Non-alcoholic Beverage Makers Focus Sustainability Goals More on Water than Carbon

New York City (September 13, 2011) – Green Research, a New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released its latest benchmark of environmental sustainability goals, this one analyzing the non-alcoholic beverage industry. “The industry is unique in focusing more attention on water issues than on carbon emissions,” said David Schatsky, principal analyst and founder of Green Research. “As in other industries, though, there are significant differences in focus and sophistication among the major players.”

The report was released as hundreds of food retailers, wholesalers and producers gather in Scottsdale, AZ for a Sustainability Summit organized by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

Green Research created the sustainability goals benchmark to help companies benchmark their environmental aspirations against competitors and industry leaders. The first reports covered the computer industry, the telecommunications and banking industries, food processing, pharmaceuticals and alcoholic beverages. The new study focuses on the makers of non-alcoholic beverages including The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, the major Coca-Cola bottlers (Coca-Cola Enterprises, FEMSA, Coca-Cola Amatil and Coca-Cola HBC), Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group, and Nestlé Waters North America. All of the companies studied booked more than $4 billion in revenue in 2010. The study found that, unlike other industries, the players collectively have announced a greater number of sustainability goals aimed at managing water use than at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Twenty-seven percent of their goals deal with water issues versus 20 percent that address greenhouse gas emissions. More companies are starting to set carbon-emissions goals, though, due to regulatory and customer pressure.

Among the other findings: some beverage makers are seeking to distinguish themselves through public commitments to recycling efforts. The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Nestlé Waters North America are the only companies studied with recycling-program goals on the books. The research provides a quantitative analysis of the public sustainability goals of the major beverage makers, showing how many goals each company has declared and how the goals break down by major sustainability issue and functional area.

The non-alcoholic beverage industry sustainability goals benchmarking research is available online at To learn more about the research, please visit or contact David Schatsky at 646-783-8337 or


David Schatsky


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