Case Study: Coca-Cola and Its “Live Positively” Program

how coke went sustainable

The Coca-Cola Refreshments Center, a warehouse facility located in South Brunswick, New Jersey, is the company’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building on the East Coast. It earned certification as a result of Coca-Cola’s Live Positively initiatives. These are sustainability-focused steps to reduce consumption of natural resources, protect the environment, and support the local community. They also result in significant operational cost savings for the company.

Sustainability: This is how Coca-Cola did it:

Water Stewardship: Landscaping was replaced with native vegetation that requires less irrigation. Waterless urinals and metered faucets were installed. As a result, the facility has reduced water consumption by 35 percent or a total of 115,000 gallons annually.

Energy Stewardship: High-efficiency lighting was installed. More of the warehouse is lit by daylight. Highly efficient HVAC systems and solar panels on the roof were installed. The facility now saves more than one million kilowatts of power and nearly 900 therms of gas annually.

Workplace Stewardship: Interior work areas were designed with carpets, furniture, fabrics, and other materials all selected because they have low levels of volatile organic compounds.

Community Stewardship: Locally sourced materials and laborers were involved in more than 20 percent of the construction of the warehouse. Almost 90 percent of the waste generated by the construction was diverted from local waste streams and recycled.

Environmental Stewardship: Bicycle racks were placed around the facility, and workers are encouraged to walk or bike to work or to use public transportation. Priority parking spaces were designated for low-emission, fuel-efficient cars. This helps reduce fuel consumption and protect the environment.