It has been two years since COVID-19 changed the world, and people from all walks of life are embracing their role in creating a more sustainable world to help future generations. People are thinking more about sustainability, the environment, and the link between everyday actions and the planet we all share.
As a beverage company that has refreshed Filipinos for 110 years, Coca-Cola Philippines recognizes its responsibility to help drive social change and positively impact people’s lives. In 2022, the company made strong progress on its World Without Waste program–the company’s global sustainable packaging initiative to support a circular economy, aiming to eliminate waste through the continual use of packaging as a valuable resource.
“As we look to a new year, we’re committed to sharing the magic of Coca-Cola with our consumers in the Philippines as we have for more than a century and we’re also committed to working with our partners to build a sustainable future for succeeding generations,” said Tony del Rosario, President of Coca-Cola Philippines and Vice President for the East Franchise Operations of Coca-Cola ASEAN and South Pacific. “We will do all of this while staying true to our company purpose, which is to refresh the world and make a difference,” del Rosario added.
Helping build a circular economy for PET plastic packaging
Coca-Cola Philippines has taken continued steps to build a circular economy aligned with the company’s global vision of a World Without Waste. The company’s World Without Waste goals include making 100% of its packaging recyclable globally by 2025 and using at least 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030; helping to collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one it sells by 2030 and; bringing people together to support a healthy, debris-free environment.
In 2022, Coca-Cola made strong progress on its World Without Waste program. The company strengthened its efforts throughout 2022 to adopt a closed-loop recycling system using multiple approaches, emphasizing design innovation in sustainable packaging. By 2023, Coca-Cola Philippines will add more products to its portfolio packaged in 100% recycled PET (rPET) bottles (excluding caps and labels) with the transition of select Coca-Cola Original Taste and Wilkins Pure packages. This is on top of the company’s Viva! Mineral Water and Sprite 500ml bottles that already use 100% recycled PET. Coca-Cola currently uses returnable glass bottles for approximately 50% of its business in the Philippines and has lightweighted its PET plastic packaging to reduce the overall impact of its carbon footprint in the Philippines.
Coca-Cola believes in collaborative partnerships with civil society organizations and the private sector and, with its partners, the company has been able to set up collection systems to boost the circularity of its packaging. To date, over 800 collection points have been established across the Philippines through innovative programs such as “Tindahan Extra Mile: Balik PET Bottle” and “Tapon to Ipon – Basta Klaro, Panalo!”. These programs empower MSMEs by tapping them to function as collection hubs of used plastic bottles for communities nationwide.
Also reinforcing the vision of Coca-Cola Philippines for a World Without Waste is PETValue Philippines—a world-class bottle-to-bottle recycling facility that makes use of advanced recycling technologies, located in General Trias, Cavite—which became fully operational in 2022. The groundbreaking partnership between Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country–and Indorama Ventures, a global sustainable chemical company, will give PET bottles, regardless of brand, a second life. Capable of processing approximately 2 billion pieces of used clear PET plastic bottles, PETValue will be a significant contributor to a circular economy in the country and will create more direct and indirect job opportunities for Filipinos. The facility’s locally produced recycled PET resin will also be used for Coca-Cola products in recycled PET plastic packaging, thus creating a circular economy within the Philippines.
“These initiatives are a testament to the vast potential of PET plastic bottle collection for recycling in helping build a circular economy for our packaging here in the Philippines,” said Gareth McGeown, President and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. “We strongly believe in multi-sector partnership and we’ll be doing more to grow our sustainability network in the years to come.”
Harnessing the power of partnerships for collection and capacity building
To help reduce water challenges and develop community water resilience, Coca-Cola and its social investment arm, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc. (CCFPI), have fostered several partnerships targeted to rehabilitate watersheds and provide communities in underserved areas with access to clean and safe water. Among its long-term partners is the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines), which helps conserve a large proportion of the Sapang Munti Micro Watershed. CCCFPI and WWF also collaborated to launch Daloy: Reimagining Tigum-Aganan Watershed, which will assess the water system of the Tigum and Aganan rivers to help achieve a sustainable water future for communities in Iloilo City and surrounding provinces.
CCFPI is also working with WWF on the Plastic Smart Cities program, which has piloted tailor-fit waste management solutions for cities, coastal communities, islands, and lowlands in the Davao region and Sorsogon. Phase 1 of the project concluded with 16,000 kilos of waste collected and diverted through junk shops and composting. The project will soon be expanded to include Taytay in Palawan and will scale up waste management strategies in Davao Gulf.
The Foundation has also joined forces with Plastic Bank, Pure Oceans, and Peacepond Farmers Association to implement projects that expand the company’s collection initiatives, help empower workers in the solid waste management sector, and mobilize residents to create zero-waste communities in various regions of the country.
Another innovative partnership is with Bokashi Pinoy, which developed the BAZERO Solid Waste Management 3E Program, a six-month information and educational campaign to drive changes to solid waste management and soil regeneration. The project was able to divert 15 tons of food waste from landfills and certify 600 Bokashi Pinoy Practitioners with positive behavior change at the household level.
Alongside this Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, with the support of 28 partner NGOs, has contributed to programs that have collected over 25,000 kilos of waste and empowered more than 680 waste pickers in over 200 barangays nationwide.
More than supporting the collection and recycling of packaging waste, Coca-Cola Philippines also supports initiatives to help uplift the well-being of the informal waste sector and their families. Through a partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the company, through CCFPI, has supported this sector with programs in Sitio Pintor, Rizal. These initiatives provided parenting and nutrition education to mothers, resources for public school teachers, a 120-day supplemental feeding program for children, safety, and personal protective equipment for 100 families relying on waste picking. The partnership also provided clean water access and handwashing facilities to the community.
Continuing the success of the 5by20 program that the company started in 2010, Coca-Cola partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to develop the National Solid Waste Management Training Program for a World Without Waste. The partnership created TESDA-certified skills training programs for workers in the waste sector. The program has been a success at Angono, Rizal, with plans to make it available to more LGUs next year.
“We are devoted to our goal to help create a World Without Waste while helping improve the lives of the communities and the people that we serve,” said Cecile Alcantara, President of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc,. “Forging strong partnerships with private organizations and the government makes our goal more achievable, as this helps us promote collective action and empower Filipinos to do their part in creating a debris-free environment, from the grassroots to the national level.”
Empowering micro-entrepreneurs across the nation
Reflecting its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Coca-Cola Philippines continues to support the economic empowerment of micro-entrepreneurs. The company continued this year the iSTAR Program, the digitized adaptation of the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program implemented in partnership with TESDA. To date, the program has reached over 250,000 women entrepreneurs in the retail sector across 17 regions and 81 provinces of the Philippines, giving MSMEs access to tools, skills training, and peer-to-peer networks that will improve their business acumen and consequently help break the cycle of generational poverty.
Promoting responsible resource use
Beyond partnerships, CCBPI is committed to strengthening sustainability efforts at the operational level by focusing on resource use. Its water use efficiency ratio continues to improve through more significant investments and efficiency in manufacturing sites. CCBPI also continues to shift to clean energy, with 65% coming from clean and renewable energy sources. To achieve its goal to bring this to 85% by 2025, it installed 14,000 solar panels in its plants and signed a partnership with Buskowitz Energy to install around 12,000 solar panels in Zamboanga and Sta. Rosa plants, with more projects in the pipeline, to improve its energy mix. Ensuring cleaner emissions from its fleet trucks, its trucks that are on the road daily are Euro IV-V compliant.
In keeping with its global commitment to return every drop of water used in its finished beverages back to nature and communities, Coca-Cola is expanding its water leadership efforts to provide community access to clean, potable water. Since 1992, the company has worked with partners on projects that have provided safe water access to thousands of Filipinos across hundreds of underserved areas, such as the P4Water project in partnership with USAID and MUAD-Negros.
It has also adopted a 2030 Water strategy to support water security for its operations, local communities, and watersheds. As a testament to its efforts, CCBPI received the award for best in Water Resource Management from the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines during its first Europa 2020 awards.
Offering more choices and reducing added sugar
As the company forges ahead toward becoming a total beverage company, Coca-Cola Philippines continues to evolve and offer a wide array of beverages–expanding not only in different beverage categories beyond soda, water, and juices–but also in offering more options, including drinks with less added sugar and more brands with low- and no-calorie options. This year alone, Coca-Cola continued to expand its Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Sprite Zero Sugar variants to more outlets, introduced Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero Sugar, and offered its limited-edition Coca-Cola Creations Marshmello drink in zero sugar flavor. The company also provided smaller packaging choices for consumers to choose the beverages that fit their needs.
“We are proud to serve Filipino consumers with their favorite brands of beverages as we respond to evolving needs and preferences, support communities and the environment while building a thriving and sustainable business in the Philippines for the future,” said del Rosario.
Know more about Coca-Cola Philippines and its programs at coca-cola.com.ph or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.