Sustainability is no longer a "niche" trend and is one that must be done all the time, according to John Brock, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, which produces and distributes Coke products.
Speaking to Knowledge@Wharton, Brock said that being environmentally conscious "is not something you kid of do when you're thinking about it." At his company, the awareness stretches to many aspects of seeling Coke products, including conserving water and making sure packages can be reclaimed, recylced and reused.
Coke is also testing hybrid delivery vehciles, including 10 in Philadelphia, 10 in New York and 10 in Atlanta. All in all, the firm has 142 hybyrds that consume 35 percent less fuel and emit 35 percent fewer emissions. One problem is that they cost about 40 percent more than the usual internal combustion-powered trucks.
Coke is switching to LED lighting and better recycling, including a $60 million reprocessing operation in Spartanburg, S.C. However, Brock says that "one size doesn't fit all" and recycling customs are different in different cities. "We've got a public that wants to recycle, but doesn't want to be inconvenienced, nor to they want to pay for it."