
Among the speakers were Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Sen. Grace Poe, US Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission Y. Robert Ewing, Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony del Rosario, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) Director for Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, Atty. Juan Lorenzo Tañada, and Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CCFPI) President Cecile Alcantara.
Water is the primary ingredient used in Coca-Cola beverages and is an essential resource for the well-being of communities around the world. With a presence in more than 200 countries and territories, The Coca-Cola Company believes it has a responsibility to protect local water resources and help people who live in places that face water scarcity.
“In the Philippines, we invest in initiatives to reduce water in making beverages and to treat and reuse water where possible. The goal is to return to nature and communities the amount of water used to produce our finished beverages. Efforts to preserve nature and biodiversity and promote advanced water management practices are among our company’s priorities,” said Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony del Rosario. “We have an array of partnerships with government agencies, NGOs, and communities to generate an even bigger impact and we encourage others to join us in these efforts.”
To accelerate its actions on water, The Coca-Cola Company launched this year its holistic 2030 Water Security Strategy, which focuses on the following:
● Achieve 100% circular water use across 175 facilities globally identified as leadership locations.
● Form partnerships to improve the health of 60 critical watersheds worldwide.
● Return a cumulative total of 2 trillion liters of water to nature and communities globally between 2021 and 2030.
“Coca-Cola has significantly contributed to water stewardship and in the pillars of water access, sanitation and health, watershed conservation, and water for productive use. They have demonstrated that the private sector can be pivotal in addressing water-related challenges,” said DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga.
US Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission Y. Robert Ewing also commended Coca-Cola Philippines for its efforts. “Coca-Cola has been a long-standing partner of the U.S. government. I am proud of our strong partnership and shared commitment to providing water access, sanitation, and health services to underserved communities while conserving valuable water resources for future generations. Building a water-secure Philippines is a shared goal that we can achieve by working together.”
Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe, Chairperson of the Senate Public Services Committee, renewed her call for the creation of the Department of Water. “Water is indispensable for leading a life of human dignity. Let us work together to lift the floodgates of bureaucracy, attain sustainable consumption and production, and ensure that clean water flows to every household like a mighty stream.”
Efficient water use in manufacturing
CCBPI has improved its national water use efficiency across 18 manufacturing plants throughout the country through stringent water-saving initiatives. From 2015 to 2022, CCBPI saved approximately 11 million cubic meters of water, equivalent to about 4,400 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“Our passion for water sustainability is evident in the way we operate. From conducting Source Water Vulnerability Assessments to understanding and monitoring our water sources, making sure that we improve on our water use in our plants, to ensuring that we have the right people and the right technological investments in our facilities,” shared Atty. Juan Lorenzo Taňada, Director for Corporate & Regulatory Affairs of CCBPI.
Improving watershed health
CCFPI prioritizes nature-based solutions as a way to conserve watersheds using natural processes such as reforestation, wetland restoration, and sustainable agriculture. Together with WWF Philippines, the Foundation has worked to improve the health of Ipo Watershed, one of the main sources of water in Metro Manila.
Their 5-year partnership has replenished approximately 400 million liters of water per year due to decreased runoff, helped reduce 2,500 metric tons of CO2 per year from reforestation, and improved sustainable food supply for the people living in the community.
Helping communities access safe and clean water
Coca-Cola Philippines aims to return to nature and communities the amount of water used to produce its finished products and help increase access to drinking water, sanitation, and washing facilities for the most impacted communities.
Through the Foundation, the company collaborates with more than 25 partners nationwide to make these goals happen. For instance, CCFPI’s partnership with the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation for over a decade has led to the installation of more than a hundred ram pump projects across the country, providing water for domestic use and helping reduce the prevalence of waterborne diseases.
“The results of our water stewardship program testify to the power of collaboration on our shared advocacy on water security. We are committed to continue working with partners to reach more Filipino communities in the future,” said Cecile Alcantara, President of CCFPI.
For more information on the sustainability initiatives of Coca-Cola Philippines, follow the company’s social media channels: @CocaColaPhilippines on Facebook and @cocacolaph on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram—or visit www.coca-cola.com.ph.