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05/23/2011 10:07 AM     print story email story  

Coke Appoints First Sustainability Officer News

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) has created a global Office of Sustainability and appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in an effort to better integrate ongoing initiatives.

Beatriz Perez, who is currently Chief Marketing Officer for Coca-Cola North America, will serve as CSO beginning July 1. She will work to integrate Coca-Cola's sustainability initiatives in water, climate protection, packaging and recycling.

"We have made significant progress with our sustainability initiatives, but our current approach needs focus and better integration to further accelerate our system sustainability agenda and meet our 2020 Vision goals," says Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO. "We are realigning this important work to create a unified team, strategy and business plan that connects our sustainability work and actions."

Under Perez's leadership, the Office of Sustainability will create and oversee Coca-Cola's integrated global sustainability strategy; set goals and commitments; assess and drive scaled investments; and steward and track all global partnerships and key sustainability projects.

Coca-Cola, which has been taken to task for draining the acquifers in India and its lack of initiative on bottle recycling and integration of recycled plastics, has been working to improve its image. A shareholder resolution recently asked Coca-Cola to disclose its plans on discontinuing use of bisphenol-A (BPA) in beverage can linings.

The company opened the world's largest bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C. to produce 100 million pounds of recycled PET plastic each year, and has achieved about 95% recycling rates at its North American and European facilities. Retailers are now able to recycle Coke's displays.

Among its other accomplishments is its hybrid truck fleet, the largest in North America, says the company.

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