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Coca-Cola’s Greenwashing at COP27: A Detailed Look

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by Alisha Shabnam

Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. But what many people don’t know is that the company has a long history of environmental degradation practices. In fact, Coca-Cola is one of the world’s biggest polluters, and its products are responsible for a huge amount of plastic waste. So when Coca-Cola announced that it was sponsoring COP27, the UN Climate Change Conference, many people were skeptical. Critics accused Coca-Cola of greenwashing or using its sponsorship of the conference to make people believe that it is an environmentally responsible company.

There is no doubt that Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of COP27 was a PR move. But whether or not it was successful is up for debate. On the one hand, Coca-Cola did manage to generate some good publicity for itself. But on the other hand, the company’s history of pollution means that many people will never trust it, no matter how much it tries to greenwash its image.

Coca-Cola’s Greenwashing at COP27 _ Alisha ShabnamPin

What Is COP?

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the group of nations that signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was drafted in 1992. The agreement commits them to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Since then, almost every year, they have conducted this meeting.

COP26 was held in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. It brought together 120 leaders and representatives from about 200 countries. It culminated in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which reaffirmed the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of “limiting global average temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit them to 1.5°C.”

As part of the UN climate talks, coal-fired power generation was being phased down for the first time. Aside from reducing methane emissions and reversing land degradation and deforestation, there were also pledges to give developing countries more money to deal with climate change.

COP27 Goals:

This year COP27 is taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The conference will bring together world leaders, climate change experts, and representatives of civil society to discuss the summit’s four key goals:

  • Mitigation: All parties, especially those demonstrating leadership, are urged to take “bold and immediate action” to mitigate climate change and reduce emissions to keep global warming well below 2°C by the end of this century.
  • Adaptation: Make sure that COP27 makes “crucially needed progress” towards building the resilience of world communities and assisting the most vulnerable communities in facing climate change.
  • Finance: To make significant progress on climate finance, including the delivery of the promised $100 billion per year to assist developing countries, with a view to making a significant impact.
  • Collaboration: The goal of COP27 is to achieve tangible results in a balanced way, promoting and facilitating the achievement of all the goals and making sure the world adopts a sustainable and resilient economic model where people are at the center of the climate talk.

COP27 is an essential opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment and to take concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

But this year, something more Miraculous happened; COP 27 is Sponsored by plastic pollution and fossil fuel (Coca-Cola).

The Coca-Cola Greenwashing Story         

According to the Break Free From Plastic annual audit, Coca-Cola is the biggest polluter of plastics. It makes approximately 470 billion plastic bottles annually, which means that this company produces around 1.3 billion plastic bottles daily. The company buys most of its plastic from China and totally depends on fossil fuels.

According to Coca-Cola, they have committed to getting back every bottle by 2030 globally so that it does not become litter or end up in the ocean and that its plastic can be recycled into new bottles. Currently, 18 countries worldwide offer 100% recycled plastic bottles, and the number is growing. Moreover, Coca-Cola has reduced the use of plastic in secondary packaging and says more than 20% of its product line comes in refillable or fountain packaging.

The world’s top polluting corporations claim to be working hard to solve plastic pollution, but instead, they are continuing to pump out harmful single-use plastic packaging.

According to a 2017 study, 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled and ends up incinerated, landfilled, or in the environment. Many countries are concerned about the tremendous amount of plastic Coca-Cola produces.

It was recently reported that Coca-Cola sponsoring COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Some people call it greenwashing, which means making false or misleading claims about a product or company’s environmental benefits.

Greenwashing is often used to make a product appear more environmentally friendly than it actually is or to downplay the environmental impact of a company’s activities. Greenwashing can be found in various industries, from cosmetics to energy to food and beverage. Many companies engage in greenwashing in an attempt to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. However, greenwashing is often used to mislead consumers and hide a company’s accurate environmental record.

Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of this event shows that they continue to make huge profits while not caring about the environmental harm they cause.

We need to think about the harm Coca-Cola does to the environment, but we shouldn’t waste time pointing out how bad they are. Instead, we should start taking concrete actions against them. 

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest corporations in the world. It has a huge market share in many countries around the world. It has over 42.34 billion dollars in revenue every year. Coke is known to use plastic bottles to sell its products, but the company says that they are making efforts to reduce plastic in packaging and use alternative materials in packaging. 

According to the non-profit Global Data, the global carbon footprint of Coca-Cola is about 5.49 million metric tons.

Coca-Cola Greenwashing at COP27Pin

Coca-Cola Improving Its Public Image?

Coke has always been known as a symbol of the American dream. The company’s founder, Dr. John Pemberton, wanted to make people happier through his product and help them with heartburn, nausea, and headaches. Later the company started its beverage business, but it became much more than that. The company started on May 8, 1886, and since then, it has become a leader in the beverage industry. Coke has grown and changed significantly over the years, but the company still produces some of the world’s most popular soft drinks.

Coca-Cola has long been one of the world’s most recognizable brands. But in recent years, the company has faced several challenges to its public image. Health-conscious consumers have become increasingly wary of sugary drinks, and environmental groups have criticized Coca-Cola for its use of plastic packaging.

In response to these challenges, Coca-Cola has made many changes to its business practices, like introducing new recycled materials, increasing its use of recycled plastic, and pledging to remove plastic waste.

The company has also invested in many communities by sponsoring sporting events and charitable causes. But on the darker side, it has funded millions of dollars for medical research and numerous research projects, kept tight control over the results, and only approved research that favored its product.

However, critics argue that these initiatives are not enough to offset the company’s negative environmental impact. They point to the fact that Coca-Cola produces a large amount of plastic waste and that its production process uses a lot of water and creates a lot of pollution. They also argue that the company’s green initiatives are not transparent or independently verified. As a result, Coca-Cola’s reputation continues to suffer, and its attempts at greenwashing do not have the desired effect.

Related: The Effects Of Climate Change On Agriculture And Food Security 

Coke’s Environmental Impact

Coca-Cola has been criticized for using water and energy inefficiently and causing environmental damage.

It has been reported that Coca-Cola uses around 305 billion liters of water annually and dumps at least 119 billion liters of contaminated water back into water bodies. These practices suck groundwater and local wells, forcing many residents to rely on costly alternate water supplies. These numbers show that the Coke industry is very wasteful. Water is a limited resource, and it is vital that we try to protect it for future generations.

Coca-Cola is one of the largest energy consumers in the world. It consumes around 60 billion megajoules Annually.

Coca-Cola’s products cause major greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater pollution, and water shortages. It uses excessive amounts of water and consumes large quantities of energy.

Its bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET),  which is known to leach harmful chemicals into drinking water.

So Why Does Coke Need to Greenwash its Public Image?

Coca-Cola is doing this in order to stay competitive. The company is spending a lot of money to promote its products to customers around the world. These actions help it to increase sales in the market of green products.

It looks like the company wants to greenwash itself by sponsoring the UN Climate Change Conference COP27. Coca-Cola’s plastic pollution issue is one thing; they are also obsessed with fossil fuels, polluting the land with toxic heavy metals and known for depleting water resources.

This is probably why they want to sponsor COP27. They are trying to improve their public image by saying they are doing something about climate change. But if you google, They are actually making the world’s problems worse.

Coca-Cola is one of the world’s biggest polluters, and its products are a major contributor. Their production process causes a lot of waste. These wastes can be found in rivers, lakes, and oceans. And their emission ends up in the atmosphere contributing to global warming. According to Coca-Cola, they can save the earth by promoting renewable energy and trying to find new ways to make the world greener and plastic free. But Coca-Cola sponsoring  COP27 is provoking outrage in the activist community.

Related: Corporate Sustainability – Can Companies Make a Difference?

What Do We Know About Coca-Cola’s Green Practices?

Coca-Cola is trying to use greenwashing to convince people that it has changed its ways. Coca-Cola Company is simply a mixture of water resources, harmful chemicals, and non-renewable energy resources. These resources will become increasingly difficult to obtain over time.

Coca-Cola claims that it has made big changes in its business model. It has reduced its carbon footprint. But its numbers don’t show the real picture. There are many factors that affect the carbon footprint of a product or service. In order to be a really good environmental steward, companies have to look beyond their own operations and consider the whole ecosystem.

Coke is choking our environment. Its factories are the worst polluters in the world. They use the most carbon-emitting fuels and pollute our water. If we were to make them pay for all this pollution, the company would have to spend billions of dollars.

The company has been criticized for many years for being a major polluter. Coca-Cola has been called to stop producing sugar-sweetened beverages that kill humans and the environment and start offering healthier, sustainable alternatives. Coke says it is trying hard to make a difference by using renewable energy, reducing water usage, and using recycled materials for packaging.

Coca-Cola’s involvement in COP27 has been met with criticism from environmentalists. Some believe Coca-Cola’s presence at the conference is an attempt to greenwash its image, as the company has been accused of contributing to plastic pollution. Others believe that Coca-Cola’s involvement could lead to the weakening of environmental regulations, and many environmentalists are not happy about it. They believe Coca-Cola’s involvement sends the wrong message about the conference and its goals.

Coca-Cola is a major contributor to climate change, and environmentalists believe its involvement in COP27 undermines the event’s efforts to combat climate change. This could have a negative effect on the conference, as it could alienate some of the attendees and make it more difficult to achieve its goals.

FAQs

How does Coca-Cola affect the environment?

Coca-Cola is the biggest polluter of plastics. It makes approximately 470 billion plastic bottles annually, which end up in landfills and water bodies.

Is Coca-Cola sponsoring COP27?

Yes! Coca-Cola Company is the official sponsor of COP27 despite its huge contribution to climate change and plastic pollution practices.

Where is the COP meeting in 2022?

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

How does Coca-Cola affect climate change?

Coca-Cola is one of the world’s largest producers of plastic bottles, and it has come under fire for its role in contributing to climate change. The company has been criticized for its use of fossil fuels, its production of plastic bottles, and its marketing of sugary drinks. All of these factors contribute to Coca-Cola’s carbon footprint, which is estimated to be 5.49 million metric tons per year. 

Is Coca-Cola the largest polluter in the world?

The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo are ranked as the world’s top plastic polluters for the 4th consecutive year.

Why is Coke not sustainable?

Coke is not sustainable because its production and distribution emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. The company also relies on water for its product, and water is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world. Furthermore, Coke’s plastic bottles and packaging often end up in landfills, where it takes centuries to decompose. Finally, the company has been accused of contributing to obesity and other health problems due to the high sugar content of its products.

About
Alisha Shabnam

Hi! I’m Alisha Shabnam, a freelance Sustainability Consultant and writer working in the field of sustainability education.