The Coca-Cola Company will replace all its vending machines using hydrofluorocarbons with coolers that employ more environmentally friendly refrigerants by 2015.
The move to replace all of the 10 million vending machines operated by Coca-Cola and its partners worldwide with HFC-free units will reduce carbon emissions by 52.5 million metric tons over the life of the new equipment. This is roughly equivalent to taking 11 million cars off the road for a year.
Since 2000 Coca-Cola has spent about $50 million in research and development of cleaner cooling technology for vending machines and commercial coolers and is focusing on two: compressed carbon dioxide for larger units and hydrocarbon refrigeration for smaller units.
Phil Radford, Greenpeace USA’s executive director, praised the firm for its work to transform the industry. “Over the years, we didn’t know this day would come,” Radford said. “Greenpeace and Coke have had a long and complex history.
“Greenpeace is known for its tougher campaigns and we often say we can dance with, or dance on, companies — Greenpeace and Coca-Cola are doing the tango.”
The company has deployed thousands of HFC-free vending machines at major international events in recent years, including the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics, the 2006 World Cup and the Beijing Summer Olympics last year.