Coke vs Pepsi - Sustainable Cola War continues

By team, Jul 30, 2009, 12:53 3 minute reading

After both beverage giants announced to remove HFCs from their vending machines and launched pilot projects testing R744 this spring, Coca-Cola now attempts to best Pepsi in overall sustainability with its “Commitment 2020”, a set of goals regarding the company’s five strategic CRS focus areas.

On 22 July 2009, the Coca-Cola Enterprises announced that it had set goals for its five strategic Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) focus areas and has committed to achieving these goals by the year 2020 - what the company is calling "Commitment 2020". With regards to the focus area “Energy Conservation/Climate Change” the company has committed to reduce the overall carbon footprint of its business operations by 15 percent by 2020, as compared to a 2007 baseline.

Further to setting sustainability goals, the document “OUR CRS JOURNEY ... DELIVERING ON OUR COMMITMENTS” reiterates the company’s efforts with regards to HFC-free refrigeration. “We have already eliminated HFCs from the insulation in our equipment, and we are working to eliminate them from our equipment completely. We are piloting alternative refrigerant gases, such as CO2, which has less of an environmental impact than HFCs. In Europe, we are also testing hydrocarbon-based refrigeration. […] Our goal is to have 1,400 CO2 coolers in place in time for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games”.

Pepsi “aggressively” working to find HFC-free alternatives

Already in September 2008 on the other hand, Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages announced that it has launched an interactive website that emphasises its efforts in environmental sustainability. Pepsi shares its environmental sustainability commitments at, which include reducing water consumption by 20%, electricity usage by 20% and fuels consumption by 25%, all by 2015 – as well as its progress toward these and other environmental goals.

With regards to refrigerants and the insulation of refrigeration equipment “Pepsi has worked aggressively with its equipment suppliers to find alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were once widely used in insulating and refrigerating equipment but have been shown to have a detrimental impact on the environment. […] Since the end of 2007 all refrigerated POS equipment purchased by Pepsi worldwide is insulated with HFC-free foaming agents (PepsiCo led the industry in mandating this change). […] We are working with our equipment suppliers to explore and test coolers that use hydrocarbon (HC) or carbon-dioxide (CO2) refrigerants as an alternative to hydrofluorocarbons, where permitted by government regulations. We are currently conducting field tests of both types of refrigerants in Europe and Asia. […] Our goal is to fully eliminate use of HFCs in refrigerated equipment”.

Pepsi launches R744 pilot project…

At the end of March 2009, PepsiCo announced it was launching a pilot programme in the US capital Washington DC to test the most climate-friendly vending machines ever in the US. Featuring its new logo and an environmental sticker on each bottle, the 30 new R744 dispensers will be placed in high consumer traffic places and tested over a period of 18 months in the capital with the aim of rolling them out globally over the next few years. According to the company the new machines will generate 12% less Green House Gas (GHG) emissions than current ones, will use 5.08 kilowatt-hours of energy per day, and will be the first of their type to be introduced in the US.

… and Coke announces more CO2 coolers

Soon after PepsiCo announced its pilot program in Washington DC, Coca-Cola announced in April 2009 plans to install 4 CO2 beverage coolers at the House of Representatives in spring 2009 as well as up to 1,800 CO2 coolers and vending machines throughout the U.S. and Canada later this year. Most of these coolers are destined for Vancouver, where 1,400 climate-friendly coolers and vending machines will be installed at the venues for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. According to the company, the CO2 coolers eliminate 99 percent of the direct green house gas (GHG) emissions by means of using natural refrigerant R744, include an intelligent energy management system (EMS-55) that cuts energy use by an average of 26 percent and reduce indirect green house gas emissions by more than three tons over the lifetime of the machine.

More recently, ice-cold merchandisers manufacturer Frigoglass announced the launch of its Ecocool range that depending on the application use natural refrigerants R744, R290, or R600a, as well as the use of natural substances in the insulation process. Frigoglass’ global customer base spans across 15 countries in four continents including Coca-Cola bottlers, while its market share in 2008 reached 20%.


By team (@r744)

Jul 30, 2009, 12:53

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