A Greener Olympics: Coke’s Green 2010 Winter Olympic Games Efforts

Numerous organizations and companies have committed to making the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games more environmentally friendly. Whether it is the Olympic medals comprised partly of electronic waste or the Olympia electric ice-resurfacing machine, next to gold, green is the color of choice when it comes to the 2010 Winter Games.

Coca-Cola is taking part in a variety of sustainable efforts that are the largest and most comprehensive in the history of the company. The soft drink giant, an Olympic Games partner since 1928, is committing to be carbon neutral by reducing the company’s Olympic carbon emissions by 100 percent.

“Coca-Cola will deliver a net-carbon neutral sponsorship during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games – to our knowledge a first for any Olympic sponsor. Our carbon neutral and zero waste efforts and the roll-out of our PlantBottle package comprise the most aggressive environmental protection plan ever undertaken by an Olympic Games sponsor,” according to Coca-Cola Company’s Petro Kacur.

Coke’s Robust 2010 Olympic Games Recycling Efforts:

  • Coca -Cola associates are wearing apparel made out of recycled PET bottles. Each uniform contains up to 120 recycled bottles. Athletes will also receive t-shirts made out of recycled bottles. The measure adds up to about 33,000 green wearable items.
  • Posters, menu boards, and other materials used in concessions, are made out of POST consumer recycled plastic and will be recycled after the event.
  • All PET containers sold during the Games will be recycled. More than 1,400 recycling bins will be available during the Olympics. Coke estimates 7 million bottles will be served during the events.
  • Coke is selling its newly designed PlantBottles, which are 100 percent recyclable. PlantBottles are comprised of up to 30 percent renewable plant-based materials made from sugar cane juice and/or molasses. According to a company press release, Coke hopes to produce 2 billion PlantBottles by the end of this year.
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa is being sold in 100 percent compostable packaging consisting of a cup, sleeve and lid.
  • Furniture and displays at Far Coast installations,  located in the athletes’ villages, are created from blue pine wood salvaged from the Mountain Pine-Beetle epidemic in British Columbia.

More Coca-Cola Olympic Game Green Efforts:

  • Coke’s “Green Team,” comprised of teams of volunteers, will clean up after lunch and dinner, making sure all products sold by Coke will be recycled.
  • Approximately 1,400 newly designed, Coca-cola coolers (made without hydrofluorocarbons) and vending machines will be used. The new refrigerant technology, which has never been used before in North America and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 5,600 metric tons compared to older technology, will be placed throughout Games venues.
  • 85 percent of the vehicles used by Coke associates will be hybrid or high efficiency delivery vehicles. This measure includes a fleet of hybrid trucks and electric carts.
  • Coke is running an interactive kiosk, manned by past Olympic athletes, for current athletes to take a personal sustainability pledge.

Jace is the Internet Feature Writer for Suite101 and is the Holidays and Working Moms Examiner for Examiner.com. She is a regular contributor for Energy Boom, EcoWorldly and PlanetSave. She particularly enjoys writing about unusual and downright wacky environmental stories and issues plaguing wildlife and animals.Besides writing, Jace is also passionate about online safety and issues concerning children. As an Internet Safety educator, she teaches online safety and technology to 600 elementary-aged children every week for her local school district.Jace has two children who are both in college and is also mom to a slew of pets.

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